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Re: FSFS as default for svn 1.2?

From: Brass Tilde <brasstilde_at_insightbb.com>
Date: 2005-03-22 16:56:23 CET

> > > > Although neither back end is perfect, I think FSFS is less likely to
> > > > bite new users than BDB is. As such, I think it makes a better
> > > > default. It wouldn't have been prudent to make it the default in
> >
> > > My only caveat: if we do decide to switch to FSFS as the default, we
> > > need to be very careful about how we announce/describe that fact.
> >
> > So don't make either one the default. Make the user choose the one they
> > want, posting an appropriate message when they fail to do so.
> Providing a choice is no excuse for not picking a good default.

Provided one can determine a "good" default. For you it's FSFS. For
others, BDB is just fine. In the future, a different one might be
determined to be better for another group. SVNADMIN CREATE is executed
exactly *once* for each repository; requiring me to think about that choice
*once* for each repository I create is not going to put me off.

I took the time to read The Book and watch the list before I started using
Subversion and chose FSFS, not because of any perceived lack of reliability
in BDB, but because it was the simpler of the two options. Being a
database, BDB was bound to require some administration, however simple, and
it wasn't something I wanted to deal with. Am I typical in that regard? I
don't know.

It could also be argued that which backend to use is almost as important as
the location of the repository, and *that* option isn't defaulted.

<shrug> Note that I'm not especially bothered by either option, or the
presence of absence of an default. I've already created my repository, and
I will create any others the same way no matter what, if any, default is

> In this case I think fsfs is the best default.

I agree that if a default *must* be chosen, a mature, stable FSFS is
probably a good choice for that default, simply because of it's simplicity.
I just don't think there's a compelling reason to *have* a default in this

On the other hand, given it's lack of maturity, how do you know that making
FSFS the default won't bring to light some flaw that engenders the same type
of perception that BDB apparently has now? I know that's a big "if".

> If you get an "please choose the FS backend" type of message, chances are
> that people setting up a home repository will just pick one of the choices
> (i.e. the first one?).

I think the chances are bigger that they they'll read the book and determine
which one is appropriate.

> And I agree with sussman about the marketing thing of this change.

So do I, but I think that task would be easier if there were no default, no
perceived bias, in favor of either method.

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Received on Tue Mar 22 16:58:02 2005

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