[RFC] SRS Section 2

Jeremy Huntwork jhuntwork at linuxfromscratch.org
Thu Feb 3 20:39:52 PST 2005

Hui Zhou wrote:
> Since I am in the mood and am talking about useless dtd, Jeremy, I think 
> your effort on SRS is useless. Disregard the fact that Neocool take me 
> as a joke, in many aspects I am in total agreement with him. (He seldom 
> speak outside irc, I have little chances to say it.) Writing SRS hoping 
> different coder will implement it according to SRS is very similar to 
> making dtd and profile and waiting for actual program to use it. It will 
> work similar to the dtd, provides more hassels than helpful. The dtd 
> demands writing multiple elements for a simple bash command, which 
> doubles the opening closing matching pairs and again doubles the < > 
> pairs. Any automated building scripts or programs writer without the 
> constrain of this dtd will not use a profile that does that. As for SRS, 
> without actuall writing the program specifing this detail and that 
> detail is absurd. It is different when Kevin was in charge, which he has 
> a code base to build on and the SRS is essentially a to do list based 
> the existing implementation. Now the program is from scratch up, and the 
> SRS has little connection with the Neocool's code (if that counts). I 
> just can't help thinking what a useless effort you are doing.

It is by no means useless.

First of all the reason behind my wanting the SRS, personally, has 
nothing to do with spelling it out so people outside the ALFS 
development team can code a tool that works the same way.  I know that 
James is writing it partly with that goal in mind, and it seems to me 
that that is proper.  But, personally, I couldn't care less if someone 
outside the team is or isn't able to code their own version based on the 

However, here we are in a worldwide community, all accessing each other 
remotely, and trying to build a piece of software together. We hope that 
the software we develop will within reason be useful to as many people 
as possible. We formalize our thoughts and ideas here on the mailing 
lists, which is good for allowing detailed technical discussions by 
anyone who wishes to participate.

So we add all that together, and we set to the task of building that 
software (with I might add a handful or less of programmers). How in the 
world will that handful of developers produce a program that is 
beneficial to more than just themselves if they cannot bring together 
the ideas and decisions that have been made on the mailing lists?  And 
I, as a project and development leader cant lead anyone or any 
development if I don't have a clue where we're going! We need those 
decsions to be easily referenced and viewable by anyone interested.  It 
may be that it goes into a bit more detail than we need right now, but I 
am not concerned with getting it 100% correct and filled in before we 
start.  We just need to have the general skeleton and design in place.

Just look at what happened to the ALFS community shortly after I came on 
and when NeoCool began developing before our SRS was done. Granted, I 
let him, and I allowed time to see how it would work if we didn't have 
our objectives clearly in mind. But the result was that many people were 
alienated from the project because neither they nor myself had any idea 
how development was coming along or where it was going.

This is an inclusive project, not an exclusive one. We need that 
document to be readily available so that we have interest and support in 
the project and so that we can all work together to accomplish one goal.

Now, Hui, let me ask. If you don't care much for the progress of alfs, 
as you said, what's the point of your many and long posts?  This is not 
just a technical forum for general discussion. This list's entire 
purpose is to discuss alfs and its progress and encourage its 
development.  If you're not interested in helping develop why bring up 
what you feel are flaws in its design? Let it be, and leave us to do our 
best, because otherwise you're actually hurting the project by your 
discouraging words.

I don't think that you have bad intentions, and I appreciate your trying 
very hard to express yourself so that you are not offensive, but again, 
if you are not commenting here for the sake of helping alfs, then 
honestly we could do without the lengthy chatter and criticism.

Jeremy H.

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