Reminder: non-mpsafetty drivers to be connected on Sunday

Robert Watson rwatson at
Sun Aug 3 21:26:59 UTC 2008

On Sun, 3 Aug 2008, Ed Schouten wrote:

> * Robert Watson <rwatson at> wrote:
>> I'm a fan of giving it a week or two breather and focusing on updating 
>> drivers, documentation, etc, and then merging it all in mid-august.  I 
>> don't think there's any need to delay things a month,
> My thoughts exactly. I also mentioned this in a private message to Warner. 
> I'm sure we'll talk about this at the DevSummit, which is a good thing. As I 
> once mentioned, it would be rather painful for me if we would delay it too 
> long, because now is my summer break and in September it is not.

I think this sounds fine.  My big concern, btw, is not in any way with the 
shape/quality of the work you've done --- rather, it's that I want to avoid, 
as much as possible, knocking people off the head of 8.x as developers or 
users.  Experience suggests that the more rough bumps people get on the 
development head, the more likely they are to fall back to some or another 
-stable, or try to "wait out" the problem by going away for a month or two. 
This has a negative impact on testing, since it means fewer users, and it has 
a negative impact on overall development rate.

It's not that that any particular breakage is the end of the world, it's just 
that as people bump along, they eventually hit a bump there they could spend 
four more hours trying to figure out why the box appears not to boot, or they 
could just fall back and get work done, and you get a gradual attrition. 
This is, btw, one reason why using Perforce has actually significant 
accelerated development: projects are more mature before they are merged, so 
are less likely to knock people off.  Which doesn't mean we don't need 
occasional breakage, it just means we have to moderate it, give people plenty 
of warning, etc.  This avoids cascading and cyclic development failures along 
the lines of "I'll wait until bgfsck is stable before trying HEAD and fixing 
KSE", "I'll wait until KSE is stable before trying HEAD and fixing SMP", etc. 

Robert N M Watson
Computer Laboratory
University of Cambridge

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