What's with all the Cisco stuff?

Stan Shebs shebs@cygnus.com
Fri Aug 13 14:35:00 GMT 1999

   From: jtc@redback.com (J.T. Conklin)
   Date: 13 Aug 1999 12:34:20 -0700

   I also have to ask, why the rush to integrate code that isn't ready?
   The TUI doesn't work on non-HP machines.  The mutant remote protocol
   could have waited until the infrastructure was in place to properly
   stack target vectors, and KOD could have waited until it had the
   benefit of review of a larger pool of embedded systems users.

This is often a tough call; the good calls go unnoticed, and the bad
ones get flamed.  I've been waiting for GNU/Linux thread support to
mature for instance, and get criticized for moving too slowly on it.
You remember from the meeting in May, where RMS thought GNU OS support
bits ought to be put in, even if it meant nonportable code all over
the place.  So there are definitely competing interests to balance.

   The latter is particularly bothersome.  I think it is all to easy for
   Cygnus folks to keep what should be public discussion inside when it
   should be inclusive.  I didn't see it myself when I was at Cygnus, 
   but it is particularly obvious from the outside.  

You're completely right.  This goes to the heart of how open source
projects should be run.  In GCC there was much discontent with
Kenner's way of making decisions, which were very often arbitrary and
in opposition everybody else's opinions; the hackers eventually
revolted and started EGCS.

GDB has been quite different.  It was originally run much as GCC was,
with a very small list of participants, secret snapshots, etc.  But
I've always preferred more open development, and so I find myself in
the position of pushing to change a situation that wasn't actually
generating much discontent, at least not that anyone expressed (the
old GCC2 mailing list had weekly flamewars, there was no doubt about
the discontent there!).  Things are changing, but it seems to be more
of a gradual process.

You're quite right that it's all too easy for Cygnus folks not to
discuss things in public.  I often encourage Cygnites to post
discussion topics to this list, then there's a deafening silence, and
then we have to guess whether the silence means approval or what.  I
know many of the people on this list, and I know that some of the
contemplated changes will have a direct impact on them, and yet they
don't seem interested enough to say anything positive or negative.  I
don't actually know what to make of that.

I will continue to encourage Cygnus engineers to publish change
proposals to this list, because I think it's the right thing to do.
In return however, I would like to ask people to post more responses
to the proposals, even if just to say "yeah, sounds good".  There are
lots of interesting ideas to talk about, and many more on the way!


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