[sf-perl] Getting Help (was Re: Debugging a CGI script - how)

Joe Brenner doom at kzsu.stanford.edu
Sat Mar 8 12:38:04 PST 2008

David Fetter <david at fetter.org> wrote:
> Neil Heller wrote:

> > I've been modifying a CGI script and have run into a problem that
> > bring to mind a larger question.
> >
> > My script uses data from a relational database to pull information
> > about external files.  The script then displays information from the
> > relational database and the contents of the external file.  The
> > script then continues on the next iteration - each iteration equals
> > one entry in the relational database.
> >
> > If there are 3 or fewer entries in the relational database, the
> > script works well.  At the fourth entry in the relational database,
> > Apache throws an error and the user (me at this point) receives only
> > a generic-type error.
> >
> > Does anybody have any ideas about how to best go about finding the
> > error?
> Does anybody have a reference on how to write a good bug report/shout
> out for help?

I know the problem you're talking about, but Neil's question doesn't
seem *all* that bad to me.  It's a pretty generic question about how to
debug weird problems in web/db programming...

> I've seen Eric Raymond's smarmy and condescending "How to Ask Smart
> Questions," but it misses important points, and even if it didn't, a
> person reading it is unlikely to get further than the first couple of
> paragraphs unless that person is a core-deep masochist.

At the very least, it's certainly too verbose.  (And as I remember it,
Rick Moen has essentially disowned it at this point.)

> Anybody?

Some projects write their own.  There are a few pages on the subject
written for the emacs documentation:


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