secondary damage

Computing Dictionary

secondary damage definition


When a fatal error occurs (especially a segfault) the immediate cause may be that a pointer has been trashed due to a previous fandango on core. However, this fandango may have been due to an *earlier* fandango, so no amount of analysis will reveal (directly) how the damage occurred. "The data structure was clobbered, but it was secondary damage."
By extension, the corruption resulting from N cascaded fandangoes on core is "Nth-level damage". There is at least one case on record in which 17 hours of grovelling with "adb" actually dug up the underlying bug behind an instance of seventh-level damage! The hacker who accomplished this near-superhuman feat was presented with an award by his fellows.
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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