[erlang-questions] Poll: How do you handle spurious messages?

Florian Waas <>
Thu Aug 7 05:09:44 CEST 2014


Actually, I think we're very much on the same page here: I really meant it
when I said "crash for anything that breaks the contract" -- if your
environment requires to take into account stray messages, then by all means
take care of them. In closed enterprise software systems, your contract
often is much(!) tighter and cracking down on stray messages is usually
highly desirable.

If SSL spams my inbox I certainly want to know where it comes from, whether
it has potential to clog up a process, needs attention, etc. and if I
figure it's safe to discard this kind of message, then make a deliberate
decision to do so. However, discarding all unexpected message because of
this might be less than ideal.

-fl.


On Wed, Aug 6, 2014 at 10:43 AM, Loïc Hoguin <> wrote:

> I do not think "making it easy for anyone with access to mess up your
> system when inspecting" is a matter of taste? If I have to fear breaking
> everything every time I'm trying to look for data to fix a bug, I'll just
> pack my things and leave, I don't want that kind of stress.
>
> You're also making your system less stable if you run misbehaving third
> party code. And by third party, I include OTP's code. For example a while
> back the ssl application sent a harmless message to the accepting process
> under certain conditions, do you really want to crash in cases like this?
>
> "Let it crash" is great, but it's not the solution to everything.
>
>
> On 08/06/2014 06:48 PM, Florian Waas wrote:
>
>> Matter of taste. If you like designs where unidentified messages
>> circulate in your system and endless debugging sessions for race
>> conditions, missed messaged, deadlocks etc. is your thing, ignoring
>> messages is cool.
>>
>> If you're not good at this type of debugging or simple don't have the
>> time for it consider tightening your design and eliminate any kind of
>> slack from the system, then crash for anything that breaks the contract.
>>
>> -fl.
>>
>>
>>
>> On Wed, Aug 6, 2014 at 9:07 AM, Loïc Hoguin <
>> <mailto:>> wrote:
>>
>>     On 08/06/2014 04:55 PM, Peer Stritzinger wrote:
>>
>>         1. log the messages
>>
>>
>>     For the few processes that can receive more than
>>     calls/casts/monitors/exits I want to know what's being dropped in
>>     case it's something important.
>>
>>
>>         3. Ignore them without trace?
>>
>>
>>     For everything else, which is the majority of the processes.
>>
>>     *Never* crash. Because if you do, then you can easily mess up your
>>     system through the shell (like using sys:get_state on a normal
>>     process, kaboom).
>>
>>     --
>>     Loïc Hoguin
>>     http://ninenines.eu
>>
>>     _________________________________________________
>>     erlang-questions mailing list
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>>
>>
>>
> --
> Loïc Hoguin
> http://ninenines.eu
>
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