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Re: more about Zookeeper

On Sun, 12 Jun 2011 12:07:46 +0200
Ted Dunning <ted.dunning@gmail.com> wrote:

> There has been a bit of talk about Apache Zookeeper recently by Thomas
> Koch. 

For the benefit of the list, I suspect this is #602694 which is at
least partly a personal thing for the current Debian maintainer.

Debian, in general, cares more about #626020.

> He has a bad opinion of
> Zookeeper and things it is "not good enough for Debian".

Irrespective of disagreements with the current maintainer, zookeeper is
not good enough for Debian stable simply because it has a separate
release-critical bug. #626020 - FTBFS on mips. There is no argument
about this - failing to build from source on a supported architecture
means, by definition, that the software is not of sufficient quality for
Debian. End of.


That one bug is sufficient reason for zookeeper to be excluded from the
next stable release. It's sufficiently bad that if it is left unfixed
when the release freeze starts, there would be a justifiable reason for
removing zookeeper from testing as well as preventing it getting into a
stable release. At that point, it's probably worth removing it from
unstable too. Release critical bugs *matter*.

There are different ways of handling this but handled it must be or
zookeeper in Debian will be history.

> goal.  The primary goal is highly
> reliable software that can be maintained and which has a living
> community around it.  Zookeeper has
> achieved all three of these. 

... so the community need to see what can be done to fix the RC bug.

If the current maintainer isn't happy with the package then someone
else needs to step up or someone like me will seek the removal of the
package instead.

> Suffice it to say that ZK is widely adopted by both sophisticated and
> unsophisticated users with
> really excellent operational experience.  From the admin point of
> view, it is some of the most
> reliable and high quality code around.

Thomas: are you going to continue maintaining zookeeper or has your
usage of it changed such that it would be better to orphan it in
Debian? (If so, a wnpp O: bug would be useful.)

> That leaves the question of internal code quality which is that Thomas
> has focussed on in his critiques.

Internal code quality would be at issue with the current FTBFS bug, yes.
> So we have some interesting evidence here.

It can be hard to debug arch-specific bugs but that is about working
with the Debian maintainer and the mips team to debug it. There's no
room for discussion here. Fix the bug or the package will eventually be
removed because it will, by definition, not be good enough for Debian.
> On one side, automated tools quibble with the style of the code in ZK
> and Thomas finds the code design
> distasteful.

That's been sufficient reason in the past for me to get packages
removed from Debian. It depends on the likelihood of RC bugs arising
from design problems, upstream reactions and whether someone in Debian
volunteers to do the Debian side of the work.

> In contrast, however, the code as it stands is very well tested, is
> extraordinarily stable and by actual demonstration
> is maintainable and modifiable by new contributors.
> As such, I would disagree strongly with the statement that ZK is not
> of sufficient quality to be included in Debian.

The RC bug argues differently and, in Debian, the RC bug is always more
persuasive than protests from interested parties who lack the time or
motivation to actually fix the problem.

> Thomas may not want to maintain the Debian packaging, but hopefully
> others will.  I hope that Thomas' negative
> comments do not discourage others from investigating Zookeeper and
> drawing their own conclusions.

If someone does not step up to do the work (in say about a month or two
because we're quite a way from the release currently), then I'll seek
the removal of zookeeper from testing and unstable as a fix for the RC
bug myself. Forewarned is forearmed etc.

Thanks for putting zookeeper on my radar - I'll be watching it a lot
more closely now and I'll be in touch if it gets to be removed. I've no
interest in zookeeper in and of itself, I just care about quality
assurance in Debian.

A new twist on The Streisand Effect, you might say.


Neil Williams

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