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RE: CVS corrupts binary files ...

From: Greg A. Woods
Subject: RE: CVS corrupts binary files ...
Date: Wed, 30 Jun 2004 16:05:07 -0400 (EDT)

[ On Tuesday, June 29, 2004 at 19:34:25 (-0700), Paul Sander wrote: ]
> Subject: RE: CVS corrupts binary files ...
> When you speak about how great NASA is and mention the antiquity of some
> of their processes, remember that the paper checklists have since
> contributed to the failure of several missions (some of which missed
> entire planets) and the loss of 14 lives.

Have you not read the investigation reports on all those incidents?

The concept of using "paper checklists" as part of their process did not
contributed in any way to those failures.

Indeed their ability to investigate those incidents is in no small part
aided by the existance of those paper checklists.

> NetBSD is awesome!

Of course -- that's why I've come to use it almost exclusively.  ;-)

> But keep in mind that the reason they can do what they do is that they
> literally own the entire environment, from the OS and system libraries
> on up.

Well, Duh!

That's the whole point here!  If you want to control your software
development process from top to bottom then you must "own" the whole
environment -- from the build environment and tools and such through to
all directly included components of the system.

>  Yes, they have to build cross environments, but after they've
> built the cross compiler twice the runtime environment of the build
> system really doesn't matter as long it can schedule CPU time and access
> files.  Most of us don't have that luxury.

You create the situations you yourself must live with.

NetBSD is only interesting in this respect because the whole project,
and indeed multiple working branches of it, can be checked out entirely
from one big CVS repository.  (keeping in mind that the manual rules for
developers dealing with that repository are not exactly trivial,
especially in the special-case situations I mentioned)

In fact in in all successful development environments for critical
software, and most for embedded software, that I've ever encountered
there's a similar level of "ownership" over all tools and components --
however it's extremely rare to find anyone using CVS as exclusively as
NetBSD is able to do (unless they are also using NetBSD :-), partly
because few groups are willing to live under the restrictions this
causes (it's far easier to use a manual checklist to ensure the right
versions of all the right tools and third-party components is installed
on a build system).

(So far it's been the unsuccessful, or struggling, development groups
I've encountered who have been the ones who have failied to take
"ownership" over all their software components.)

                                                Greg A. Woods

+1 416 218-0098                  VE3TCP            RoboHack <address@hidden>
Planix, Inc. <address@hidden>          Secrets of the Weird <address@hidden>

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