[rc5] Re: Distributed Programming

Curtis Brown shazam at pobox.com
Sat Aug 2 16:05:38 EDT 1997


I have worked on collaborative programming products with people from all
over the globe -- without ever leaving my ofice. As stated, it is simply a
matter of maintaining certain guidlines (a protocol) for communication. 

nightmare? consider the following:

Someone else has already mentioned, but I will reitterate, that the Linux
OS is a collaberative effort. One of the most stable and powerful OSs today
- it can run on more diverse hardware than any commercial operating system,
as well. This has been made possible by the effort of thousands of volunteers.

An other example, the internet which you and I love so much would not be
anything like what it is today without the contributions of tens of
thousands of individuals. Have you ever heard of an "RFC"? That is the
communication protocol used by humans to design internet protocols such as
TCP/IP, DNS, and HTTP. Even *you* can take part in designing the internet
of the future! *Anybody* can.

IF YOU WANT SOME *REAL* PERSPECTIVE, however, then consider this: The two
efforts mentioned above have done exceedingly well for one simple reason.
You might make a comparative analogy to... oh... lets say...

DISTRIBUTED COMPUTING -
by recruiting thousands of spare CPUs, Bovine can crunch numbers faster
than NASA.

DISTRIBUTED PROGRAMMING -
by recruiting willing volunteers, a programming/design effort can exceed
any persons wildest expectations of the potential of the product... Five
years ago, who though the internet and the web would be anything like they
are today?

I'm not going to make any assumptions about the Bovine "crew", since I've
only been in this for a couple weeks now, but I do hope that they are
earnest in their proclomations of having a "higher purpose" of cracking the
key, as opposed to hoping to squander the glory to a meager few once the
fat lady sings.

-Curtis Brown
<shazam at pobox.com>

>> How many people here have actually tried to write, compile, debug, make
>> functional and then release code - but have it written distributed between
>> umpteen people?
>
>I make a living doing it. Any project of greater than trivial
>complexity(which for instance the personal proxy is not) is
>going to _require_ the coordinated efforts of more than one
>person IF it is going to be done in a "reasonable", pronounce
>that as "profitable", period of time.
>
>>  It is a nightmare to say the least.
>
>Not at all. You just have to do it right. Lots of us do it every
>day and enjoy it.
>
>>  Let the Bovine Core
>> do their work as they see fit.
>
>Why? What is supposed to be my motivation for accepting unreasonable
>delays and buggy code at the same time? If the workload is too great,
>they should farm it out.

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