Can't start portgresql after F15 -> F16 upgrade

Joe Zeff joe at
Thu Nov 17 19:36:38 UTC 2011

On 11/17/2011 11:08 AM, Michael Cronenworth wrote:
> Digimer wrote:
>> >  1. This should have generated a more useful error, like "data is from an
>> >  old version and is not compatible."
> Systemd stdout doesn't handle this and probably never will. Check your
> logs, as with any service issue.

I think the point is that the error messages should not only tell you 
that it failed, but something about *why* it failed so that when you 
check the logs you'll have a better chance of knowing what to do.  If 
all the program can do is put a numeric error code in the log, the 
documentation should list the possible error codes with explanations. 
Good programmers don't assume that J. Random User will be a psychic and 
be able to read their fscking minds to find out what an obscure error 
code means, but by that standard, there are very, very few good 
programmers out there.

The late Dan Alderson was a genius, and a fantastic programmer. 
However, one of his favorite error messages was "1 = 2."  He'd use it in 
nested IF statements, where it appeared that all possibilities had been 
covered, to show that something had come up he hadn't anticipated. 
Generally speaking, there'd only be one place in the program where he'd 
need to do this, so if/when it came up, he knew right where to look.

More information about the users mailing list