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From: Benjamin Allan (baallan_at_[hidden])
Date: 2005-06-15 13:32:17

Just a brief response on two points (lest the 'insiders' think
there are no sympathetic outsiders...).

On Wed, Jun 15, 2005 at 01:09:27PM -0400, Jeff Squyres wrote:
> Although we have not made a final decision yet, given that community
> involvement is a *strong* goal of this project, we've actively
> discussed several models of how to bring the community into Open MPI.
> One possibility is to have a minimal registration mechanism where
> anyone who registers can get anonymous/read-only access. This would
> likely be a suitable deterrent for someone to take our work and claim
> it as their own (because there would be a paper trail).
It has not been my experience that a paper trail makes the
class of people prone to theivery any less prone to theivery.
The sad reality of ineffective (totally absent?) quality control by
journals and conferences makes the deterrent effect unlikely.

On the release issue, the '"slow stable" plus snapshots' release
cycle (after the initial stable point) seems very desirable to me.
I've lost countless months of time making my primary open-source
deliverable appear "stable" to the users in spite of deep instabilities
in external tools I am forced to incorporate for programmatic reasons.

open-mpi, I can guarantee, will be added to this list of external
dependencies I have to cope with and I'm thrilled to see folks aiming
to keep the quality high in the first release.

What I would like to see, as the developer of another (non-competing)
infrastructure tool set, is some sort of little web form or at
least an email link where
I can put in a description of my project and say why it should be
given early access, rather than just being told "sorry, closed".

It takes time to incorporate a new mpi implementation (and yet
another set of awful build requirement peculiarities) into a
a package like mine that is expected to be portable and to cope
seamlessly with every mpi that comes along. I can guarantee
that within days of the open-mpi download becoming public,
people will be dumping hatemail in *my* mailbox because the
toolset i support isn't 'open-mpi-ready'.
As it happens, I can get a bootleg (not necessarily current)
openmpi tarball from
someone nearby as I work at Sandia, but that shouldn't have
to be the case. Wouldn't it be better if (knowing that
testing comes with certain politeness requirements and testing
duties) those who have to support open-mpi users get to do
gamma-testing programming before the release (since beta is closed)?

On the question of 'benefit of more testers' from 'my' class
of user. You're right, i don't have the slightest interest
in examining or reporting bugs down in 95% of your code.
(unless valgrind tells me otherwise...)
But the 5% of code which the end user (and more importantly
down-stream build systems) have to see is likely to be
gone over with a fine-toothed comb.