[RDD] Please fix this bug...

Rob Landry 41001140 at interpring.com
Wed May 17 08:25:38 EDT 2017

Doing *any* updates on a working on-air Rivendell system introduces the 
possibility of putting you off the air.

That's because the people working on the various packages that go into 
CentOS don't know about Rivendell and don't test the effect of their 
updates on Rivendell. Most of the time, you will be OK, but the 
possibility of an update breaking Rivendell exists, and if you do updates 
regularly, sooner or later you'll run into an update that breaks it.

There are two ways to insure you don't get put off the air by an update. 
You can test each update on a duplicate Rivendell machine that is not on 
the air, and only after verifying that it doesn't break Rivendell on that 
machine, apply it to your on-air machine; or you can decide that since 
your machine is secure enough on its private network and not exposed to 
the public Internet, you don't need to do updates at all. Myself, I prefer 
the second approach, not fixing what isn't broken.

A few years ago, there was a company called Nassau Broadcasting Partners. 
It was the biggest broadcaster in New England and owned, if I remember 
right, 52 stations. Nassau standardized on one of the more user-friendly 
Windows-based automation systems and began deploying it to all their 
stations. Now, this particular system is written in the Java programming 
language, and one day a jock in one of Nassau's stations noticed a message 
at the bottom of his screen that said: "A new version of Java is ready to 
be installed." He clicked on it, most likely just to make it go away, and 
the new Java version was duly installed.

And then he began hearing stuttering and dropouts on the air. The station 
became unlistenable, and the usual things Windows users do ("have you 
tried turning it off and on again?") didn't help. Nassau's engineering 
team spent days trying to figure out what had gone wrong; it turned out 
that the automation system had been developed, tested, and deployed with 
one particular version of Java, and the new version was different enough 
to alter some critical timings and break the automation system.

Neither Java developers nor Windows developers know anything about radio 
automation systems, and neither do Linux kernel developers. Therefore, one 
must beware of any update unless one knows for sure it will do no harm.


Я там, где ребята толковые,
Я там, где плакаты "Вперёд",
Где песни рабочие новые
Страна трудовая поёт.

On Tue, 16 May 2017, Rick Thomas wrote:

> That’s essentially option 2 by another name.  It has the same problems.  If doing it breaks something in Rivendell, we’re off the air.
> Perhaps one of the support folks can tell us which of the 4 update packages from the Paravel repo it’s safe to uncheck?
> Thanks!
> Rick
>> On May 16, 2017, at 3:11 PM, Steve Varholy <steve at wxryfm.org> wrote:
>> IIRC you can choose not to apply certain updates by unchecking them in the Software Update dialog window.
>> Sent from my iPhone
>>> On May 16, 2017, at 6:07 PM, Rick Thomas <rick at kptz.org> wrote:
>>> We are using the CentOS-6 that is part of the Rivendell Broadcast Appliance system from Paravel Systems.  We have a paid-up support contract.  It’s really great, and we love it a lot!  Thanks for all the wonderful features!
>>> Now the problem:
>>> The Rivendell 2.15.3-1 update appears along with more than 300 other updates from CentOS when we run “yum check-update”.  Some of those CentOS updates are important security fixes.  So far as I know, there are no security issues with the Rivendell 2.15.3-1 package. 
>>> However, if we hold off installing the Rivendell 2.15.3-1 update because we don’t want to deal with the bug in the attached mail from Fred Gleason, discovered by Ryan Williams, we are also holding off on installing all the security (and other) fixes from CentOS.
>>> We have two alternatives, as I see it.
>>> 1) What we’re doing now: hold off on any updates until the attached bug is fixed by Paravel Systems.
>>> or 
>>> 2) Disable the Paravel Systems repo in the yum configuration files, thereby preventing the Rivendell 2.15.3-1 update from being applied — along with everything else from Paravel.  We’ve never done this before (never needed to!) and we don’t know what it might break if we try it.  If it breaks something in the Rivendell system, that will take us off the air, which we don’t want to do.
>>> So…
>>> Please fix the attached bug!
>>> Thanks!
>>> Rick Thomas
>>> SysAdmin, KPTZ 91.9 FM, Port Townsend, WA
>>>> On May 16, 2017, at 1:26 PM, Scott Spillers <scotts at paravelsystems.com> wrote:
>>>> Rick,
>>>> We do not have any influence over development of the CentOS Linux distribution, only the Rivendell code.  What version of CentOS are you using?  CentOS 5 has reached end of life and is no longer updated.  You may want to consider updating to CentOS 7 if your version of the distro is no longer supported.
>>>> Scott Spillers
>>>> scotts at paravelsystems.com
>>>> On May 16, 2017 12:10 PM, "Rick Thomas" <rick at kptz.org> wrote:
>>>> Dear Rivendell developers,
>>>> We’ve been holding off installing the Rivendell2.15.3-1 update, hoping to see a fix for this bug.
>>>> But with all the activity over the NSA zero-day exploits released a few months ago, it’s becoming imperative that we get the security updates from CentOS that this is blocking.
>>>> Please bump up the priority on this one…
>>>> Thanks,
>>>> Rick Thomas,
>>>> SysAdmin KPTZ, 91.9 FM Port Townsend, WA
>>>>> ---------- Forwarded message ---------
>>>>> From: Fred Gleason <fredg at paravelsystems.com>
>>>>> Date: Tue, Mar 28, 2017 at 8:05 AM
>>>>> Subject: Re: [RDD] Rivendell v2.15.3
>>>>> To: User discussion about the Rivendell Radio Automation System <rivendell-dev at lists.rivendellaudio.org>
>>>>>> On Mar 28, 2017, at 10:57, Ryan Williams <ryanmw at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>>> I'm having an regression with the most recent release. If I open RDLogEdit and try to add to a log's description it does not save. We use the field field to add "READY" to the end of the description when the log is cleared for air, so this one is going to sting a lot.
>>>>> Partially confirmed here.  If you use the ‘Save’ button, the updated Description is indeed lost.  However, clicking ‘OK’ (without clicking ‘Save’ first) appears to work normally.
>>>>> Cheers!
>>>>> |----------------------------------------------------------------------|
>>>>> | Frederick F. Gleason, Jr. |              Chief Developer             |
>>>>> |                           |              Paravel Systems             |
>>>>> |----------------------------------------------------------------------|
>>>>> |          A room without books is like a body without a soul.         |
>>>>> |                                         -- Cicero                    |
>>>>> |----------------------------------------------------------------------|
>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>> Rivendell-dev mailing list
>>>>> Rivendell-dev at lists.rivendellaudio.org
>>>>> http://caspian.paravelsystems.com/mailman/listinfo/rivendell-dev
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