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From Alex Karasulu <>
Subject Re: [discussion] Lowering barrier for perspective committers
Date Thu, 06 Jul 2006 15:44:59 GMT
Jörg Henne wrote:
> Alex,
> although I don't really aspire to become a AD committer, I'd like to 
> emphasize how important your observation is. 

Thanks Jörg.  You are one of those bright people on the periphery that I 
would like coming closer to the core as a committer.  We need more 
people especially on things like DHCP where we only have a single 
committer at this point in time.

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

Yes I agree whole heartedly with you on this point.  Not only is the 
documentation virtually nil it's aging rapidly with changes to the code 

The strategy also needs a fresh new update.  But to sum it up quickly 
here we're trying to implement a directory server however we want it to 
have plugins that allow it to do other protocols needed to replace 
Active Directory with a free Apache solution.

So ApacheDS is much more than LDAP as you have observed.  However we 
need to make this perfectly clear on our website.

> 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.

Even some code has virtually no internal documentation.  A lurker just 
pointed this out to me a while back regarding the Kerberos code.  Any 
kind of help even with documentation would be appreciated.  BTW 
committers need not just be code committers IMO.

> 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). 

Yes this is a problem but we do in fact want to go somewhere.  I think 
our goal is to provide a solid infrastructure server that makes using 
Windows Server obsolete without reimplementing Samba.  Our approach is 
from a protocol angle.

However this is perhaps material for another thread.


> A few days ago I posted a question (without getting an answer) about 
> storing the partition configuration on the system partition. 

I'm really sorry about this.  I've been slipping a lot lately with my 
responsiveness to this list.  This is why building up the community with 
some cross instruction on the core internals of the server is so important.

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. 

Funny I did this a while back intending to put almost all the 
configuration into the system partition minus some smart defaults. 
However some of the OSGi work will replicate some of this so I did not 
prioritize this high enough to complete it.

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. 

Right I follow you here.  Well let's see where this discussion goes and 
if it leads to the lowering of the barrier to entry for new committers. 
  I'd like to see you get involved in making sure the SAR is working 
properly (we had some issues here) and that the DHCP server is being 
developed actively.

or go straight for
> what I think would be the "nice" solution, i.e. store the configuration 
> in the system partition.

This is our aim.  Would be nice to have you help us get there before the 
next decade :).

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

This is great to hear.  You and others lurking and contributing as of 
late are all perspective candidates as far as I am concerned.  I think 
together we can revitalize this project so it is moving forward much faster.

> 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.

Sounds to me like we can really use those changes of yours in the DHCP 


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