FreeBSD 7, DragonFly's status

Matthew Dillon dillon at
Thu Feb 28 10:09:45 PST 2008

    Well, I'll give you my 5-second opinion.

    What I am not worried about:

	* Developer interest has always increased slowly and continues to
	  do so.  I'd be interested in commit statistics but my gut feeling,
	  from NOT having to push into subsystems that I used to have to
	  push into, is that more developers are working on more of the
	  critical infrastructure.

	* More developers are doing the 'harder' aspects of kernel
	  development rather then just me.  This is very, very important.

	* Ports and packages.  This was a huge worry of mine at the beginning
	  of the project.  I no longer worry about it.

    What I am worried about:

	* The big-ticket items that we have traditionally compared ourselves
	  against, SMP primarily, have developed slowly, primarily because
	  up until recently I was the only person working on it.

	  It an issue of man-hours more then anything else.  FreeBSD simply
	  has more developers working on SMP then we do.

	  We have the infrastructure and the abstraction, we now need to get
	  down to the brass balls and finish it.

	* I really want to see someone take up the ball on getting the 
	  network stack MP safe.  It's important to the project but I can't
	  do that and HAMMER at the same time.  It's the easiest thing
	  to make MP safe in the project.

	* Similarly with AMD64.  We need it.  I've developed the
	  infrastructure separation required and we even have a fully
	  virtualized kernel (vkernel) which demonstratres the infrastructure
	  separation.  Most of the generic kernel code can easily support
	  a 64 bit architecture.  The compiler supports it.  It's a project
	  waiting for someone to take up the ball.

	* Our interrupt routing subsystem really needs a major upgrade.
	  (i.e. a major port from FreeBSD).

    Where I think the future is:

	* SMP, Storage, and SSI.  Real time mirroring at the logical level.
	  HAMMER is a major component for the storage, SSI, and mirroring
	  components, and I believe HAMMER will be a large interest magnet.

	Our project goals have not changed, but if I had it all to do over
	again I would have started work on HAMMER much earlier then I did.

	I spent more time then I should have perfecting the low level
	infrastructure, trying to build a base upon which all the other
	work could occur.


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