r5069 - trunk/varnish-cache/doc/sphinx/phk

phk at varnish-cache.org phk at varnish-cache.org
Tue Aug 3 22:41:39 CEST 2010

Author: phk
Date: 2010-08-03 22:41:39 +0200 (Tue, 03 Aug 2010)
New Revision: 5069

Ramblings about why we do not support Zilog S-8000 Zeus as a platform.

Modified: trunk/varnish-cache/doc/sphinx/phk/index.rst
--- trunk/varnish-cache/doc/sphinx/phk/index.rst	2010-08-02 19:46:49 UTC (rev 5068)
+++ trunk/varnish-cache/doc/sphinx/phk/index.rst	2010-08-03 20:41:39 UTC (rev 5069)
@@ -8,6 +8,7 @@
 .. toctree::
+	platforms.rst

Added: trunk/varnish-cache/doc/sphinx/phk/platforms.rst
--- trunk/varnish-cache/doc/sphinx/phk/platforms.rst	                        (rev 0)
+++ trunk/varnish-cache/doc/sphinx/phk/platforms.rst	2010-08-03 20:41:39 UTC (rev 5069)
@@ -0,0 +1,110 @@
+.. _phk_platforms:
+Picking platforms
+Whenever you write Open Source Software, you have to make a choice of
+what platforms you are going to support.
+Generally you want to make your program as portable as possible and
+cover as many platforms, distros and weird computers as possible.
+But making your program run on everything is hard work very hard work.
+For instance, did you know that:
+	sizeof(void*) != sizeof(const void*)
+is legal in a ISO-C compliant environment ?
+Varnish `runs on a Nokia N900 <http://hellarvik.com/node/66>`_
+but I am not going to go out of my way to make sure that is always
+the case.
+To make sense for Varnish, a platform has to be able to deliver,
+both in terms of performance, but also in terms of the APIs we
+use to get that performance.
+In the FreeBSD project where I grew up, we ended up instituting
+platform-tiers, in an effort to document which platforms we
+cared about and which we did love quite as much.
+If we did the same for Varnish, the result would look something like:
+A - Platforms we care about
+We care about these platforms because our users use them and
+because they deliver a lot of bang for the buck with Varnish.
+These platforms are in our "tinderbox" tests, we use them ourselves
+and they pass all regression tests all the time. 
+Platform specific bug reports gets acted on.
+Obviously you can forget about running Varnish on your
+`WRT54G <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linksys_WRT54G_series>`_
+but if you have a real computer, you can expect Varnish to work
+"ok or better" on any distro that has a package available.
+B - Platforms we try not to break
+We try not to break these platforms, because they basically work,
+possibly with some footnotes or minor limitations, and they have
+an active userbase.
+We may or may not test on these platforms on a regular basis,
+or we may rely on contributors to alert us to problems.
+Platform specific bug reports without patches will likely live a quiet life.
+*Mac OS/X*
+Yes, we'd like to bump Solaris to tier-A but I have to say that the
+uncertainty about the future for OpenSolaris, and lack of time to
+care and feed the somewhat altmodishe socket-API on Solaris, does
+keep the enthusiasm bounded.
+NetBSD, AIX and HP-UX are conceivably candidates for this level, but
+so far I have not heard much, if any, user interest.
+C - Platforms we tolerate
+We tolerate any other platform, as long as the burden of doing
+so is proportional to the benefit to the Varnish community.
+Do not file bug reports specific to these platforms without attaching
+a patch that solves the problem, we will just close it.
+For now, anything else goes here, certainly the N900 and the WRT54G.
+I'm afraid I have to put OpenBSD here for now, it is seriously
+behind on socket APIs and working around those issues is just not
+worth the effort.
+If people send us a small non-intrusive patches that makes Varnish
+run on these platforms, we'll take it.
+If they send us patches that reorganizes everything, hurts code
+readability, quality or just generally do not satisfy our taste,
+they get told that thanks, but no thanks.
+Is that it ?  Abandon all hope etc. ?
+These tiers are not static, if for some reason Varnish suddenly
+becomes a mandatory accessory to some technically sensible platform,
+(zOS anyone ?) that platform will get upgraded.  If the pessimists
+are right about Oracles intentions, Solaris may get demoted.
+Until next time,
+Poul-Henning, 2010-08-03

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