Total size of Fedora source

Richard W.M. Jones rjones at
Fri May 18 13:45:56 UTC 2012

On Fri, May 18, 2012 at 04:17:29PM +0300, Alek Paunov wrote:
> Hi Rich,
> On 18.05.2012 15:49, Richard W.M. Jones wrote:
> >The reason is that I want to check out all the source for an
> >experiment, and I need to know what order of disk space I will need [:-)]
> Would you like to elaborate - What kind of experiment you are preparing?
> [Asking because I live with the idea about Fxx-snapshot mass source
> indexing/XRref for long time already (based mainly on the great
> David Malcolm's gcc-python-plugin, the openjdk compiler and several
> other tools) and if your work will be in the same direction I am
> willing to take part of the tasks - e.g. DBs related work ...]

It's more of a thought rather than a fully worked out idea, but here
you go:

Often when something goes wrong, the only thing you have is an error
message.  Programmers don't always write good errors, and even when
they do they are often very context specific (ie. they mean something
only in the context of the source code that generates the message,
meaning there're a lot of hidden assumptions behind an error).  Also
it's likely that some errors are encountered by our users very
frequently, whereas the vast majority of errors are never printed at

So [if those assumptions are true] can we do something more useful
about error messages?  Some ill-formed ideas I had:

 - Take the text of an error message and display the piece of code
   which generated it.  Not great for end users, but useful for
   programmers, whom I think of as Fedora's core audience.

 - Extract error messages from the code and find out how common they
   are (eg. in Google searches or Bugzilla).  This would give us some
   idea of which error messages should be fixed first to make them
   more explanatory, or simply bugs which are important to fix.

 - Some sort of web service for error messages.  Google is pretty poor
   for looking up errors.  Try searching for this in Google:

   "WARNING: gnome-keyring:: couldn't connect to: /run/user/rjones/keyring-IrcfPu/pkcs11: No such file or directory"

   Currently there are no hits, even though this is a common and long-
   running bug (RHBZ#783568).  The reason is that Google doesn't
   understand the structure of the error message - the fact that some
   parts are common to all errors in this class, and others (the
   pathname) is specific to my machine.  But a web service might be
   able to do better, especially if it has knowledge extracted from
   the Fedora source code.  You could imagine the source code
   annotated with references to the relevant Bugzilla number.

(BTW I'm not claiming exclusivity to any of these ideas.  If they
sound interesting, please jump in and implement them :-)


Richard Jones, Virtualization Group, Red Hat
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