ken_i_m at elegantinnovations.net ken_i_m at elegantinnovations.net
Tue Nov 16 09:52:42 PST 2004

On Tue, Nov 16, 2004 at 09:19:45AM +0100, Tobias Gasser (tg at ebp-gasser.ch) wrote:
> >Thus, fcron violates two main precepts of unix philosophy.
> >
> >1) Rule of Clarity:  Configuration files should be human readable.
> you have 2 files. the one with extention .orig is human readable. it's 
> the one you edit with fcrontab -e
> after modifying the .orig you can force a 'compile' by running fcrontab 
> -z. just have a look at 'man fcrontab'

Thank you for calling my attention to the -z option. I have read the
manpages quite a number of times (and now once again).  The issue is not
in association with re-installing fcrontab.  After days or weeks of
operation we can ssh into a machine "killall <daemons>" and fcron will
fail to correctly restart them.  However, due to the lack of
transparency in this intermediate config file we are unable to determine
why.  I need to analysize the logs to determine of the repetitive jobs
are having related issues (not a small task as the machines generate 10s
of megabytes of log per day).  Regarding daemons see my comment below.
> >2) Rule of Simplicity and/or Rule of Separation and/or Rule of Least
> >   Surprise (or all three): It is over complex (for a number of reasons)
> >   in that it is trying to decide whether to run a task or not.  Which
> >   is a policy decision and should be separate from function.  It is
> >   quite surprising when discovered that it has not done what it was
> >   configured to do.
> maybe we're not talking about the same fcron. i use version the one by 
> Thibault Godouet from http://fcron.free.fr. this has no logic to decide 
> whether to run a job or not but the time. everything else you have to 
> put in a script you start with fcron.

Yep, same fcron.  I'm using it because it is recommended by the BLFS
project.  I've not had a use for cron in past projects so I never cared.
The lead developer for this project is a cron-junkie.

> daemons which have to be restarted i start with init by specifing it's 
> 'respawn' option in /etc/inittab or with xinitd when possible.

Ah, I did not think of this.  Thank you.  I will explore this.  It may
or may not work for our needs.
I think, therefore, ken_i_m
Chief Gadgeteer, Elegant Innovations
Founder, Bozeman Linux Users Group
(406) 581-0495

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