That's silly. You can have strlcat() and strlcpy(), yet be compatible
Posted May 23, 2009 9:22 UTC (Sat) by nix
In reply to: That's silly. You can have strlcat() and strlcpy(), yet be compatible
Parent article: EGLIBC: Not a fork, but a glibc distribution
Drepper is an exceptional project leader when it comes to technical
For the record I consider this incorrect. He's an excellent hacker and
virtually everything he implements is a sort of glittering jewel,
perfectly designed (and perfectly undocumented and he has a habit of
ignoring contributions of documentation). He'd make an excellent
contributor. But unfortunately that is not his role in glibc. Maintainers'
roles are higher-level, and there is where Ulrich's bad side comes out.
He drops subsystems that he thinks are rarely used or that
relate to architectures he merely finds unpleasant (e.g. MIPS, ARM)
without listening to anyone pointing out that he might be wrong and
without saying why; more than once he's rejected contributions,
implemented them nearly identically himself some time later and credited
himself alone in NEWS (I suspect anyone working in academe decided never
to go near glibc again when that happened for the first time); he mostly
refuses to give rationales for technical rejections so that people can fix
whatever was wrong with their patches. Whether this is because he's scared
of being convinced otherwise or just arrogant I have no idea... but can
you imagine what would happen to the kernel, say, if it was run that way?
90% of the useful stuff we now have, maybe more, would simply not be
He's such a hard maintainer to deal with that an entire mailing list was
created whose sole reason for existence was that it was somewhere where
people could talk about glibc without Ulrich growling at them every five
minutes for 'abusing' libc-alpha@ by, uh, discussing alpha releases of
glibc on it. I have never seen *that* in any other project.
Developers can be in a project to scratch their own itch: but I think
glibc is proof that large free software project maintainers need other
goals too. First and foremost I think they have to be driven by a desire
to make software that others can hack on easily and that does what users
want, and in both of these areas Ulrich falls down like a lead balloon
(especially when you note that glibc's users are random developers,
and we've seen how he treats them when they dare to ask for help with one
of his glibc-only totally-undocumented public APIs).
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