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Re: [Cfengine-develop] my own branch of the tree

From: Mark . Burgess
Subject: Re: [Cfengine-develop] my own branch of the tree
Date: Sat, 10 Jan 2004 08:40:32 +0100 (MET)

Luke, your timing is strange as I just sent you a message to say that
I have included your patch. I welcome help in these matters but I
am still very scared that folks will succumb to the "easy way" of
scripting "solutions" to problems rather than finding the reproducible,
general, convergent way. Cfengine has to be state of the art -- oops I mean

After LISA I was more worried than ever that people are not only not
so worried about this, but that some people are even going backwards
and writing brand new tools that look like ftp.

You have earlier criticised me for being against abstraction. I do not
believe that this is correct. I am against ambiguity. Cfengine has its
problems and I would love help in working them out, at the same time
as moving forward with the anomaly stuff, but I am scared of what I said
above -- that in its unbridled haste, the wheels of progress will
maim the key principles that make cfengine safe today. 
e.g. the whole discussion about locking and dual passes; peoples'
insistence on writing modules for every little thing instead of
developing the convergent mechanisms... 

The development team was put together from people whom I trust
to do good work, but it has been very quiet. The Savannah web pages
have been a complete waste of time, as I suspected. I don't even
understand how to maintain them anymore. They have become a burden
rather than a help. At times I will be too busy to even think about
cfengine -- but I have a few weeks now. Let's talk.


On  8 Jan, Luke A. Kanies wrote:
> Hi all,
> (How many of us are there on this list?)
> It looks like Mark is incredibly busy as usual right now, and there are
> some patches (one especially) I think are necessary and useful
> but which he is not going to be able to look at until at any time soon.
> I also would really like to provide this functionality to a client of
> mine, as it would allow me to cease some of my code generation.  And last
> but not least, I plan to begin providing commercial support for cfengine
> this year (hopefully in Q1), and I will need my own branch to help
> customers out until my patches can be accepted into the main branch.
> As a result, I've decided to start maintaining my own branch of cfengine.
> I can't say at this point how much it will end up differening from the
> main branch; if it's just me, I expect not many differences, but if others
> are interested in participating, then it could be quite a bit.
> I'm pretty happy with cfengine, but there are some aspects of it that make
> it frustrating to use, and I think some of those aspects could be fixed
> relatively easily.  For whatever reasons, Mark does not seem to be
> frustrated by these same limitations and thus is not very interested in
> fixing them. I'm willing to spend at least some time trying to make those
> fixes, and I would very much appreciate help both in writing the fixes and
> in testing them.  I will immediately provide read access to my CVS
> repository, which means that at the least there will be a place that
> provides anonymous CVS access to Mark's copy of cfengine (I'll sync it
> from him nightly or something), but it also should make it very easy to
> update from and contribute to my (or his) branch.
> I will also provide some mechanism for submitting and sharing patches, so
> that multiple people can vet a patch before I accept it to the branch but
> also so that people are encouraged to send patches.  Patches are
> definitely good, even if the patches aren't good. :)
> Basically, I just want to encourage more participation in cfengine
> development, both in getting patches and in testing them.  Mark is too
> busy to do much development, patch vetting, or testing, so it's time the
> community stepped in to help out, and this seems to be the easiest and
> best way for us to do that right now.
> I would definitely welcome any feedback, including chastisement, blame, or
> flames.  If you have any better ideas on how to spur development, I'd love
> to hear them.  I don't even expect to spend a ton of time on this, as I
> have my own development work I want to do, but there are features I need,
> bugs I need fixed (some that Mark does not consider bugs), and lots of
> refactoring to be done, all of which I am willing to work on.
> I'm largely considering this similar to Alan Cox (not that I deserve
> comparison to him) maintaining his own branch of linux; it's not
> competition, but he has his own ideas of what should be in there, and he's
> patient in getting those ideas to the main tree.
> Feel free to mail me directly with questions or concerns.
> Luke Kanies

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