[Python-Dev] DTRACE support

Guido van Rossum guido at python.org
Fri Sep 6 20:01:39 CEST 2013

I think there are a couple of issues.

- In order for the patch to be acceptable, we'd need someone to take
responsibility for owning and maintaining it for at least several
years. Jesus, are you willing to commit to this?

- I think it's not all that important whether any core developer would
want to use this for themselves; it's enough if it's useful for others
to have this, and it's clear that at least *some* users really like
this. Different people like different tools, and that's fine.

- There are good reasons (e.g. standardizing a set of probes) for
having a somewhat supported version around.

- Since this *has* to be done in the form of a patch plus a new
configure option, an externally-maintained patch is awkward at least,
and likely to be continually out of date -- this is not something that
you can just as easily put on PyPI as the recommended 3rd party

- So I'm personally inclined to say "yes, Jesus, if you are willing to
maintain this code (while it is in the core) for several more years,
please invest more of your time, and, assuming you can satisfy the
code reviewers' feedback, we want to accept this in the core,
hopefully in 3.4 if you get it in an acceptable state before 3.4 beta
1 is released."

On Fri, Sep 6, 2013 at 10:12 AM, Charles-François Natali
<cf.natali at gmail.com> wrote:
>> The main value of DTrace is systemwide observability. You can see
>> something "strange" at kernel level and trace it to a particular line
>> of code in a random Python script. There is no other tool that can do
>> that. You have complete transversal observability of ALL the code
>> running in your computer, kernel or usermode, clean reports with
>> threads, etc.
> Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying DTrace is useless.
> I'm just saying that, as far as I'm concerned, I've never had any
> trouble debugging/tunning a Python script with non-intrusive tools
> (strace, gdb, valgrind, and oprofile for profiling). Of course, this
> includes analysing bug reports.
>> Maybe the biggest objection would be that most python-devs are running
>> Linux, and you don't have dtrace support on linux unless you are
>> running Oracle distribution. But world is larger than linux, and there
>> are some efforts to port DTrace to Linux itself. DTrace is available
>> on Solaris and derivatives, MacOS X and FreeBSD.
> That's true, I might have a different opinion if I used Solaris. But
> that's not the case, so te me, the cognitive overhead incurred by this
> large patch isn't worth it.
> So I'm -1, but that's a personal opinion :-)
> cf
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--Guido van Rossum (python.org/~guido)

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