Obscure error messages

Nirbheek Chauhan nirbheek.chauhan at gmail.com
Wed Jan 4 14:40:54 UTC 2023

On Wed, Jan 4, 2023 at 4:31 PM James Linder via gstreamer-devel
<gstreamer-devel at lists.freedesktop.org> wrote:
 A five year old kernel bug
> I know! I know! But still “dmesg saying Not enough bandwidth” would be much more enlightning than "Failed to allocate required memory”

Every single one of us is encountering bugs like this constantly.
We're all developers, so when we encounter a bug, we just try to fix
it. There is no point complaining about why it wasn't already working.
That's just how software is. There's an exponential complexity of
interactions between components. Between different elements, between
different software versions, between hardware and software, hardware
and hardware, etc.

No one can account for all possible cases, and in many cases there
isn't even a good solution, or the solution is too much work for
little benefit, or the solution is too hacky and will make maintenance
harder, or any number of other reasons.

The only reason why things work at all when one tries is because one
is benefiting from the work of hundreds or thousands of other people.
It's easy to forget that; especially when you have deadlines looming

You're right that the error message could point people towards such
things. So please submit a merge request that fixes the error message
for the next person.

I don't think there's a way to hook into dmesg and get this
information without making things really complicated, but it might be
ok to match on the error returned by the v4l2 API and say "please
check whether your USB controller has enough bandwidth" or something
like that in the error message.


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