Re: metadata plugins (was Re: the " 'official' point of view" expressedby regarding reiser4 inclusion)

From: David Masover
Date: Fri Jul 28 2006 - 17:51:51 EST

Hans Reiser wrote:

plugins if not for us. Our plugins affect no one else. Our
self-contained code should not be delayed because other people delayed

And at the moment, I can still use Reiser4. If I ever make a distro, I will include Reiser4 support, probably as the default FS. That will help with getting into the kernel.

So, why is it that it's urgent to get into the kernel? It will have to be bootstrapped one way or another -- either get it into the kernel so distros are more likely to include it, or get it into distros so the kernel is more likely to include it.

But this is exactly the kind of thing that has happened before. With XFS, with Nvidia even -- clean it up, do it the way the kernel people want you to, because they're the ones who will have to maintain it for 20 years, and make sure it doesn't stop working or break anything else.

advantage from leading. If they want to some distant day implement
generic plugins, for which they have written not one line of code to
date, fine, we'll use it when it exists, but right now those who haven't
coded should get out of the way of people with working code. It is not
fair or just to do otherwise. It also prevents users from getting
advances they could be getting today, for no reason.

It prevents users from doing nothing.

Our code will not
be harder to change once it is in the kernel, it will be easier, because
there will be more staff funded to work on it.

If indeed it can be changed easily at all. I think the burden is on you to prove that you can change it to be more generic, rather than saying "Well, we could do it later, if people want us to..."

As for this "we are all too grand to be bothered with money to feed our
families" business, building a system in which those who contribute can
find a way to be rewarded is what managers do. Free software
programmers may be willing to live on less than others, but they cannot
live on nothing, and code that does not ever ship means living on nothing.

Let me put this in perspective the best way I know how, with an inane analogy:

Suppose there's a band. A good band, full of impossible superstars, led by a benevolent dictator -- for the sake of argument, let's call him Elvis. (the King -- dictator...) The band's doing really well, and Elvis & crew are getting paid fairly well just to share their music.

(Ok, maybe Elvis didn't write anything, but bear with me...)

Now, along comes a young Jimi Hendrix. He wants to be in the band, and Elvis says "Sure, just come up with a song we like and we'll play it, and you can even play it with us!" Sounds like a pretty good deal, so Jimi goes and tells all his friends, a couple of girls...

Now, Jimi finishes his song, Elvis listens to it, and if you know anything about the music Elvis did and the music Hendrix did, you can imagine what happens next. Elvis says "This song just isn't us. But if you change it here, and here, and maybe here, we'll play it."

Jimi is devastated. He'd been counting on playing it with them that night, and if he doesn't, he won't have any groupies, all his friends will laugh at him, and his life will kind of suck.

But, does anyone really think Elvis has any business singing Voodoo Child? Or Purple Haze? Is it really fair to ask Elvis to completely change his act and embarrass himself to help Jimi out?

The answer is, Jimi shouldn't have staked so much on something that was never a guarantee. And what's more, the real-life Jimi Hendrix never played with Elvis, but had a very successful band of his own. And if Elvis was still alive, seeing Jimi play might make him change his mind, maybe -- but at least with his own band, Jimi's success isn't pinned on playing with Elvis.

This analogy is flawed in many ways, aside from just being plain chronologically impossible, but while I'm sure Linus feels bad for you, I don't think it's his obligation to compromise his kernel to help you out with your financial situation. So it would help a lot if you wouldn't keep bringing it up in what should be a technical discussion.

So, if you can't make it work with VFS, then I guess you can't, and you're stuck either creating another interface which is not tied to any one filesystem and isn't tied to the VFS either, or coming up with a better (more specific) idea of how to make the Reiser4 plugin system acceptable to kernel maintainers without having to eat Ramen for a few years.

Understand that I'm putting on my devil's advocate hat right now. I'd love to see Reiser4 merged tomorrow, or a week from now, exactly as it's written today, but I just don't see it happening. I'd also love to get more technical, but I just don't know the Reiser4 internals well enough to understand the feasibility (or not) of any of my vague ideas.
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