Pernosco is well on its way to address the second part of this. Its replayer is quite a bit nicer than the open source rr one and I have high hopes for the platform in general.
For the first one, all I can do is plead with the cloud vendors not to mess up the environment. Since this is HN, if you're working for a cloud provider, please ask your engineering team not to break rr. Otherwise I'll have to spend time migrating our users off your platform, which will be fun for neither of us.
Anyway, congrats to Robert and Kyle on the launch. Wish you all the best.
Another feature rr benefits from is CPUID faulting, which is not virtualized by any of the major cloud providers (though Linux KVM does virtualize it): https://patchwork.kernel.org/project/kvm/patch/2016110101374.... That'd be "nice to have" but we can live without it.
But for the normal use both the pricing and its off-prem nature renders the whole thing all but useless. A pity really, because the tech looks fantastic.
I think that running Pernosco off-premises will be acceptable for many people. I use it a few times per month while working on open-source projects like Reposurgeon and Flex, so I'm not revealing any trade secrets by uploading those recordings. I've learned that the database built by Pernosco from a large recording can be 100GB and take an hour to generate on a 36-core AWS instance. $4 per debugging session is a pretty reasonable price compared to buying that hardware myself.
And they are offering an on-premises solution, running on your own hardware. For a tool this good, the price for that is bound to be large enough to give individuals like us reason to think twice, and then probably a third time. Given the potential time savings, I think that it should be easy for even a small company to justify the purchase.
On the gripping hand, this is non-Free software. Some will avoid it primarily for that reason, and I can't really fault them for sticking to their principles. I think that it's entirely possible that Pernosco, or debuggers like it, could effectively eliminate traditional debuggers like GDB. GDB would still exist and still work, but without the nearly-omniscient viewpoint that Pernosco offers very few will bother to use it. It's like looking through a keyhole. I've thought about this a lot over the last few months.
"To use Pernosco, you must consent to collection, transfer, storage and use of your data"
Perhaps a nagging screen model would work better? (better => more users using the tool, a percentage of which would def. pay to remove the nag and support the creator/s).
A list of successful paid software I can think of from the top of my head:
* https://www.reaper.fm/ (nagging screen)
* https://www.linqpad.net/ (PRO versions with additional features)
* https://www.jetbrains.com/idea ("Community" and "Professional" versions)
* https://cursive-ide.com/ (30 day trial? I think? Personal, Commercial and Non Commercial licenses avail.)
* https://www.sublimetext.com/ (no limitations but purchase is expected, not enforced)
* https://github.com/cognitect-labs/REBL-distro (used to _require_ joining a Patreon to use the software, but did not enforce it... Also I think it used to have commercial licenses available).
Resource utilization is also an issue. To accelerate the debugging experience we build huge databases of all program states. You can't run Pernosco on your laptop.
Having said that, we understand the trust issue, we are very open to offering an on-premises version of Pernosco and we are keen to talk to people interested in that.
There's also the on-premises option.
I assume it's still usable as a local rr-GUI (that hopefully adds something) without submitting?
I get that you are still looking for a model, but I would much more expect something like "my employer pays $X00 or $X000 and we get a volume where I don't have to think about using up a scarce resource" (potentially even can have customer systems run it if there's issues) - the market for single licenses feels pretty small to me?
EDIT: cleaned up word salad
> I get that you are still looking for a model, but I would much more expect something like "my employer pays $X00 or $X000 and we don't get a volume where I don't have to think about using up a scarce resource" - the market for single licenses feels pretty small to me?
We like that model too but it's been hard to sell that. We're certainly happy to offer such a deal if someone asks for it!
People in related businesses have said they've had more success with "bottom-up" individual-developer sales than with enterprisey deals, at least initially, so we are giving it a go.
I don't think it's for me, but I'll try it out and either way good luck, I hope it works out for you!
So you charge, 1/4 of the value given. Should my IDE charge me 1/4 too? My ISP ? My computer OEM ? My electricity provider ? My renter ? My OS ? That's a lot of 1/4th.
Now, sometimes people are doing that because to track down a bug they have to go through many cycles of adding instrumentation or logging to their code. In many cases Pernosco can just make those cycles go away, e.g. using https://pernos.co/about/expressions.
However, if you develop new code using cycles of "add new code, compile, debug", and each of those debugging sessions are short, Pernosco isn't a great fit for that currently.
I have no idea, but I’ve already lost interest.
I agree with you that for a larger corporation it makes much more sense for the tool to be prepaid and for the developers to not worry about their usage. There's definitely a learning curve to switching to a new style of debugging, even if you're accustomed to rr, and so encouraging use is more likely to get people to actually get to the point where they're benefiting from the tool.
But that's a tough sales cycle, they've tried it, they've said they would be happy if someone came asking for that. You could make the argument that they should hire an enterprise sales person or something, which may be true but also has obvious costs. (Let's just say that it would be a large percentage increase over their current staffing.)
I'd think that their reality wins out over your "shoulds". You may be right that they're incompetent about selling into the enterprise, but I'm certain that they've had more experience trying to sell Pernosco to larger corporations than you have and so I'm not going to ding them for this additional purchasing opportunity.
Source: I work for a mid-sized company that does have a contract that gives me unlimited access to Pernosco. It's quite useful. I don't know the exact terms. I know I have solved some bugs that I would have been unlikely to ever fix and would be ongoing stability and maintenance concerns.
I'm working on a bug right now where the submitter is able to reproduce easily but I am not. They have managed to capture it in an rr recording, so I'm uploading it to Pernosco to take a look even though my desktop's CPU is mismatched enough that I can't just run the recording myself. From past experience, if I have it in Pernosco, I will be able to fix it, even though the root cause is far far removed from the resulting crash. (It's subtle GC corruption.)
> How likely is it that a given bug will be solved with Pernosco?
There's no way to put a number on this but I think it's unusual to not eventually figure it out with rr or Pernosco (but Pernosco will be faster) if conditions under the user's control are met: the recording really captures the bug you care about, it's in code in a language we support, and the debuginfo and sources are right.
> What do I do if I pay and only realize after that the session wasn't helpful?
"Sorry". Hopefully the reasons it wasn't helpful are mostly under your control and the benefits average out in your favour.
I'd prefer to pay once and then install it on my own computer, even though that would surely cost several thousand dollars. It would still be worth it.