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[netCDF #KLB-596506]: apparent bug in netcdf-4.2

Hi Jim,

I'm curious how the original file you provided was created and perhaps
modified.  It has a peculiar alignment characteristic that I haven't
seen before, and if there are more netCDF files being created the same
way, we may nned to adapt.

Could you tell me the history of the file, what file system it was
written on, and whether the netCDF library with which it was written
was modified in any way?

The file has this characteristic, which would indicate a non-Posix
file system: it is using 512-byte alignment of data values rather than
the 4-byte alignment assumed by netCDF. So, for example, the data
block for fixed-size variables begins with 9 scalar integers that
should take 4 bytes each. The offsets computed for these values from
the beginning of the fixed-size data block are 0, 4, 8, 12, 16, 20,
24, 28, 32, so there is no padding or wasted space. The offsets from
the beginning of the fixed-size data block that are actually stored in the
header for these variables are 0, 512, 1024, ... , 4096. If the file
system used to write the data originally could not write data on
4-byte boundaries, I think that violates the assumption of netCDF and
POSIX I/O. Nevertheless, if the nc_endef() call pays attention to the
file offsets for each variable that are stored in the header (as the 
netCDF library does when reading the file), rather than computing them 
from assuming 4-byte alignment, perhaps this file can be modified 

The function where we might be able to adapt to this is
nc3internal.c:NC_begins(), which is called from
nc3internal.c:NC_enddef().  In any case it's a netCDF bug to write 
something that can't be later read correctly, so if our unmodified
library wrote that file and we can't adapt to it, then it was a bug
to not emit an error message for trying to create a file on the original
non-POSIX file system.  Also, the data seems to all be there in the
"corrupted" file, which can be fixed by just restoring the variable 
offsets in the file header to the peculiar values in the original ...


Russ Rew                                         UCAR Unidata Program
address@hidden                      http://www.unidata.ucar.edu

Ticket Details
Ticket ID: KLB-596506
Department: Support netCDF
Priority: Normal
Status: Closed

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