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Re: [Help-gnu-arch] Checking In...
Re: [Help-gnu-arch] Checking In...
Thu, 11 Sep 2003 08:05:42 -0700
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On Wednesday, September 10, 2003, at 09:57 AM, Tom Lord wrote:
Not as far as it might seem: RFC 1740 is commonly implemented in tools
that have reason to cross filesystems, for example netatalk, as well as
in implementations of popular version control systems that must deal
with HFS[+] filesystems, for example
<http://sente.epfl.ch/software/cvl>. ZeroConf is admittedly newer, but
gaining traction thanks to its inclusion in Mac OS X 10.2. We now have
some very nice collaborative tools, for example
<http://www.mathgamehouse.com/istorm>. Through either Apple's open
source implementations or Howl, ZeroConf is available for other popular
platforms as well.
From: Paul Snively <address@hidden>
So do I take from the radio silence here that the suggestions for RFC
1740 and ZeroConf aren't perceived as good?
They're a bit off the beaten track, at least.
Finally, it seems worth observing that RFC 1740 and ZeroConf are both
IETF standards-track technologies--they are not in any way proprietary.
I was quite careful in applying that criteria to this discussion.
Are you subscribed to gnu-arch-users? I recall that you started
this thread wondering where a good place to jump in and make
improvements might be.
Well, some relatively specific improvements in the sense of addressing
a different filesystem and perhaps making dynamic networked
collaboration even easier.
I'm using tla 1.0.6 relatively happily, and I do frequently follow the
archives for gnu-arch-users. One issue I do have with tla 1.0.6 is that
the interpretation of spaces in filenames leading to evaluating the
file or directory as "Unknown" appears not to derive from a regexp, but
rather is hard-coded. On non-UNIX platforms, source files and
directories commonly have spaces in their names.
Lurking on that list for a while and using
arch to get a good feel for it might be the best place to start.
I can't really assert a definitive "No" to the abstract ideas of
supporting file systems with "exotic" structure or weird file types or
even alternative network configuration mechanisms. In the very
abstract, those are all fine areas to consider.
One problem I've had with your approach is that you seem to have leapt
immediately to a solution mechanism without first establishing the
existence of specific problems that, if solved, would clearly make
arch a better tool.
Interesting. From my perspective, having millions of potential arch
users who happen to have HFS+ filesystems that aren't currently served
adequately by arch seems sufficient justification to warrant RFC 1740
support in precisely the same sense that the aforementioned MacCVSPro
and CVL support it. That is to say, I fail to see how this suggestion
can even be remotely controversial, partially because the problem is
extremely well-defined: we know how HFS+ differs from other
filesystems. We know how to have HFS+ interact nicely with other
filesystems, and the means for doing so have been standardized years
ago. These standards are commonly used in other tools to good effect.
"Alternative network configuration mechanisms," again, isn't the piece
of ZeroConf that I'm discussing. <http://www.dns-sd.org> is. And I
mentioned a use-case that I think is quite reasonable: a bunch of
hackers walk into a conference hall with their 802.11[whatever]
laptops. If they had ZeroConf and an appropriately-extended arch, they
could immediately do "tla archives" and see all the archives in the
hall. It's a small thing, perhaps. On the other hand, it sure beats
going around to N thousand attendees and saying "Do you have an
archive? What's your IP address?"
The bottom line on this idea is just that arch touts:
"distributed repositories -- each hacker or group can host their own
branches. There's a global (world wide) name-space for lines of
development and revisions. Branches can be formed from any repository
to any other and merge operations can span repository boundaries
without needing to actually duplicate the full contents of a repository
at each site."
That's feature #1 on the home page, and I feel justifiably so. All I'm
suggesting is that there's a nice correlation between that and a
technology such as DNS-SD, which happens to be part of ZeroConf, is an
IETF standard, and has been implemented at least twice, independently,
once even under the GPL.
So I fail to understand your assertion that I haven't established the
existence of specific problems (although I'll grant that the lack of
DNS-SD support isn't a problem, but rather that an opportunity to
address dynamically-formed networks with a lot less manual labor
exists). The one issue that is actually a problem is an old one that
has been faced by other systems, a solution defined and standardized,
and has been widely implemented.
I'm not interested in adding features for the sake of adding features.
I'm a member of a particular developer community who would like arch to
work even better in environments that I commonly find myself in. That
developer community happens to be the developer community for the
largest commercial UNIX vendor in the world. It seems to me merely wise
to attempt to reach an understanding that will accomplish arch's goals
and also be of service to this community. David Harr and I are more
than willing to do the work and leave it to you whether you wish to
integrate the work, allow us to integrate the work, or disallow us to
integrate the work. All we are really asking for is a little guidance,
if possible, as to where any preferred integration points are for the
types of features we're proposing.
And yes, you can always take the functionality
that the solution mechanisms you have in mind provide and assert "the
problem is that arch doesn't have that functionality" -- but that's
putting the cart before the horse.
Many thanks and best regards,
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