[tahoe-dev] A tahoe user's Wish List

David-Sarah Hopwood david-sarah at jacaranda.org
Mon Jan 18 03:50:57 UTC 2010

Kyle Markley wrote:
> Having used tahoe for a little while now, I've come up with a wish list of
> things that that would improve my user experience. [...]

Thanks -- please register for the trac (at allmydata.org) and comment on
the tickets below if you have any more ideas about them.

> 1) I wish tahoe would save symlinks as symlinks.


> 2) tahoe backup dies on broken symlinks.  I would prefer if it happily
> saved the broken symlink (as a symlink).

There is a patch in #641 to skip broken symlinks. That isn't the same as
saving them as broken symlinks, but it's a start.

> 3) In general, tahoe stops when it encounters a serious error.  Often it
> could and should keep going.  For example:
>  - tahoe backup stops on a locked file or a broken symlink.  Don't stop! 
> Just skip the one file, and tell me.


>  - tahoe deep-check --repair stops when it can't repair a file.  Don't
> stop!  Skip only what's necessary, and tell me.

>    (There's no practical way for me to resume a repair operation
> immediately "after" the bad file.)


>  - tahoe backup gives a fatal BackupProcessingError if it sees a file, but
> the file is deleted before tahoe backs it up.

Now http://allmydata.org/trac/tahoe/ticket/914 . Please add more detail.

> 4) Error messages should always identify what file was being worked on
> when the problem occurred.  Sometimes they do, but often they don't.

There's a technical difficulty in doing that, because Tahoe files and
directories don't have canonical names -- often the only information
available is a cap. But in some cases we do know the path relative to
whatever root we started at, in particular for deep-traversal operations.
We probably don't print as much information in error messages as we could.

Query for tickets related to error reporting:

> 5) I am nervous about synchronization between backupdb.sqlite and the
> grid.  As happened recently, if a large chunk of the grid goes down, some
> files may go below their minimum number of shares.  I could repair those
> files by re-uploading them, but the backupdb assumes those files are fine. 
> So those files won't be reuploaded and they'll stay broken on the grid --
> possibly forever.  I'll think they're backed up, but they aren't!  I'd like
> to have some way for a deep-check to inject a dose of reality into my
> backupdb.

> 6) For extra credit, I'd like behavior that's a hybrid between backup and
> deep-check.  Run a backup operation, but check every file as we go along,
> and repair or re-upload the file if the grid doesn't have enough shares.

These are now http://allmydata.org/trac/tahoe/ticket/915

> 7) I'd like to be able to pass verify caps to deep-check on the command
> line.  (I heard that this is implemented, but not for the command line.)


> 8) I'd like to have better lease control.  For example, I'd like to have
> my Latest backup live "forever" but to assign garbage collection dates to
> the earlier backups.  This would allow me to keep, say, weekly backups for
> the past month, and quarterly backups for the rest of the year.  I would
> expect to do my own scripting to make this happen.  I realize I could
> mostly get this with careful use of tahoe rm, but then my files are
> inaccessible immediately, whereas I'd rather the older backups be allowed
> to stick around until a garbage collection is run.  "You may delete these
> files at your convenience, but please keep them until you need the space."


> 9) I wish the prodgrid helper was working.  I've never been able to use it
> (not even once) since I started using tahoe.

The bug tracker isn't really used for production grid issues.

> 10) I wish tahoe backup --exclude could accept a pathname, not just a
> filename.  (I would like to --exclude $HOME/foo/bar as a named directory,
> instead of excluding files named 'bar' wherever they may exist.)


David-Sarah Hopwood  ⚥  http://davidsarah.livejournal.com

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