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Re: [Qemu-devel] Qemu development schedule?

From: Jeebs
Subject: Re: [Qemu-devel] Qemu development schedule?
Date: Tue, 31 Aug 2004 10:58:34 -0500

From: "Johannes Schindelin" <address@hidden>

I think usability and accuracy tend to be a bit more important.

No, not really. What makes Qemu special is speed. If it wasn't for the
exceptional speed, I would not use it.

I wouldn't use it either if it can't actually run what I need.

For an effective emulator, you need both. But improving the speed is "sexy". Adding features to suit your own needs is "exciting". Making the emulator more accurate isn't, and seems to be left to people who are doing it whenever they feel like it. With no real plan or goal among them.

Progress is most definetly being made, but it seems like it's all "hit or miss".

I don't want to be harsh, but for me it is only important that the stuff I
need works, the rest doesn't matter to me as long as I don't benefit from


That's precisely the kind of attitude I was concerned about.

Many, if not most, small or early stage open source projects are focused solely on what they themselves want. What others want, or even the goal of a 'polished' emulator is irrelevant.

Which is indeed understandable for an early stage project. Pretty much a necessity in most cases.

At some point, successful open source projects have to transition from the 'free for all' attitude and organization to one with some actual specified goals and some organization.

Qemu may or may not be at that stage yet. I don't know. That was sort of one of the things I was asking about.... Is there a development schedule? Is there even a list of things that need to be done? Etc.

Everybody else just seems to be doing the occasional patch to fix some
little aspect etc.

If you look at dad-answers, you will see that there are quite a few non
trivial patches implementing features which were implemented by quite a
few programmers.

Maybe I shouldn't have used "little aspect".  I stand corrected.

But it still definetly seems that everybody is working on whatever whim they want.

From what I can tell, nobody in here even knows what still needs to be done
to make Qemu into a "complete" product.

Maybe Qemu isn't far enough along to really start thinking about that. But, considering that Qemu can now run a number of OS's, I kind of have the feeling that it has progressed that far.

I'm not saying you need a strict timeline or any of that garbage.

But at least a list of things to do and a schedule that says things like: "When we add x, y, and Z and fix critical bugs 1, 2, 3, and 4, we'll probably release the next version." That wouldn't stop people from adding their own patches to fix their own problems. Or maybe do a feature early (provided more critcal stuff isn't being neglected).

But it would at least let people know what still needs to be worked on, and what the goals of the immediate future are.

Fabrice started this project. When it was already quite usable, others
joined this mailing list, and since then there is a loose development
team. This is the beauty of "free as in free speech": you are free to do
what you want.

Free speech doesn't exactly mean you are free to do what you want.

But I know what you mean.

But that does highlight some of what I had said before.

If everybody is working on the 'sexy' stuff, then who is going to be doing the less glamorous stuff?

That's the way it often is with open source porjects. Everybody does their own thing when ever they feel like, and since most people don't like to do the "grunt" work, many important but less exciting issues often get pushed
off to the side or only done "good enough for now".

If you want to do the "grunt" work, you are very welcome. I will never say

As I said in my original posting... I am not a developer.

I haven't done much 'development' since I was still using DOS. I never learned C++, Java, etc. I stayed with C and I'm out of practice with it. I don't even have a C compiler installed anymore.

that open source projects are free as in free beer, i.e. you get something
for free. That just wouldn't be fair, right? A developer who spends time
and thought to implement something has to get something for it.

That is true if you are talking about small projects or such.

But when you are working on larger, more important projects, at some point you have to have some sort of organization, some sort of list of things to do, etc. And at some point, somebody is going to have to work on things that need to get done that aren't "fun", or even usable for themselves.

If the project is going to *stay* as a "hacker" level program, then who the heck cares if it's complete or if it crashes occasionally, or if you have to enter 51,342 character long commands to get something done. You are a smart person and you can figure it out. That's part of the excitement.

But if the project has the *eventual goal* of being more usable for a wider range of people, then at some point you have to change how things are done. At the very least, you need a list of things that eventually need to be done.

After several months of lurking in here, I don't know which category Qemu falls into.

I hope the second category.

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