Linked by Eugenia Loli on Thu 23rd Jun 2005 18:11 UTC
Original OSNews Interviews One of my popular articles shortly after I joined OSNews in 2001 proved to be "the big *BSD interview" and so it is only appropriate to end my serving at OSNews with a similar theme. Today we are very happy to host a Q&A with well-known FreeBSD developers John Baldwin, Robert Watson and Scott Long. We discuss about FreeBSD 6 and its new features, the competition, TrustedBSD, Darwin etc.
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Re: FreeBSD 6 and scalability
by Scott on Thu 23rd Jun 2005 21:03 UTC

1) When will they replace the installer?

A) When someone does it. There are proposals right now for basing a new installer on the DragonFly one. But that is just one of many possibilities, and we encourage anyone to start some real coding.

2) How come SMP is taking so long? Is the light at the end of the tunnel near? How much longer until Big Giant Lock is removed?

A) This was talked about in the interview.

3) Do they find anything interesting from Linux, Solaris, or DragonFlyBSD's SMP approach? Where do they expect FreeBSD to excel when compared to these other projects?

A) A lot of the SMP concepts in FreeBSD have been borrowed from Solaris, others have been borrowed from BSD/OS. One of the goals of DragonFly is to do SMP with a totally different approach, and we are eagerly awaiting their results.

4) What possible short comming do they see in their approach to SMP? How scalable will their OS become?

A) This was answered in the interview.

5) Why has 5 proven so troublesome? Where is 6 in terms of SMP and stability?

A) (1) We tried to do too much with 5.x. If you look at the feature list, it's quite impressive. M:N threading, SMPng, UFS2, NSS, MAC, GEOM, sparc64, amd64, etc, etc. Those are all complicated projects, and fitting them together was an incredibly difficult task. While there were some bumpy releases, the fact that we've held together and improved says quite a bit about the skill and committment of our developers and users.

A) (2) Answered in the interview.

6) How is the code quality? Are there plans to revisit things later on and simplify/fix things? Are junior developers involved in cleaning up code?

A) We've been working closely with Coverity and their static analysis tools for the last few months to clean up common hidden mistakes in the tree. Every fix that comes from these analysis tools is attributed to Coverity in the CVS tree, so it's quite easy to see how successfull it has been.