I may be wrong about my simple answer being the right one
April 22, 2012
In a recent entry I wrote about how I had misinterpreted an error message from bash about a script failing, and I also mentioned in passing that if I had paid attention to the structure of the error message I would have known that I was wrong. I take that back. Detailed investigation has now left me more confused than I was before and less confidant of what exactly my co-worker's problem was (and absolutely sure that paying attention to the structure of the error message does not really help). The problem is related to bash being too smart for its own good in error messages; because of bash's smartness but not huge smartness, we cannot tell what the actual error is.
As a reminder, here's bash's error message:
You would think that this means that
Bash does not mean that /bin/sh is missing; it never bothers to
check that (and arguably it can't do so reliably). This matters because
as we saw in my previous entry, the
kernel will also report
So in my co-worker's case, we can't definitively conclude that
(I am far from certain that I could predict all of the reasons that the
Linux kernel would return
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