[arch-dev-public] Problem with web dashboard: massive orphaning of packages

Dusty Phillips buchuki at gmail.com
Fri Sep 12 16:23:42 EDT 2008

2008/9/12 Eric Belanger <belanger at astro.umontreal.ca>:
> Hi,
> I don't know if you remember but a while ago a huge part of extra i686 (IIRC
> it was all packages from L to Z) were orphaned and erroneouly showing up as
> recently updated on the web site.  This just happened again with packages in
> extra x86_64. I don't know what could caused that but it's very annoying as
> we has to readopt all our packages back.


I remember Judd telling me not to swear at users but its ok to swear
at scripts right?

This has to be happening in reporead.py.  Fucking reporead.py. To the
best of my knowledge, no other script updates the web database in
anyway, am I wrong?

The actual db_update script splits the packages into those that are in
the database and those that are not and processes them separately.
Packages that are not currently in the database get added as orphans
because apparently its hard to interrogate the maintainer from the
db.tar.gz. At first, I assumed that it is doing an add when it should
be doing an update, which would add new packages with orphan
maintainer. But this doesn't appear to be the case because there are
not currently any duplicate x86_64 packages (that aren't in testing).

My second more likely hypothesis is race conditions. I don't know how
the db scripts update exactly, but I suspect reporead is reading a
db.tar.gz file that is either broken or not yet fully uploaded. It
sees this broken db file and drops all the packages in the web
interface that are not in that file. Then x minutes later (crontab),
it runs again on a proper db and sees the missing packages again. It
adds them to the database and sets the maintainer to orphan.

Are such broken dbs possible/likely/happening? If its a race
condition, we need to put a lock on the database (maybe dbtools does
this already) so that reporead isn't accessing it at the same time as
dbtools. If its just that when the database gets updated it sometimes
breaks the database well.. that just needs to be fixed.


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