What to learn from the BSD grep case [Was: why GNU grep is fast]

Scott Long scottl at samsco.org
Mon Aug 23 17:20:55 UTC 2010

On Aug 23, 2010, at 9:04 AM, Gabor Kovesdan wrote:

> Hi all,
> there are some consequences that we can see from the grep case. Here I'd like to add a summary, which raises some questions. All comments are welcome.
> 1, When grep entered -CURRENT and bugs were found I immediately got kind bug reports and sharp criticism, as well. According to my understanding, -CURRENT is for development and it's fine to expose new pieces of work there but now I'm in doubt about that because of complaining people. On the other hand, an earlier version of BSD grep has been in the ports tree for a very long time and users reported some problems, which have been fixed but still, there is a lot of bugs there which haven't been reported that time. If users don't volunteer to test new pieces of code on a volunteer basis, somehow we have to make them test it, so I think committing BSD grep to -CURRENT was a good decision in the first round.

You did everything right.  You were responsive, you were open to suggestions, and you got the code in.  Even more importantly, you got the code in a year before 9.0, instead of waiting until the last minute, months from now, and creating a dilemma for the release engineers.  Software is an iterative process of feedback and improvement.  The way that you've handled this should be a model for the project.


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