Leaving the group

Matthew D. Fuller fullermd at over-yonder.net
Sat Jun 12 09:14:00 GMT 2004

[ To cheerfully jump into a conversation I have no business in, and ]
[ to which I'm going to contribute practically nothing substantial. ]

On Sat, Jun 12, 2004 at 12:11:52AM -0700 I heard the voice of
Andy Sporner, and lo! it spake thus:
> I thought since I was so far the first to step up to this that this
> was the "FreeBSD HA project" but I was sorely mistaken evidently.
> However, this exchange has given enough merit to continue perhaps a
> little more effort here.  I won't put times into the schedule
> because everytime I do I end up putting my foot in my mouth.

It's been my impression that freebsd-cluster is at that wonderful
point of non-critical--mass, where there's JUUUST enough people to get
a surge of momentum going to inspire somebody to start something...
but not enough to still be there when they get it done.  Which makes
it awful tough to do anything, while also making it almost implausible
to do nothing.  You might say there's a little problem there.

This, of course, is only made worse by the nebulosity[0] of the word
"cluster".  You've got the HA-hot-failover crowd on the couch here,
the scalability-load-balancing clique in that corner over there, and
the high-volume-parallel-processing mob fiddling with their slide
rules by the bar.  That splits the mass multiple ways, as well as
opening such wonderful fields for argument over "what we need to make
a clustering software package".

It's too big a problem to attach as a whole (even if we could agree on
what the whole is).  And it's twisted and incestuous enough to make it
awful difficult to do piecemeal.  And if you DO do it piecemeal, it's
that much harder to get people to adopt, for a number of reasons that
can be debated endlessly.

I think part of the problem with adoption is the "who's gonna adopt
it" sidetrack.  Most people either don't need it, or need it working
now.  Those (like me) who don't need it, wouldn't really have any idea
what to do with it if it landed in our laps with full instructions and
an endless supply of Hershey bars.  Those who DO need it need it NOW,
and spending time "trying out" stuff tends to be harder to come by.
This contributes to the problem above, where there's a fairly steady
trickle of demand for products, but when the products arrive with
"this covers 80% of the cases for me, let's get the rest!" the wave of
people asking for it never seem to grab it.

I don't know how to solve any of the problems, though   :-(

Matthew Fuller     (MF4839)   |  fullermd at over-yonder.net
Systems/Network Administrator |  http://www.over-yonder.net/~fullermd/

"The only reason I'm burning my candle at both ends, is because I
      haven't figured out how to light the middle yet"

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