[rc5] Stats solution? (long)
chipper at llamas.net
Tue Nov 11 06:39:58 EST 1997
was this an obvious troll?
You are pretty much incorrect in almost all of your assumptions. Version
3 clients are happening, but what slows the developement cycle is proper
planning before the first line of code is written. you develope a cross
platform, multifunctional application right now... sit down, own vi and
get cranking. see how far you get.
you think innovation died? all the innovation is being directed at making
the v3 clients n times better and more flexible. Is microsoft making
innovation in Word97? or do you think they will wait and throw all the
new toys into Word9?
Eric, generally you have very well thought out post, and I enjoy your
input to this list, but I think your frustration at this degree is
The conversion from RC5-56 to R5-64 was a shoe-in. We weren't ready for
RC5-56 to come to an end. There was a fair amount of stress over getting
something together to keep people involved. Just like you said, we
tweaked up a little code, and bang! we got an rc5-64 client/proxy network
going. This doesn't mean we are lazy, it means we are mazimizing the
resources at hand, on all levels.
1. at the client level we want to keep users involved.
2. at the proxy level we wanted the current core proxies to upgrade, and
also recruit more. we expect this to get much bigger than it is now.
3. at the coder level, we needed to maximize time and efficiency.
Adam has let his personal life *suffer* to make this contest
happen. *DO NOT* abuse him for what he has or hasn't done. To make the
most efficient time of software writers time, you must first know what you
want him to write. How do you do that? explain in detail, and on paper,
everything you want the software to do from the inside out. Document
packet sizes, expected behaviors, modularity, etc. Then after you have
the utmost clear picture of what you want, you write it.
you can complain about the said 'Inner Circle' and thier failure in
communication, but do not attack our whole hearted devotion to this
Database Administrator and Network Specialist
Hiway Technologies, Inc.
On Tue, 11 Nov 1997, Eric Gindrup wrote:
> Too late. Nugget himself tells us in mail dated (24 October 1997,
> just before noon, "[rc5] I'm in a weird mood... (long rant)") that
> Now, granted, I was kinda focused on the stats engine which
> sucked up quite a bit of my time, but I've got to be
> completely honest here. At about the point we hit
> 2Gkeys/sec (and maybe even a bit earlier) I got really lazy.
> I mean, REALLY lazy. I completely stopped recruiting
> people. The end was in sight, our keyrate was twice what I
> ever expected we'd be able to attain, and Cyberian and I.M.
> were tiny specks in the rear-view mirror. I was quite
> content with where we were.
> And not much has changed since then. d.n support has fallen off
> dramatically since then. Witness the high-utility clients in RC5-56
> that haven't been implemented yet (20 days into RC5-64).
> It looks like the Bovine crew succumbed to youthful exuberance and
> planned considerably more stories of building than they could finish
> in any reasonable time. The realization of this fact typically
> results in a sullen response to those who would have you live up to
> your promises.
> D.n wants us to help them in all sorts of ways. We're supposed to
> show how distributed computing can work. We're supposed to show how
> the government's attempts at legislating encryption are idiotic.
> We're supposed to show how significant problems can be solved without
> any significant effort. We're supposed to show what cooperative
> computing can accomplish. We're supposed to help Bovine support
> Project Gutenberg.
> On the other hand,
> We're supposed to do this using only the clients that are made
> available, no matter how few those are, how poorly documented, or how
> buggy. We're supposed to do this without asking for help from the
> inscrutable sources of these binaries. We're supposed to do this
> without asking to see source to show that the clients *aren't* up to
> anything. We're supposed to do this on our machines. Cycles aren't
> free. HD isn't free. modem-time isn't free. And, if I get caught at
> work "wasting" the companies resources, running this little client
> will have a significant cost.
> And yet, despite all that, I've been doing this since August. Why
> have I been doing it all that time?
> Because Nugget and all the rest had become lazy. Maintaining the
> effort was easy because there were no innovations occurring. The
> clients actually worked. The stats actually worked. Asking for help
> actually worked (even though you almost never needed to ask).
> Suddenly, RC5-56 ended and Bovine was caught flat-footed.
> The vaporous v3 spec was so far out in the future that there was no
> way it could be completed in time to keep the client base from
> disintegrating. Thus, a more realizable project had to be chosen.
> That was RC5-64. Many people left jsut because of that. Why?
> Because, first, RC5-64 is just like RC5-56, only longer and less
> interesting, and second, because it was a first indicator about how
> lazy Bovine had actually become.
> We don't have the interest to code up a new project, so we'll just
> tweak some of the clients into new clients and try to keep not doing
> This would have been fine, but...
> Oh, let's change how stats are run. Let's change the proxies. Let's
> overcommit our resources so we can become burnt out and tired. Let's
> also decide to not focus on the task at hand, but focus on some
> ethereal task far in the future. That way, if we don't work on it,
> who'll know?
> So, instead of being the low-traffic, constant chugging key engine
> that Bovine was just a month ago, it's become a tired, overwrought,
> snippy beast whose current hope is to last until a miracle called v3
> Meanwhile, there are now only 8000 e-Mails in an organization that
> reliably doubled every 2.5 weeks prior to starting RC5-64. How many
> users have been lost because they can only run a Win16 client? How
> many have quit because of having huge tracts of blocks eaten by a
> proxy? How many have quit because their reason for participating was
> to have bigger stats than the people across town? How many have quit
> because, when they asked for help, their heads were chopped off and
> they were told to post to the "right mailing list" and when they
> posted there were told that you can't *actually* get help unless
> you're on IRC and when they got out *there* were ignored? How many
> people have been lost because they don't feel comfortable running
> someone else's black-box code on their machines?
> How many more will be lost before the effort disintegrates or the
> Bovine crew starts to show a little action, motivation, and
> The Bovine persons claim that they have lives beyond d.n. So do the
> people running their clients -- you know, the people spending zillions
> of man hours hunting for non-existent clients, continuously trying to
> peek in at non-existent stats, reliably blowing hours tracking down
> mysterious errors in d.n code, generally lurking on the newsgroups and
> IRC just in case, maybe, one of the aloof cow types just might grace
> us with something that the cow typ wants -- a working client/perproxy
> with correct instructions that ultimately generates correct stats.
> The d.n people have the advantage in that they get to see progress.
> From out here, there is nothing to see.
> It took me a few years as a geek in the workplace to reealize that the
> perception of action was much more important than the reality of it.
> The current perception is that the Bovine crew considers us somewhat
> akin to dirt because we are running their client and supporting their
> agenda. The perception is that there is no interest in providing
> clients for users who'd like to help support that agenda. The
> perception is that anyone not able to intuit the workings of a
> closed-source program is beneath notice and a target for ridicule.
> The perception is that anyone who complains about this will be
> declared a whiner and summarily dismissed by the d.n people. The
> perception is that the effort can just off and die because it's too
> inconvenient for the Bovine crew to actually have anything to do with
> I think Bovine would have been great. Maybe it will be. I'm not
> banking on it.
> -- Eric Gindrup ! gindrup at okway.okstate.edu
> ______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
> Subject: [rc5] Stats solution?
> Author: <rc5 at llamas.net > at SMTP
> Date: 1997/11/10 21:23
> I have only been in this game for about 2 weeks so I don't know how it was
> 'before'. And I don't want to get into a discussion about the staff. My main
> concern is finding a solution to this problem. Threatening to leave, or worse
> yet, leaving is not going to solve anything. The momentum that has been created
> here is quite amazing. Breaking away isn't going to accomplish anything.
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