[MPlayer-users] Re: "Core dumped :)" issue(?)

The Wanderer inverseparadox at comcast.net
Tue Sep 21 02:00:58 CEST 2004

Stephen Stocker wrote:

> Hi,
> I'm not subscribed to the mplayer-dev list, but I've been reading
> comments about the message MPlayer gives after successfully dumping a
> stream (Core dumped:)).
> First, I'm far from a guru of any aspect of Linux, I'm just a
> tinkerer, somebody who can occasionally hack together a semi-decent
> shell script. I've been using MPlayer since sometime in 2001.

Sounds about like me, at least on the surface.

> Frankly, I never thought much about seeing a message that said "Core
> dumped :)" after successfully saving a stream, other than being glad
> that it worked. Never *once* did it bother me, and I'm baffled as to
> how anyone could be bothered by it!

The most critical part of that "how" is, I think, either not noticing or
not correctly interpreting the smiley. Many people apparently don't; if
I hadn't previously seen discussion about it, I would likely have been
one of them.

> If you know enough to know what a core dump is, you also know that
> what MPlayer's doing is *not* it. A program which runs perfectly,
> then stops perfectly with a message saying "Core dumped :)" being
> confused with an actual problem??? Come on!

Ah, but how can you tell that it stopped perfectly? After all, it gave a
well-known "fatal error" message, and nothing after that; where is the
indication that it didn't just crash horribly?

> If there's anybody around who ever thought that message signified a
> problem, they probably also need to be told that MPlayer works better
> when power is applied to the computer and monitor!

This is exaggeration, and not helpful. Yes, people have thought that the
message signified a problem; they have posted to these lists about it.

In fact that has happened more than once; the most recent that I can
find in a quick search was on August 9th, an incomplete bug report for
which the entire problem appeared to be that the "Core dumped ;)"
message was printed at the end of execution. Much the same thing
happened on March 1, and something which looks to be the same happened
on February 7th, and there's another one on January 8th - and that's
just this year. Four "person who made the mistake and then made the
effort necessary to write to the mailing list about it" in a year isn't
huge, true, but it's also a lot more than is really desirable. (If it
matters, I joined the list in the middle of the previous year and have
three such complaints in my mail archive from that period.)

In any case, just because some users don't have a problem with it does
not automatically mean that it's okay to ignore the ones who do. There
are some things which cause problems for less-adept users which would be
problematic to change and/or fix, usually because they're related in
some way to actual functionality; this, however, is in no way critical
to the code, could be changed or removed with no difficulty, and amounts
to intentional user-unfriendliness. Unintentional or difficult-to-fix
user-unfriendliness, while undesirable, is one thing; intentional
problems are much another.

       The Wanderer

Warning: Simply because I argue an issue does not mean I agree with any
side of it.

A government exists to serve its citizens, not to control them.

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