Linked by Trent Townsend on Wed 18th Jan 2006 22:03 UTC
BSD and Darwin derivatives DragonFly BSD 1.4 is the third major release of Matthew Dillon's fork of the FreeBSD operating system, and significant progress has been made towards reaching many of the project's numerous goals. New in this release include a more up to date version of the GNU Compiler Collection (required due to the incread use of thread local storage in DragonFly), an import of NetBSD's Citrus code (Comprehensive I18N Framework Towards Respectable Unix Systems), major reworking of all core subsystems in preparation for removing the MP lock, rewrites of various VFS related code and many updated drivers, frameworks and contributed programs.
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Mark Williamson
Member since:
2005-07-06

I think DFly is an an amazing project. It's good to see it getting reviewed and reported on. I suspect it's also beneficial for the developers to be able to see what the top niggles are for a newcomer to the OS - allowing them to smooth the initial experience for experimenters.

I do think, however, that it would be very beneficial at this point to see a technical overview (perhaps even written by the project developers...) of all the new stuff in there at this point. Their restructuring of the kernel for scalability and simplicity is progressing well from what I hear. Also, they have some almost magical sounding functionality arriving in there, like:
* freeze running processes to a disk file and resume them later (this is in early stages, but it's pretty cool they can do it at all!)
* high level journalling (this is *not not not* journalling like ReiserFS and friends do, it's filesystem independent allows stuff like continuous backups, historical backups where you can rewind to *any* point in history, etc, etc, etc)

The continuing scalability and eventual plans for full cluster-awareness will make this an amazing OS. However, I do get the impression that most of the (limited) development resources are going into improving the foundations of the system, with the user experience largely being for later work. I think part of the reason people are sometimes upset about DFly reviews which (entirely correctly) report it as being unfriendly, is that the developers haven't really been "trying" to make it friendly at this time, even though it's an eventual intent.

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