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Re: What forum to propose new port?

From: Terrence Enger
Subject: Re: What forum to propose new port?
Date: Sun, 10 Mar 2002 15:10:43 -0500

At 03:39 PM 2002/03/09 -0500, Larry Jones <address@hidden> wrote:
>Terrence Enger writes:
>> Is this the best forum for proposing a port of cvs to OS/400 (a.k.a.
>> AS/400, a.k.a. iseries)?
>"Proposing" in what sense?  Are you proposing to do the work, or are you
>proposing that someone else do the work?  This is a good form for
>getting input from CVS users, address@hidden is a better forum for
>getting input from developers.
>-Larry Jones
[sig & list footer snipped]


I propose, first of all, some questions.  

(*) What does it mean?  Using an existing distribution of cvs
    executing on Win95, I have had some success (very small test, no
    observed problems) controlling ASCII source in the hierarchichal
    part of the IFS of OS/400.  But I can see value in using cvs to
    control a wider variety of stuff on the 400, ordered by what I
    would deem to be descending value: source physical file members
    (there are *lots* of those in the world), EBCDIC files, database
    files.  Others with better imaginations than I can extend the

(*) How much of this change can the main line of development tolerate?
    I note for example, your discussion "multiplatform sofware desing
    problem" on bug-cvs with Dimitry Naldaev <address@hidden>, where
    you take a position against having cvs do code conversions.  I can
    imagine that much--but not all--of the necessary code would be
    segreated into a platform-specific subdirectory.  

    In my limited study of the code, I see platform-specific files
    mapping one function to different facilities of the platform but
    no example of one platform providing more functionality than
    another.  Is there any case where you would like to exploit the
    particular demands or capabilities of a particular platform?  Two
    special cases could make a pattern; one special case would likely
    just make a mess.

(*) What machines should execute what parts of cvs?  My own prejudice
    favours allowing the programs to execute on OS/400, but other
    arrangements are possible.  (You then might choose not to call it
    a "port", of course.)

You ask whether I am proposing the work for myself to do or for
somebody else.  Let me answer with an absolute, definite "maybe".
Some subordinate points ...

(*) I have been hacking around on the 400 with the source from version
    1.11.1p1.  It is clear to me that I have a lot to learn.  It is
    *not* clear that I can learn what is required within the
    limitations of my interest (which is itself subject to preemption
    by paying customers, among other things).  My background includes
    much work using OS/400, some work in C, but no previous work joining
    the two areas.

(*) How much work are we looking at, and over what length of time?  So
    far, each problem I hack around reveals more problems ahead of me.
    Neither this or my (lack of) experience with ports like this gives
    a basis for estimation.  I suspect that previous ports between
    flavours of *nix might provide a poor lower bound on the effort
    required.  The ports to Windows might give a better lower bound,
    if I knew how much work they involved.  But cvs on Win95 omits
    server functionality, and the developers of cvs on WinNT--if I
    interpret the introductory web page correctly--have forked off
    completely from the main line of cvs development.

I had a prejudice in favour of this proposed port when I started
writing, but I fail even to convince myself.  In short, I shall
probably continue hacking around while I feel I am learning something
and making a little "progress".  Whether this merits anyone else's
interest is debatable.

Any thoughts, Larry?  Anyone?


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