Re: Reiser4 Inclusion

From: Grzegorz Kulewski
Date: Mon Jul 17 2006 - 11:07:53 EST

On Mon, 17 Jul 2006, Diego Calleja wrote:
El Mon, 17 Jul 2006 13:48:02 +0200 (CEST),
Grzegorz Kulewski <kangur@xxxxxxxxxx> escribió:
If someone thinks that Reiser4 is too unstable or evil he can set it to N
and be happy. And if Reiser4 will be abandoned by Namesys and not fixed

I already read it when it was posted first. I am reading LKML and reiserfs-list for several years and I already read all that arguments, flames and so on that were ever pointed here. I think I have enough.

But if we are there:

""But just include it as experimental code regardless of everything, reiser programmers will fix all the problems eventually!"

Well, no and yes. As said, nobody expects reiser 4 to be bug-free, but there're some important issues that need to be fixed, the problems is that reiser 4 is still working in the important ones. Some of the issues fixed in the past included severe design issues, BTW. Others are about being well integrated with Linux: duplication of kernel's own functionality for no reason, etc. Every piece of code submitted needs to have some quality - requesting developers to fix severe issues before getting it into the main tree helps to have better code. If you ask people people to fix those issues "in the future", they'll be lazy and there'll be critical issues around all the time - this has happened in Linux in the past. Quality is important, specially under a stable development phase. Linux is already being critized a lot for merging new features during this stable phase - that criticism happens with the current quality control. Imagine what would happen if linux started to merge things without caring a bit about what gets merged. Also, consider what Reiser 4 is. It's a filesystem, once it gets included in the kernel many people WILL use it and will DEPEND on it (your disk format is reiser4): Linux needs to ensure that things don't blow up everything."

Why do some people think that users are not already depending on it? They are. I don't know how much but I am willing to bet that at least 100 people. I think that there are some drivers in the kernel that have smaller user base.

Keeping Reiser4 out of kernel is even worse (for those users, other users that could test this filesystem, for Reiser4 developers and whole comunity) than accepting it for a try period with a big fat warning that it my be removed if Namesys abandons futher fixing of it (after some time to let user migrate).

And any arguments like "if Reiser4 is not in the kernel then people will not use and depend on it" are fundamentally flawed IMHO. Everything bad that could happen with Reiser4 in the kernel can happen with Reiser4 out of it.

It may look like some kernel developers are trying hard not to take responsibility for Reiser4 saying that there is very huge difference between selecting highly experimental kernel feature that is marked so and patching the kernel with it. Sorry but I think there is very little difference. And that little difference is only hurting users that want to try and test something new.


Grzegorz Kulewski

PS. I really don't want to begin World War 4 about Reiser4. I just think that curious people asking from time to time about _current_ Reiser4 status should not be treated bad because that could make them stop testing and giving back to the open source projects.