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Re: [GNUnet-developers] Proposal: Make GNUnet Great Again?

From: Amirouche Boubekki
Subject: Re: [GNUnet-developers] Proposal: Make GNUnet Great Again?
Date: Sat, 9 Feb 2019 20:32:29 +0100

I think splitting the codebase will be a pain for gnunet.

The only good reasons for manyrepos are social or ego politics "this is my lawn" or legal. The only one that applies to gnunet is legal because one needs to fill a gnu form to be able to contribute.

I am biased toward monorepo by experience dealing with big project (100k+ SLOC) and the only time it made sens to split the project into many repositories because it was different teams / workflow (social) and different legal terms for the various services/daemons, at previous $WORK, they had to fork gentoo to make it work.

Otherwise, each time I saw another repository it was a source of pain:

- Need to manage several versions
- git submodule workflow is not good enough, it doesn't track branch, I personally I never remember how to know the branch of a commit, plus it requires some more git-fu to bump the submodule.
- refactoring anyone?
- generally speaking manyrepos at small scale is more work

And again, it requires somehow to track down every versions (what works with what) and you end up with another repository (or distribution) with another build system that puts everything together. Continuous Integration can do that? Where is the code of the CI? Another repo? More versions, more git clone more grep across repositories / directories not even in sync.

Popularity arguments:

a) Ok, everybody know GAFAM love monorepos and that is a also a source of pain (dedicated team and software). That said, gnunet is not the size of any GAFAM, hence it will not suffer from monorepo pain points. 

b) Github and _javascript_ made the manyrepos popular for various ego reasons and because _javascript_ is not good. I won't take inspiration from that part of the _javascript_ noosphere. gnunet-leftpad anyone?

c) Now, there is GNOME. GNOME is famous for its bazaar model of development and also famous for the adoption of meson (maybe even its inception) or its previous incarnation jhbuild. Anyway, even if GNOME and GNU (which is also a bazaar) success is appealing, gnunet is not GNU or GNOME. From my point of view the bazaar development model scales better / more easily in a socially distributed setting. Also why Linux is still a single repository?

Le sam. 9 févr. 2019 à 18:16, Schanzenbach, Martin <address@hidden> a écrit :

> On 9. Feb 2019, at 17:13, Christian Grothoff <address@hidden> wrote:
> On 2/9/19 5:04 PM, Schanzenbach, Martin wrote:
>> I have some inline comments as well below, but let us bring this discussion down to a more practical consensus maybe.
>> I think we are arguing too much in the extremes and that is not helpful. I am not saying we should compartmentalise
>> GNUnet into the tiniest possible components.
>> It's just that I think it is becoming a bit bloated.
>> That being said, _most_ of what is in GNUnet today is perfectly fine in a single repo and package.
>> For now, at least let us not add another one (gtk) as well?
>> Then, we remain with
>> - reclaim (+the things reclaim needs wrt libraries)
>> - conversation (+X)
>> - secureshare (+X)
>> - fs (+X)
>> as components/services on my personal "list".
>> I suggest that _if_ I find the time, I could extract reclaim into a separate repo as soon as we have a CI and I can
>> test how it works and we can learn from the experience.
>> Then, we can discuss if we want to do the same with other components, one at a time, if there is consensus and a person that
>> would be willing to take ownership (I am pretty sure we talked about this concept last summer as well).
> Maybe you could start with extracting the SecuShare components? That
> should do for a first "experience", and be a bit more effective at
> reducing bloat as well ;-).

Well, I could, but our secushare people are quite active so maybe there are volunteers (if they agree with the proposal at all).
Regarding "bloat". If we want to effectively eliminate bloat than let's look at numbers:

File Sharing:
src/fs: 36918 (!) LOC in .c files
src/datastore/cache: ~15k LOC in .c files

src/conversation: 10538 LOC in .c files

src/psyc* : ~17000 LOC in .c files (altough I am not sure about this because theoretically psyc is a general use protocol, no?)
src/social: 9447 LOC in .c files
src/multicast: 5633 LOC in .c files

src/reclaim* : ~6500 LOC in .c files

Now, considering that fs is practically always built for everybody and SecuShare and reclaim are experimental, it hurts the most for devs that actually compile from source.
Everything combined are 110000+ LOC which is 22% of the codebase (~500k, oO). Considering that there is a significant redundancy in transport/ (75k) at the moment, this number is probably closer to 25%.
Granted, this is a lot less than I expected ;), but maybe illustrates the dimensions.

> That said, splitting of reclaim seems also much less problematic than
> fs/conversation, and if you then integrate reclaim with the libgabe
> tree, the overall number of downloads/installation for reclaim wouldn't
> go up, so that would certainly kill my argument of making the
> installation more complex (might indeed simplify it, as one doesn't have
> to remember to install libgabe before GNUnet to get reclaim).

Could do, but libgabe has some nasty additional deps (libpbc and gmp) which we _might_ eventually get rid of completely by implementing GNS-based encryption.

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