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Re: [mail] Re: Windows Build System

From: Hannu Krosing <hannu(at)tm(dot)ee>
To: Tom Lane <tgl(at)sss(dot)pgh(dot)pa(dot)us>
Cc: Lamar Owen <lamar(dot)owen(at)wgcr(dot)org>,Dave Page <dpage(at)vale-housing(dot)co(dot)uk>,Vince Vielhaber <vev(at)michvhf(dot)com>, Ron Mayer <ron(at)intervideo(dot)com>,pgsql-hackers(at)postgreSQL(dot)org
Subject: Re: [mail] Re: Windows Build System
Date: 2003-01-31 12:44:32
Message-ID: 1044017071.7950.36.camel@huli (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-hackers
On Thu, 2003-01-30 at 20:29, Tom Lane wrote:
> Lamar Owen <lamar(dot)owen(at)wgcr(dot)org> writes:
> > While I understand (and agree with) your (and Vince's) reasoning on why 
> > Windows should be considered less reliable, neither of you have provided a 
> > sound technical basis for why we should not hold the other ports to the same 
> > standards.
> 
> The point here is that Windows is virgin territory for us.  We know
> about Unix.  When we port to a new Unix variant, we are dealing with the
> same system APIs, and in many cases large chunks of the same system
> code, that we've dealt with before.  It's reasonable for us to have
> confidence that Postgres will work the same on such a platform as it
> does on other Unix variants.  And the track record of reliability that
> we have built up across a bunch of Unix variants gives us
> cross-pollinating confidence in all of them.
> 
> Windows shares none of that heritage.  It is the first truly new port,
> onto a system without any Unix background, that we have ever done AFAIK.

I don't know how much Unix backgroun BeOS has. It does have a better 
POSIX support than Win32, but I don't know how much of it is really from
Unix.

> Claiming that it doesn't require an increased level of testing is
> somewhere between ridiculous and irresponsible.

We should have at least _some_ platforms (besides Win32) that we could
clain to have run thorough test on. 

I suspect that RedHat does some (perhaps even severe) testing for
RHAS/RHDB, but I don't know of any other thorough testing. 

Or should reliability testing actually be something left for commercial
entities ? 

> > I believe we should test every release as pathologically as Vince 
> > has stated for Win32.
> 
> Great, go to it.  That does not alter the fact that today, with our
> existing port history, Windows has to be treated with extra suspicion.

I don't think that the pull-the-plug scenario happens enough in the wild
that even our seven-year track record can prove anything conlusive about
the reliability. I have not found instructions about providing that kind
of reliability in the docs either - things like what filesystems to use
on what OSes and with which mount options. 

We just mention -f as a way to get non-reliable system ;)

> I do not buy the argument you are making that we should treat all
> platforms alike.  If we had a ten-year-old Windows port, we could
> consider it as stable as all our other ten-year-old Unix ports.
> We don't.  Given that we don't have infinite resources for testing,
> it's simple rationality to put more testing emphasis on the places
> that we suspect there will be problems.  And if you don't suspect
> there will be problems on Windows, you are being way too naive :-(

"We" don't have that old windows port, but I guess that there are native
windows ports at least a few years old.

> > Do we want to encourage Win32? (some obviously do, but I don't)  Well, telling 
> > people that we have tested PostgreSQL on Win32 much more thoroughly than on 
> > Unix is in a way telling them that we think it is _better_ than the 
> > time-tested Unix ports ('It passed a harder test on Win32.  Are we afraid the 
> > Unix ports won't pass those same tests?').
> 
> If it passes the tests, good for it.  I honestly do not expect that it
> will.  My take on this is that we want to be able to document the
> problems in advance, rather than be blindsided.

Where can I read such documentations for *nix ports ?

What I have read in this list is that losing different voltages in wrong
order can just write over any sectors on a disk, and that power-cycling
can blow up computers. I don't expect even Unix to survive that!

-- 
Hannu Krosing <hannu(at)tm(dot)ee>

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