Here's to hoping it gets backported
A bit of “quality, non-glamorous engineering” could give a bunch of Linux servers a boost by addressing an unnoticed bug in a congestion control algorithm. This little code snippet addresses the ten-year-old slip-up in the open-source kernel's net/ipv4/tcp_cubic.c code: static void bictcp_cwnd_event(struct sock *sk, enum …
This just goes to demonstrate the advantages of the open source model. A 10-year old screw-up identified and fixed, everything completely open and above board. Let's compare that to the closed-source model used by certain companies Who Will Not Be Named; in that case they would probably never have bothered to review the code and identify the bug, and even if they did they would probably have hushed it up and never admitted to the mistake.
Oh I think Heartbleed did that for us. Every web server in teh hole wurld fucked, except the Windows/IIS ones which didn't use the open source library with the "programming for dummies" example memory usage fuckup in it.
The sad fact is that either open or closed is equally as likely to have cockups in it and these are only usually found when somebody either spots a problem and looks for the cause or runs across it while modifying the code for another reason. The idea of thousands of highly-skilled people burning the midnight oil scrutinising every line of open-source code for bugs on the off-chance is a lovely one, but in the real world it just doesn't happen.
"The idea of thousands of highly-skilled people burning the midnight oil scrutinising every line of open-source code for bugs on the off-chance is a lovely one, but in the real world it just doesn't happen."
It's far more profitable to look for them in closed source and sell to the highest bidder.
"The sad fact is that either open or closed is equally as likely to have cockups in it and these are only usually found when somebody either spots a problem and looks for the cause or runs across it while modifying the code for another reason."
The advantage for me as a programmer using the open source code is that when my program doesn't behave as I expected I can just read the source code for the api / subroutine I was trying to use rather than just moan about the (closed source) api's behaviour.
a bug like this hanging around for 10 years definitely proves that open source is better than closed
Read the description - it's a minor annoyance that will cause a bit more congestion on certain peaky networks. It's no big deal for most of us, and no show-stopper for the others. This is more upgrade than bug-fix.
It would appear to be a good patch that will improve performance for one group of users. And that improvement is possible because someone who did not write the code was able to look at it.
Surely the point here about open source is that a user of the software (not its "owner") found the problem, created a fix for the problem, and released the fix making it available to other users.
Finding a problem in (eg) Windows isn't hard, but the next two steps would be impossible as an end user.
I know next to nothing about network management, but it seems to me that this bug mostly impacts the server, not the client.
As such, it will be fixed, because generally admins are vastly more consciencious of how their servers work than plain old desktop users.
So this is good news.
The "clients" running Linux are quite affected indeed, both when uploading and downloading data from a server running any OS. The bug is in the core implementation of TCP on Linux.
"Since Linux 2.6.13, BIC had been included in the standard Linux distribution and set to the default TCP. Currently, the successor of the BIC, CUBIC, is set to default. If your kernel version is greater than 2.6.13"
What I meant to say is that I think this can only be _corrected_ on the server.
No. This can be corrected everywhere. And, over time, it will be.
The issue occurs anywhere a machine can dump peaky traffic onto a network. This might be a big server - or it might be a laptop uploading a bunch of photos. Both scenarios will be improved.
Given that there are over a billion Android phones, all of which would have this bug. Few existing ones will ever see the fix, but once the fix is applied to Android and that version starts getting into new phones and old phones get tossed there will be fewer broken clients out there over time.
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