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[Axiom-developer] Re: usual development

From: Mark Murray
Subject: [Axiom-developer] Re: usual development
Date: Sat, 19 Mar 2005 20:01:13 +0000

root writes:
> in CVS you mention a flow of:
>  local change
>    commit to HEAD
>      merge Good(tm) changes to STABLE branch
>        release STABLE branch every 3 months or so
> in Arch the HEAD==branch. rather than everyone working on the
> same set of sources the branches allow you to work on BSD related
> changes where Bill can work on Windows related changes. These 
> get sorted at the merge-into-main step when the branch is considered
> working. Thus rather than have 10 developers working on the HEAD
> there are 1 or 2 developers working on individual branches. This
> makes it less likely that they will step on each other.

Right - but at some stage the issue of "Do my BSD changes break 
Windows?" crops up, and in the "all commits go to HEAD model", it means 
that thinking about this forms part of my work, it is not something 
that needs to be re-engineered later, particularly if the other 
developers and I are approaching the problem in horribly incompatible

It allows us to co-operate earlier, in other words. 

> It also allows us to explore structural changes such as your
> suggestion of skipping the lsp subdir build, and complete rebuilds
> such as the SBCL ansi common lisp branch. These are not possible 
> under a CVS model except as a new project.

Not really. The only project that I've seen which really tested CVS' 
limits that way was FreeBSD's 3-year mission to redesign the SMP 
fundamentals, and that was an _ENORMOUS_ piece of work that tore the 
kernel apart.

We've reorganised the tree, we've upgraded the C compiler, we've added 
new CPU architectures, we've sliced of big chinks of old code, and 
we've played very nasty games with cryptographic regulations of the 
incomprehensible kind. CVS worked, not always very well, but the 
development model was roundly affirmed.

> Arch has its problems though. I haven't figured out how to kill off
> a whole branch. And the --no-pristine option does not seem to work.

Yeah :-(.

Arch is not very feature-rich. It may get there, who knows? :-)

I guess the most important part of what I'm on about, though, is how 
the Axiom project is going to scale once (when!) it gets popular. Once 
the submissions start pouring in, how are you going to cope?

I understand, (and fervently hope!) that it will be an extraordinarily 
comprehensive mathematics package, and I'm suggesting that the Linus 
Torvalds' Linux kernel development model won't scale very well. I'd LOVE
to be proven wrong :-).

Mark Murray
iumop ap!sdn w,I idlaH

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