2.11 Network Programming Caveats

By now it should be clear that debugging a networked application is more complicated than debugging a single-process single-hosted application. The behavior of a networked application sometimes looks noncausal because it is not reproducible in a strong sense. Whether a network application works or not sometimes depends on the following:

The most difficult problems for a beginner arise from the hidden states of the underlying network. After closing a TCP connection, it’s often necessary to wait a short while before reopening the connection. Even more difficult is the establishment of a connection that previously ended with a “broken pipe.” Those connections have to “time out” for a minute or so before they can reopen. Check this with the command ‘netstat -a’, which provides a list of still-active connections.