"Turns out there really are Computer Gremlins!" redux

So after some experimenting at work I found out what the culprit of my previous post was. I still have no idea why some parts of the code changed, and others didn’t. I imagine that part of that had to do with bad technique (see Scientific Method.) Anyway, it has something to do with the extremely sketchtowne Catalyst::Restarter::Win32. I’m not criticizing Rolsky’s code here, it’s just the nature of using Perl 5 in Windows. Fork is just one of those things that don’t quite work right, so we must resort to hacks.

I recently contributed a little bit of code to the module to fix a small bug I noticed; it looks like I’ll be contributing more.

Also, if you don’t believe me, here’s the way to prove it to yourself that at least something is wrong: open up the process manager or whatever it’s called in windows, and watch the processes, sorted by name. Use the restarter and change a file so that it will restart the dev server. Note that a new process (perl.exe) starts, but the old one never goes away. Do this a few times till it becomes obvious. Then kill the server. Note that the other processes never go away. This seems to be something to do with the “totally hack-tastic” _fork_and_start. It never kills the current process? Or something? I need to do more research and playing around. Hopefully I can get it to stop confusing me.

In other news, if you are on Windows, you probably should not use the Restarter till it gets fixed.

Posted Tue, Sep 1, 2009

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