Fwd: Please Test Netsurf With valgrind

Daniel Silverstone dsilvers at netsurf-browser.org
Thu Apr 7 09:50:32 BST 2011

On Thu, Apr 07, 2011 at 09:06:11AM +0200, Frank Gerlach wrote:
> I grabbed your email addresses indiscriminately from netsurf source code. I
> do think this does not amount to spamming, as it is security-related:

Why did you not stop to think about (a) which frontends you were complaining
about, and (b) whether or not the project had an appropriate mailing list for

> The problem: Lots of illegal memory operations while executing Netsurf.
> How to reproduce:
> A) get current Netsurf code
> B) get all prerequesites (xml parsers and all that)
> C) Compile A) and B) on Ubuntu 10.04

Compile which frontend?  Certainly the implication of Ubuntu means you should
not have been sending this email to the AmigaOS frontend developers, or any of
the other uniquely-frontend-only developers who aren't related to what I assume
will be a GTK build of NetSurf.

> E) run with 
> valgrind <netsurf executable>
> F) Surf the net. (spiegel.de, bbc.co.uk, wired.com, slashdot, theregister)

> G) Look at the valgrind output. Looks extremely bad (illegal free()s and lots
> of other nasty errors).

It would have been significantly more useful if you'd attached the errors you
are concerned about, but never mind.

> Valgrind is an excellent tool to "cheaply" improve source quality and I
> suggest you use it before you check in code. All checked in code should not
> report valgrind errors (with the procedure described above). Valgrind is
> normally very accurate !

If you think we do not use valgrind regularly, both in memcheck and callgrind
modes, then you are sorely mistaken.  Your approach to this message, and the
language you used, was actually strongly offensive (and did get caught in
several people's spam traps since it was an identical message to several
addresses which boiled down to the same person).  I will give you the benefit
of the doubt and assume you were honestly trying to help rather than to slander
our development practices and rant at us.

You will find that NetSurf 2.7 has been branched, along with its prerequisite
libraries, within our SVN repository and we are gearing up for a release.  If
you honestly want to help us along the way, please join us on #netsurf on the
Freenode IRC network and help us to track down and correct the issues you seem
able to identify for us.



Daniel Silverstone                              http://www.simtec.co.uk/

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