cvs commit: src/etc Makefile sensorsd.conf src/etc/defaults rc.conf src/etc/rc.d Makefile sensorsd src/lib/libc/gen sysctl.3 src/sbin/sysctl sysctl.8 sysctl.c src/share/man/man5 rc.conf.5 src/share/man/man9 Makefile sensor_attach.9 src/sys/conf f

Robert Watson rwatson at
Mon Oct 15 14:49:11 PDT 2007

On Mon, 15 Oct 2007, Poul-Henning Kamp wrote:

> In message <20071015221917.X9055 at>, Robert Watson writes:
>>> Wait please. It was on the ides list before the soc and during the soc. 
>>> There where links to an overview and to source files.
>> This is precisely why I've been concerned about the way things get randomly 
>> put in the ideas list--something I've e-mailed you about many times. 
>> People take it to represent a list of things we want, and frequently, items 
>> on the list are not things that we want.  Sometimes they are things that 
>> should be looked at, and perhaps used or perhaps not, but often they are 
>> things apparently hoovered up off a mailing list without thinking about 
>> whether they are actually a good idea, and without talking to developers 
>> who have expertise in the area they relate to.
> This is exactly why I stopped maintaining the JKH list long time ago.

I don't object to the idea of an ideas list -- just to one in which we put 
things on it that we don't want, and to one that we use to justify committing 
something even though we don't want it.  The benefits for our SoC students and 
other potential new committers are significant if we do it right, but this it 
not the first time someone has been burned by virtue of picking up a task on 
the ideas list, doing it, and then discovering that the "idea" was not a 
simply a "todo" item.  "It was on the ideas list" should never be a 
justification to commit something, and we need to make sure people looking at 
such a list understand that.  Vis the recent comment on the OpenBSD BIO 
framework idea -- if our key RAID developers don't think it's the right way to 
solve a problem, then why is it on the list?  We only hurt ourselves, getting 
into precisely the current sort of situation, by doing this.

Robert N M Watson
Computer Laboratory
University of Cambridge

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