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Failing Loudly

There is a concept in IT called 'failing loudly' as opposed to 'failing silently'. The idea is when something goes wrong it should be obvious and generally everything should come to a halt instead of trying to carry on with errors.

An example of this is running a REST API and only opening port 443, but leaving port 80 is closed. Connections are either secure or don't work at all.

There was a change with systemd where if the /etc/fstab files had errors in it, the system would hang at boot forever until some sort of user input fixed the issues. The previous behaviour was to simply show an error while booting but continue on regardless. The systemd argument was that it's better not to boot at all than to boot into a broken state, such as with a hard drive missing and potentially lose data.

As with every design approach it has it's place, it's not always the appropriate way to do things. It comes down to what you want to prioritizes. But I think it's very appropriate for things which need good security.

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