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From Jörg Henne <>
Subject Re: [discussion] Lowering barrier for perspective committers
Date Thu, 06 Jul 2006 14:39:20 GMT

although I don't really aspire to become a AD committer, I'd like to 
emphasize how important your observation is. I've been working with AD 
for some time now, albeit very intermittendly.
My experience is that the learning curve is quite steep and the barrier 
of entry somewhat high, due to the following two reasons:

o The lack of documentation. The AD documentation seems quite 
fragmented. In places where there is documentation, it is rather good 
(e.g. authentication), but in other places it is severely lacking. In 
particular with respect to what I would call the "big picture" or 
"strategy" and the core design. Therefore I'm looking forward to your 
effort of creating educational material about this.

o This strategy, big picture or whatever you want to call it, is the 
second problem area I see. The documentation and web site doesn't 
clearly convey where AD wants to go. This may be due to the fact that it 
doesn't want to go anywhere particular (i.e. live happily in the "base 
technology" area). Still I think it is crucial to be able to ship a base 
package which is useful in itself and is designed with a particular goal 
in mind.
To give you an example of what I'm thinking of:
A few days ago I posted a question (without getting an answer) about 
storing the partition configuration on the system partition. This has 
clearly been part of the vision once 
(ou=partitions,ou=configuration,ou=system), but has never been 
implemented as far as I can see, and has never been documented as 
missing. So, why did I ask this question? In order to be able to ship a 
self-contained AD-SAR for JBoss, there has to be a way of configuring 
it. Currently the configuration lives within the SAR which is quite 
inconvenient, since I want the SAR to be a ZIP, not a directory. To 
solve this, one could either invent a proprietary configuration format 
(in contrast to the standard but inconvenient jboss-service.xml) and 
place the configuration in JBoss's conf directory or go straight for 
what I think would be the "nice" solution, i.e. store the configuration 
in the system partition.

What I can do, is to offer some help in two specific areas: the DHCP 
server and the SAR packaging:

o With respect to to the SAR packaging I already outlined a few problems 
I see with its current state. I made some changes to it in order to make 
it work at all, but I think that a lot more changes whould be necessary 
in order to make in genuinely and generally useful.

o I have worked quite a bit on the DHCP server. The problem is that we 
currently don't really need a full DHCP server in our yet, but just a 
PXE proxy DHCP server. Nevertheless, a full implementation may be one of 
our future goals and my code already contains quite a lot of what would 
be needed for the full implementation.

Joerg Henne

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