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DragonFly kernel List (threaded) for 2004-03
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Re: Daemon's Advocate article

From: Michel Talon <talon@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 01 Mar 2004 15:47:48 +0100

Chris Pressey wrote:

> On 29 Feb 2004 23:01:36 GMT

> I'm not sure what to make of the article though.  I guess I agree it has
> a good point.  I hope, though, that we can attract a more dedicated
> audience on technical merit, than Linux can attract on sexiness and
> corporate support.

As far as i understand, Greg Lehey is mainly nostalgic about his personal
project in this article, that is vinum. It is vinum that is left behind by
recent developments in FreeBSD-5 and soon to be axed if not maintained
seriously. The reason, as far as i understand, is that most developers 
have tried vinum and ... loosed files. The result is that they consider 
vinum is crap and don't want to spend time solving the bugs that Greg Lehey
doesn't want to solve himself. I don't have any personal opinion on this 
subject  (i don't have enough disks to test vinum :-( ), but i have an
opinion on easily accessible stuff: the vinum *documentation*. I think
that this documentation is horrendous, absolutely incomprehensible,
and if only for this reason, i would never put anything valuable under vinum
for fear of being unable to restore it in case of problem. I am convinced
this is number one reason for the poor acceptance of vinum in the community,
and subsequently the risk of it being axed. Moreover the tone of Greg Lehey
responses in mailing lists when people were asking help was such as to
reinforce fear uncertainty and doubt about his software. The moral of this
story, in my opinion, is that you can introduce the most wonderful
software, if it is not well documented, in such a way that people are not
afraid of using it, it will be very little accepted. In the same vein the
installer is the entrance port to an Operating System for newbies. If the
installer is the sort of crap that are presently the *BSD installers, you
cannot expect to attract a lot of people outside of the professionals or
the enthusiasts. The Linux people have understood this point: it is the
distributions with easy to use installers (RedHat, Mandrake, Suse) that 
have grabbed the largest part of the market, not the distributions which
pretend to deliver a high quality product, like Debian, and begin by
offering an installer worse than the BSD ones. Remarkably a lot of people
are taking renewed interest in Debian now that you can easily test it and
install it from an excellent live cdrom: Knoppix. This is apparently more
or less the way chosen by the dragonfly team, and i think it is an
excellent idea.

> -Chris

Michel Talon

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