Contact handles disappearing mysteriously from the whois database!

Dean Robb pceasy at
Thu Apr 29 00:42:37 UTC 1999

At 04:44 PM 4/27/99 -0700, Randy Bush wrote:
>> I find it rather curious that QA procedures were not in place to prevent
>> the bug from happening in the first place.
>to paraphrase dijkstra because i am too lazy to look up the reference,
>testing can demonstrate the presence of bugs, it can not demonstrate their
>i.e. if they could do what you suggest, there would be very few new bugs in
>the world.  this would be a truly great advance.

So what's the problem in *testing* your software before putting in general
release?  Running the "upgraded" software on a testbed machine before
putting it on-line?  Dropping contact information is kinda's
not like this is some obscure, only-happens-on-wierd-configurations,
blue-moon bug; this is pretty obvious.

Hell, even *I* test a new part in a computer before closing the case and
pronouncing it fit for'd think NSI could do the same.  It's basic
common sense, after all.

>> I also find it curious that there are no rollback procedures in place to
>> recover quickly from a bug in generating whois data.
>good point.  a possible explanation is that they changed the back end, and
>hence the front end.  while one might roll back the front end, the back end
>could be much more difficult as
>  o new updates had flowed in, i.e. can't just roll back, need to convert
>    the data back, and
>  o when people write database conversion code, they tend to think of it 
>    as one way, and do not double the cost by writing un-conversion code.

Or maybe testing their code?  Or would that have been more expensive than
writing a patch?  

>in private email, an acquaintance suggested that extensive alpha and beta
>testing might have caught it.  with a product such as whois this might be
>hard.  i.e. alpha/beta tests are usually done by shipping product to a
>select few.  how would one do this with whois?  with registration services?
>etc.?  not saying one could not, just that this is far from trivial or
>obvious. about using a partial database to test the revision before
deploying it?  Say, just a random sampling to make sure everything works
the way it should before you step on your privates in front of a few
million people.  That's certainly what I would have done!  It's pretty
obvious and yes, even machine (or two, if you want to verify
network performance).  
>randy, who spent 20+ years in software development

And never learned to test before deployment?  I learned that in high school
BASIC classes....

"Let there be light!"...and God invented Thomas Edison.

Dean Robb
Owner, PC-EASY 
(757) 495-EASY [3279]
On-site computer repair, upgrades and consultations
Lead SimOps columnist/reviewer on http://WWW.TheGamers.Net

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