Sat, 24 Oct 2009

SAMBA Coding and a Little Kernel

So two weeks back was the Official Handing Over Of The SAMBA Team T-shirt! Since then I have done my first serious push to the git tree, and received spam from the build farm about it (false positives, AFAICT).

Rusty officially joins the samba team on Twitpic

I'm still maintinging virtio and the module and parameter code of course. But the kernel has slowly morphed into a complicated and hairy place. Formality has crept in, and the pile of prerequisites grows higher (eg. git,, Signed-off-by). This is maturity, but it raises the question: when will some neat lean OS without all this baggage come along?

SMP, micro-optimizations, multithreading and extreme portability are responsible for much of the added coding burdens, but also hyper-distributed development means many coders shy away from changes which would break APIs. The suboptimality accretes and this method of working becomes the new norm. BUG_ON() for API misuse is now seen as unduly harsh, but undefined APIs make the next change harder, and WARN_ON() tends to stay around forever.

SAMBA has some brilliant ideas which coding a joy (talloc chief among them, but there are other gems to be found). Hell, it even has a testsuite! But of course it has its own issues; the SAMBA 3/4 split, lack of the kernel's massive human resources and the inevitable code quality issues. Ask me again in a few years to do a comparison...

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