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Status of ra_serf?

From: Johan Corveleyn <jcorvel_at_gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 2 May 2012 16:25:20 +0200

Innocent bystander's question, before 1.8 starts to be cast in stone:
what's the status of ra_serf? Will we (again) attempt to make serf the
default in 1.8? I know there have been some ra_serf bugfixes since
1.7, but there are certainly still some important open issues (not to
mention unkown problems because ra_serf hasn't had enough coverage and
problems aren't always adequately reported).

If we want to make serf happen for 1.8, shouldn't we (as a community)
spend more time on it then? I'd hate for us to end up in the same
difficult situation as with the 1.7 release: trying to make it the
default but then realizing shortly before release that it isn't stable
enough (partly because it hadn't seen enough coverage, and people
didn't report problems so they could be fixed etc, etc...). In spite
of the request in the 1.7-release notes for users to try out serf and
report problems [1], I haven't seen many new reports ...

I think we need some kind of community decision whether or not we'll
go for it this time. And if we go for ra_serf as the default, put much
more effort into it to make it happen. Starting with agreeing on a set
of requirements that we want to be satisfied before release, or
something like that.

FWIW: I personally think serf brings noticeable (performance)
improvements for users (so it's not only a license/developer/...
thing) [2]. But it's hard to measure, it depends on a lot of factors,
and can differ between usecases. On the downside: it's not yet stable
enough, and generates too many requests (generating too many logs on
the server). So I still see ra_serf having a lot of potential, and I
hope it will become the default one day...

[1] http://subversion.apache.org/docs/release-notes/1.7.html#serf
[2] On a Solaris build machine @work (Solaris 10 on x86 on ESX, with
1.6.17 client, 1.5.4 server (sorry, old stuff)), most interactions
with the svn server are a lot faster when using serf than with neon.
Things like ls, cat, log, mergeinfo, ... are all a lot faster (like
150ms vs. 900ms). Unfortunately, I can't use serf in general, because
checkouts and updates crash sometimes (yeah, I need to investigate
more, and report those ... first need to reproduce with a 1.7 client
...). So in my scripts I sprinkle "config-options
servers:global:http-library=serf" for all svn commands that I know
will not crash (basically anything except checkout, export and
update). That made our buildscripts a lot faster on this machine. I
don't know the reason for this perf difference, I don't see it on our
Windows clients, nor on a physical Solaris 10 sparc machine. Maybe
something to do with TCPIP parameters, network stack, actual
connectivity (they're all on the same LAN though) ... for some reason
neon is very expensive on this machine ...
Received on 2012-05-02 16:26:13 CEST

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