[nycbug-talk] Request for Review, Summary of FreeBSD src fetching problems

Glen Barber gjb at FreeBSD.org
Sun Jan 27 17:51:58 EST 2013

On Sun, Jan 27, 2013 at 02:57:31PM -0500, Isaac Levy wrote:
> Hi All,
> To continue to weed through all the noise, on the hot 'at the
> bar' topic:
> "Wny is my tool for src fetching, nearly as big as my base Operating
> System all the sudden?"
> I've posted what I can glean as the current state of things, I'm
> trying to centralize my notes on this topic, here:
>   https://wiki.freebsd.org/UsersFetchingSource#preview
> Please feel to make edits (esp. if you are a committer and know
> something I don't!), or email me with corrections and I'll put them
> in!

I do have a comment about the "Why is this a big deal?" section.

Why is changing the primary source control software such a big deal?
Truthfully, I do not know the one-size-fits-all answer.  I wish it was
not, however, because it is consuming far too many cycles and far too
much time for something that is inevitable.

The warning signs have been there for years.  All FreeBSD src/ commits
go into subversion since its inception.  The availability of the changes
through cvs/cvsup/csup happens as a result of a svn->cvs exporter.

And therein, in my opinion, is what is making this such a big deal.  The
exporter has run for far too long.  It is buggy at best.  It often
crashes when files are replaced.  Most importantly, and this is the part
that bothers me so much about this ongoing topic, it is not secure.

The way I see it, speaking "unofficially", the cvs exporter was provided
as a service to provide time for users to convert their systems to the
new source control system, or to choose an alternative way to obtain the
sources (freebsd-update(8), for example).

This service was far from free (as in time).  Taking into account the
aforementioned crashes, in addition to maintenance, keeping two methods
for obtaining the src/ tree available is expensive.  Additionally, when
a RELENG_N branch is created, manual intervention is needed on the cvs
side.  It is extremely costly.

Now, consider any other software project.  If "foo" decides to switch
from cvs to svn, or cvs to git, or git to svn, or whatever, I can
guarantee two things:

 1.) They will not attempt to put in the effort to make the "old
   system" available.
 2.) There very likely would not be as much talk about the topic as
   there has been for FreeBSD changing source control software.

So, having said all that, here is why I think this is such a big, time
consuming topic:  Until recently, the ports/ and doc/ repositories were
still developed within CVS.  With the cvs exporter for src/, users had
no real reason to switch.

Not moving ports/ and doc/ from cvs to svn sooner, in my opinion, is the
only mistake FreeBSD made.  But again, the warning signs were there all


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