ALFS Status: Past and future [was Re: new guy, newbie questions.]

Mark Ellis mark.uzumati at
Sun Jan 20 12:33:49 PST 2002

On 2002.01.19 11:17 Jesse Tie-Ten-Quee wrote:
> Yo,
> On Fri, Jan 18, 2002 at 08:18:22PM -0500, Eric Miller wrote:
> > I actually echo these sentiments, would love to see a "getting
> started"
> > overview for LFS beginners, not Linux beginners.  We all know that
> Linux
> > noobs really should sped some time on regular distros before trying
> the
> > haute cuisine.  There could be a happy medium, though?
> Here! Here! that's the way things should be.  But, is there anything
> we
> can actually call ALFS anymore?  I don't believe so...

I wouldn't go that far. The syntax has improved alot, still not perfect 
but certainly we have a good base for improvement, and i think the XML 
has always been the heart of ALFS. As long as there is a common ground 
on what this means then ALFS is still ALFS.

> You see, everything that's happened on this list in the last couple of
> months has been from thrid parties.  Nobody from the ALFS project has
> said "Yes, this is where we are going.  This is what we are using.
> This
> is what we are working on.  etc.."
> Why? you may ask... There are a number of reasons, but it all comes
> down
> to a lack of leadership.

Agreed to a certain extent, there has been no 'official' ALFS voice. 
There have always been a core group that have managed to agree on a 
direction to go in, they are just less than those who contribute valid 
ideas from their own projects, so yes sometimes it can appear that we 
are being overwhelmed by the alternatives.

> Because, since last August there has been literally no communication
> from those running the ALFS project.
> One thing that i've noticed in recent momnths is that there's been a
> large number of developers that prefer to write there own
> implementations and projects which are similar to ALFS, but don't feel
> the need to contribute back or don't care where ALFS is going, etc.
> [allthough that fails into play with the previous paragraph, so.. :)]
> I would have figured more developers would have volunteered to help
> and to work together, contact Gerard ask for permissions and so
> forth..
> to my knowledge that hasn't happened.

I think, certainly from my point of view when i first looked at all 
this, that the lack of 'official' activity gave the impression that 
ALFS had become more of a spin off than a sub project of LFS, hence it 
seemed more natural to discuss in the group but not necessarily host 
projects centrally. Certainly if there was any interest in having my 
changes for instance applied to the stuff in cvs then i would be more 
than happy with that, at the time though it seemed that alfs cvs was 
pretty much a dead duck.

> Considering the hardest thing for a group of people todo is to decide
> on
> a path to walk, with specific goals to aim for and so forth.. Things
> turned out pretty good, especially when there was literally no
> communication coming from the official ALFS project.
> That can be explained and blamed if you will, on myself.

Unfortunately we all have lives outside of LFS :)

> Those that were subscribe last august will most likelly remenber the
> very large increase in postings and discussions that emerged when
> Gerard
> shifted leadership of ALFS over to myself.  Then shortly afterwards, i
> dissapeared off-line.  I have only managed to secure a connection a
> few
> days ago, i will not make any excuses or such. (and that's a different
> story)
> So, as you can see... perhaps that adds a little perspective why ALFS
> may seems to have no documentation, an outdated website or just plain
> unorganized.
> Now... that's the past.  No point in delving in the past.  No hard
> fellings either, I would hope.
> But it's the future that matters, right?
> A few changes that will take effect soon are the website being updated
> with relevant information along with a slight URL change to be more
> compatible with other LFS sub projects.
> [note: the old URL will still stay in effect]


> Last august, the biggest goal was to move away from the old perl
> implementation, mainly because we had no one to maintain or update it.
> Halfling, the code name for the implementation of ALFS i've been
> writting under C using the libxml2 library is nearly ready to be put
> into CVS.  A few more days of debugging and testing are in needed
> however.
> It will, in the next couple of weeks, become the official ALFS
> implementation if it can manage to abide by all the goals and features
> that we want for an initial 1.0 release.
> [goals/features: these are not yet published anywhere yet, so please
> have some patience.. as i know someone is bound to reply asking where
> the may see a list]

Okay, but do you want to start bouncing out some of your ideas ?

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