Operating system advocacy (Was: Re: 40% slowdown with dynamic /bin/sh)

Mark Murray mark at grondar.org
Tue Nov 25 03:35:41 PST 2003

Matthew Dillon writes:
>     Hmm.  Well, I think there's some confusion here.  While I
>     certainly like my vision for DFly better then I like the vision
>     for FreeBSD-5, that is simply in the eye of the beholder... of
>     course I am going to like my own vision better.  It's my vision,
>     after all!  Your vision is obviously different.  In fact, I expect
>     that each person has his own vision for the project, so don't
>     knock me for mine.

There is a lot of opinion-knocking happening here on both sides, and
tempers are flaring.

Can I please ask that all parties take a step back and do what it takes
to increase light and reduce heat?

>     But that has nothing to do with perceived inferiority or
>     superiority.

True, inferiority/superiority issues are notoriously fulminative, and we
need to get this track back to the technical level, and away from more
personal achievment issues.

>     The issue isn't so much whether one project is better then the
>     other as it is whether one is able and willing to borrow a proven
>     concept from another project to replace the one that maybe isn't
>     so hot in one's own.

No. This thread is about a much more basic issue; the resolution of the
static/dynamic issue in the / volume.

Which operating system has the better solution, while a valid discussion
point, is a side track here, and is serving to add heat, not light.

>                  As it happens, I have borrowed quite a bit of code
>     from 5.x.  As it also happens, I believe that 5.x would benefit
>     by adopting some of the things that have already been proven to
>     work quite well in DragonFly.  For example, using a statistical
>     time accumulation model instead of calling microtime() in the
>     middle of the critical thread switch path, or not preemptively
>     switching threads operating in kernelland to another cpu, or the
>     implementation of a mutexless scheduler.  Just a few examples.  I
>     can only point out the concepts and ideas and point to the code
>     in DFly, it is up to FreeBSD-5 developers to take the ball up and
>     either throw it away or run with it.

Good points all. Perhaps they need to be discussed in their own right,
and not as a digression to the original thread?

>     And, just for the record, I feel quite obligated to try to move
>     the FreeBSD project forward along a path that I believe will be
>     more beneficial to its users.

Careful. You are working hard on a very admirable project; please can
you continue to do do, and as-and-when issues from DFBSD prove their
worth, they will be adopted by other projects. This is a case where the
separation of strong personalities actually works out rather nicely, and
you can help this by proving how well DFBSD technology is :-).

There have been personality clashes in the past; some of these have been
shown to be unresolvable, but we now have the improved situation where
the talented folks are still developing BSD code without hindering each
other. This way BSD and its users win.

The way you can best help BSD is to continue to develop DragonFlyBSD.

>                               Just to be clear:  My obligation is to
>     all the people who use FreeBSD, not to the feelings of particular
>     developers whos vision(s) I might disagree with.  I have no
>     intent or intention of screwing over FreeBSD (how absurd!) but
>     you should not mistakenly equate that to me being accomodating to
>     FreeBSD's current vision which, yes! it is true! I have serious
>     disagreements with.

Sure. There are going to be disagreements, This is why there are 4 BSD's
available for free.

>     Over the years I have recommended FreeBSD to hundreds of people
>     and I take that responsibility very seriously.

Thank you! I hope that you will also be able to do that with

>     If it is within the scope of the FreeBSD charter for a person to
>     post based on a perceived obligation to the end users of FreeBSD,
>     then I certainly still have a right to post to this group.

Sort of. General opinion-mongering, flamage, sidetracking and so on
are off-charter. This is "FreeBSD CURRENT", and it is most likely the
best to keep it somewhat restricted to that as some folks are starting
to get annoyed at the "Dragonfly Advertising". I think that keeping
DFBSD-Advocacy/Discussion on FreeBSD lists to a pretty low level would
help keep blood pressure down all round (No offense intended, DFBSD is
a worthwhile project, its just that inter-project politics are somewhat
rough, and I'm trying to cool things down!)

Mark Murray
iumop ap!sdn w,I idlaH

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