Many thanks to Hanzík for the Czech translations!

tcc-case-title
moderately geeky  moderately geeky

Case 73

The White Pearl

Two nuns, Yíwen and Hwídah, were summoned from their midday meal by the abbot of the Elephant’s Footprint Clan:

“Master Yishi-Shing believes he may have lost a white pearl in the snow while walking on the temple grounds,” said the abbot, handing each of the nuns a shovel. “It is his opinion that the two of you should search for it.”

The two nuns labored in silence for several hours—digging, sifting, tossing aside, and digging again—when the taller of the two cleared her throat.

“I have been wondering,” said Yíwen carefully, “why we were selected for this punishment. I, for one, have never met master Yishi-Shing.”

“Then you are fortunate,” answered Hwídah as she sank her shovel deep into a drift. “He is a disagreeable man, who cares overmuch about the contents of our log files.”

Yíwen leaned on her shovel, her gaze distant. “Yesterday I overheard you arguing with someone about this very topic: the contents of our log files. There was some objection that he had raised...”

“Warning messages,” grunted Hwídah, dumping a heaping shovelful of snow into a sifter that had been mounted atop a wheelbarrow.

“Yes, that was it,” nodded Yíwen. “Meaningless warnings and errors, dozens every minute, filling the disk with garbage. Benign exceptions. Uninitialized configuration options. Debugging information logged at the wrong severity level. In response, I believe you argued that cleaning up all the relevant code would be a large and risky undertaking.”

Hwídah gasped for breath and turned the crank on the sifter. “I also... mentioned... your own observation, about how disk space... is cheap...”

“Ah,” said Yíwen. “How exceedingly thoughtful of you.”

Hwídah peered inside the sifter. “Still nothing.”

Yíwen stepped hard on the blade of her shovel. “By-the-by, I understand that yesterday’s crash of our production servers is still undiagnosed. Curious, is it not, given that our logs are so detailed and voluminous?”

“Just keep digging,” said Hwídah miserably.

Topics...  logging, error handling