26 August 2010

living at HEAD

Mark Shuttlesworth gave a keynote a few OLS ago, proposing that some folks need to 'live at head' and file the bleeding edge bugs early so nasty stuff gets fixed early, and good stuff flows down

The assumption is that the need for patches, except for branding, etc will fade away, and the character of Open Source's code improves with 'a rising tide that floats all boats'. Apple is pretty far down this road already with Clang/LLVM

I already build much from nightlies from VCS anyway (including clang), and it is simple enough to first solve a selfhosting iso builder. Then continue to populate leaf nodes to taste. Auto-reinstall daily preserving configs or detecting breakages and writing idempotent configs migrators as needed

File bugs ruthlessly, or at least relentlessly

Wire in valgrind, llvm, drill in unit tests and end to end functional tests, buildbots, LSB conformance testers, more, and file more bugs off the daily exceptions reports after new commits appear upstream. Whitelist acknowledged bugs for a while (with timeouts to keep the upstream honest)

Keep the machines busy at night rather than letting them play cards with one another

This email drafted in 5 minutes but I've ranted the rant enough times it is familiar. How is that for a real world and useful goal? Certainly better than playing 'bikeshed' politics