Alan Hargreaves' Blog

The ramblings of a former Australian SaND TSC* Principal Field Technologist

Slashdot points to The Register’s Dtrace Article, and it’s generally favourable

and I’m moderately impressed by the mostly informed comment associated with the article and the comments.

As one reader notes

What strikes me most about the commentary here is that the raves are coming from people who have actually used it, not from Sun (or not *only* from Sun; some people there seem justifiably proud of their work:-). The snarky comments are exclusively from people who haven’t used DTrace (“gee, sounds like ____; what’s new about that?”), and are being soundly rebutted by those who have.

Unfortunately, as it was posted anonymously, it started at mod level 0 and no-one has modded it up.

I think that this person has hit the nail on the head. Pretty much all of the disparaging remarks are coming from those who have not tried it. For goodness sakes folks, Solaris Express is a free download for non-commercial use. As noted in the slashdot comments and many other places, real admins are starting to use this for real work.

There was another analogy made, which is close too.

That’s kind of like saying perl is an all round text processing tool, then asking why using perl is better than using cut, sort, and tr.

You can do a lot with cut sort and tr. Often they’re all you need, but perl lets you solve problems those three tools can’t even address.

I also saw the question asked a lot “Isn’t this a lot like the functionality that X provides in Y?”. It was comforting to see this question almost invariably answered with something along the lines of ‘To see how X compares with Dtrace have a read of the Usenix paper that was presented in Boston’ this year’. I can certainly recommend the paper. It will address a lot of the questions about Dtrace that people have. It will also fill in the blanks for those who do not understand just what we are doing with Dtrace.


Written by Alan

July 9, 2004 at 6:25 pm

Posted in Solaris Express

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