Development stalling?

Dmitri Nikulin dnikulin at
Sun Apr 23 01:06:47 PDT 2006

On 4/23/06, Matthew Dillon <dillon at xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>     Well, I would say that nothing has been abandoned, but these items need
>     developer hands for progress to take place and I am only one person.
>     There are a lot of people working the edges (and this is very necessary
>     in order for DragonFly to remain viable), but only a handful of people
>     doing big ticket items.  Users have different needs and, unfortunately,
>     it is not possible to make all of them priority #1.

Certainly. I'm merely concerned that lack of usability in the project
(either because it only runs on legacy hardware, or not enough
software, or whatever - neither of which are true at this point) will
discourage its use, and its development. A lousy catch 22. This
doesn't appear to be the case, in fact, it's becoming a lot more
usable since pkgsrc has been adopted.

>     My focus is squarely on the critical path, which I outlined at the
>     beginning of the year:  A cache coherency model that works well
>     enough to be able to migrate execution contexts between machines,
>     a userland VFS interface (primarily so ZFS can be ported in userland
>     == more developer hands available to help out), and other issues related
>     to supporting clustering.

I never questioned your work (far from), I'm just surprised to see so
few commits *outside* of that by anyone, when compared to the work
done earlier.

>     AMD64 is desireable, as is more SMP work, and I'd be quite happy if
>     other developers did some work in those areas.  Not to mention keeping
>     device drivers up to date.  But I could spend my entire life doing
>     nothing but device drivers and have nothing truely innovative or
>     interesting to show for it at the end of that road.  So despite its
>     importance it would be a very bad move for me to drop everything and
>     focus on driver maintainance.  I have to prioritize my own work and right
>     now that priority is on cache coherency and cluster-related code.

I don't question that, I'm asking about the project as a whole. And
the concerns have been handled already.

>     If you want to help out then choose something near and dear to your heart
>     and start working on it.  My only caution is that large scale endevours
>     must be done in committable bite-sized chunks.  Trying to do something
>     like AMD64 in one big patch, for example, would only result in an
>     undebuggable mess.

I'll at least investigate the difficulty involved in updating
DragonFly's USB stack to accomodate the improvements made in NetBSD.
Well, that, and patching OpenVPN to recognize DragonFly has been an
important aim for me, though it seems they are deliberately ignoring
the platform. These two items will already make NetBSD and DragonFly
interchangable for me, and no doubt others.

Thanks for taking the time to respond.

  -- Dmitri Nikulin

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