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

Mark Ellis mark.uzumati at
Sun Jan 20 12:33:51 PST 2002

On 2002.01.19 22:42 Jesse Tie-Ten-Quee wrote:
> Yo,
> On Sat, Jan 19, 2002 at 12:38:32PM +0000, Chris Lingard wrote:
> > Perhaps we do not know where ALFS is going.  I have regularly
> monitored the
> > LFS web pages; and posted to the lists; but all I see is lack of
> interest
> > in suggestions to extend the scope of LFS
> Like i said, alot of that blame can fall upon myself.  I could have
> done
> a better job or faster job and publishing where we were going and so
> forth, but like i said... i disapperaed off-line; i will not make any
> excuses for this; just telling you want happened.
> > Have the goals, and more specific the path, ever been discussed
> outside
> > your little group?
> You mean like on this list? Yes, they have been discussed, multiple
> times.  Not everyone agrees to them, like that would happen.  This
> mailing list is like a committee, there is always going to be multiple
> factions that don't agree.

More fun that way :) And seriously often a better source of ideas, 
though at some point you obviously need some form of agreement or you 
won't get anywhere.

> To put it in a very short list, for ALFS to official support an
> implementation it would have to be licensed under the BSD.  Programmed
> under the C language and use an updated syntax. (this is what i was
> working on for the most part last august), etc.
> Now, we are going to end up discussing this path yet again, if you
> read
> the mailing list archives from start to finish, you will notice a very
> big trend where this happens every 6 months, and we spend more time
> debating about the correct way to go, then actually getting any real
> work done.
> I would prefer, for *now* to look at everything that's been done, make
> something useable, release it and go from there.
> > I would have thought it better to decide what you want, before
> writing your
> > system.  There are a whole load of experts that you are choosing to
> ignore.

I still think this has been the issue of limited time from a small 
number of people. A lot of good ideas have appeared here, and a lot of 
them have been taken on in principle, just that no one has had time to 
actually do anything with them yet.

> Hrm.  Perhaps a look in history is in order.
> Around the summer of 2000, the LFS-BOOK was just starting to really
> mature,
> most people could build a system without any problems.  Many rejoiced
> over this change and thanked the great work everyone had done for LFS.
> But, after a while.  Some people realized that doing LFS by hand,
> manually, each time could be a pain.  Some people decided it would be
> fun to automated the LFS process, a variety of projects started around
> the idea.  One project, however was started as an official ALFS sub
> project.  The first of it's kind.  At the helm and center of this
> project were three main people.  Gerard Beekmans, Bryan Dumm and
> myself.
> I've seen many good people come and go.  Some very inspiring, such as
> Mark Stone, whom i honestly believe had the best picture of where ALFS
> should be going. (eg, build a "distrobutionless distrobution" shell
> for
> the FHS/LSB)  And many others that did not perhaps work directly on
> ALFS, but contributed in many other ways.
> Since then, Bryan has left sadly (allthough that's a different story)
> and Gerard, even though he has great hopes and wishes himself to work
> on
> ALFS, just doesn't have the time.  So last August i took over the helm
> and started working on it again.
> I could problably write a full book on how things came to be, the set
> backs, the lack of communication, the lack of a clear path or goal,
> the
> bad luck, the flame wars that errupted on this list (and others) and
> so
> forth.
> The past is the past.  It can't be changed.  However the future can
> be...
> So, I do not plan on ignoring anyone.  That, as you mentioned would be
> a
> true waste.  But at the same time, i'm not going to spend 6 months,
> debating about the best way to go, the best implementation or the best
> syntax.  I am sick and tired of it, i've been doing it for nearly two
> years.. i hope that doesn't make me look like i have no patience.
> I've
> actually gained quite alot latelly, but the fact is, it's better to
> start with something and build on it, then have nothing to show for 6
> months of work.  Because... in reality we have nothing to show for the
> last 2 years, perhaps the only thing that we do have is the very old
> syntax we had prototyped. (which we never had plans to use for longer
> then a few months.. which is still being used)

Do you mean the _really_ old syntax or the new stuff ? Are you thinking 
of going somewhere else entirely ?

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