Why isn't F2FS support in the Kernel?

Stephen Gallagher sgallagh at redhat.com
Mon Dec 22 20:29:20 UTC 2014

On Mon, 2014-12-22 at 11:57 -0800, Gerald B. Cox wrote:
> On Mon, Dec 22, 2014 at 11:31 AM, Stephen John Smoogen
> <smooge at gmail.com> wrote:
>         No they do not have all the information needed. What they know
>         is that some other distribution ships it and that it works in
>         a device using a custom kernel. How does it work on a normal
>         drive, how does it not work, how are the tools functioning
>         with the toolset, what extra patchsets need to be found and
>         gotten to make sure what is in the kernel actually works as
>         well as it does in say the Nexus 9.
> Oy Vey!  This isn't a space shuttle launch.  If no one else was using
> this, that would be another thing.  You're also making up rules that
> weren't applied to other products which are included in Fedora; and
> asking for Q/A theater to obfuscate.   You can try to spin it another
> way, but most people aren't buying it.

Gerald, please moderate your tone. You are discouraging people from
listening to you.

To be clear, I'd like to use a car metaphor (because that's what we do,
right?) to help you recognize your behavior, that you might learn from
it and be more helpful in the future:

You drive your brand-new minivan up to the local racetrack. You hop out
of the driver's seat and walk up to the nearest mechanic. You say to
this mechanic "Hey, I just heard that over in Raceville they have a guy
that put a Hemi in a Sienna. Stick one in my van over there and I'll
race it." The mechanic stares at you, confused. He says to you "I don't
have any experience performing that sort of operation, nor do I have the
tools. And it's not a set of skills I can see being widely useful, so
it's not worth my time to learn how and buy the equipment to do it."
Meanwhile, you get angry and complain that "Well, the other guys can do
it, so you must be able to do it too!"

(Of course, in that metaphor, I'm assuming you're *at least* going to
offer to pay the mechanic to do the work. When you came in here and made
your demands, it was strongly implied that you expected someone to
expend their own time and money to please you, which is also not a good
way to encourage people to do what you want.)

Now, you are misunderstanding the level of effort necessary to get
certain features into Fedora. It's comparatively easy to get a new
application added to the distribution because it's self-contained. If it
doesn't work, it will have no impact outside of itself.

Traveling further down the stack, you start getting into packages that
are required dependencies for other packages (such as Django or Rails).
These require at least an order of magnitude more care and feeding
because of the number of other packages that depend on them. It takes a
more committed individual to include that in the distribution.

Now let's go a little further down the stack to the platform layer. Now
we have things like the python platform and glibc. These are packages
that are depended on by thousands of other packages. Maintaining any one
of these is likely to be the full-time job of at least one person (and
likely a whole team of them).

Now let's go even further down to the kernel (and specifically, the
filesystem layer). We are now at pretty much the absolute lowest level.
Everything on your installed system depends on this working and with no
critical issues. This is the full-time job of dozens of people, with
specialists in certain particular drivers. The filesystem layer is
extremely fundamental, as bugs in that layer usually mean that data is
lost or performance is unacceptable. This causes far-reaching issues.
That's the reason that everything that goes into the kernel is *very*
carefully vetted and tested. Well, most of the time; to use the specific
example you cited earlier in this thread, btrfs went in far before it
was ready because the btrfs developers committed to dealing with the
fallout. The btrfs developers have repeatedly and publicly stated that
btrfs is not production-ready (regardless of what certain other distros
claim) and Fedora is wise to listen.

F2FS is perfectly welcome in Fedora, as long as a sufficient set of
people are willing to do the stabilization and testing work necessary
for that inclusion. Demanding that a feature you want must be in the
distribution is not only unhelpful, it's actually insulting to all of
the people who work hard to see that Fedora is both leading *and*
actually stable for use. If you are not capable of maintaining it, then
your best bet would be to go to the *upstream* developers of F2FS and
ask *them* to volunteer to maintain the driver in Fedora. That would
have a far higher chance of success than ranting on the Fedora lists.

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