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On DTrace envy

On DTrace envy

Posted Aug 8, 2007 17:12 UTC (Wed) by madscientist (subscriber, #16861)
In reply to: On DTrace envy by paulj
Parent article: On DTrace envy

> That gets you GPLed reimplementation of certain DTrace bits for the linux
> kernel (perfectly redistributable)

While it is redistributable, I should point out that as described there's very little chance that those changes will ever be accepted into the mainline kernel. Linus et.al. have a long standing, and firm, position that no code will be accepted (even if it's perfectly legal GPL code) into the mainline kernel if its only purpose is to enable proprietary modules of one sort or another.

Of course, there's no reason why individual distributors like Red Hat, SuSE, Debian, etc. couldn't apply that patch themselves to their kernel packages, but this becomes a pain.

Of course, another option would be for the DTrace port to use existing, generic kernel facilities or, if none such exist, work on getting them added. This would be a lot more work, I expect.


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On DTrace envy

Posted Aug 8, 2007 17:28 UTC (Wed) by JoeBuck (guest, #2330) [Link]

In this case, that's not the purpose; DTrace is free software, not proprietary software, even though the license isn't compatible. Furthermore SystemTap could use the same hooks.

On DTrace envy

Posted Aug 8, 2007 19:30 UTC (Wed) by ahl (guest, #40497) [Link]

That's a very interesting point. I wonder if Linus et al. would object to hooks for an open source component, and, if they did, what the grounds for those objections would be.

On DTrace envy

Posted Aug 9, 2007 11:47 UTC (Thu) by paulj (subscriber, #341) [Link]

I don't want to sound too humbugish about attribution, but that was my point with "(remember, they're both free software licences)" from my point b) (get linux devs to agree CDDLed Dtrace modules are ok). Any points about potential odd-standards are implied in that (particularly as I had already referred to proprietary modules earlier in my post, highlighted in bold too to make it obvious..).

:)

On DTrace envy

Posted Aug 9, 2007 19:55 UTC (Thu) by bfields (subscriber, #19510) [Link]

I wonder if Linus et al. would object to hooks for an open source component, and, if they did, what the grounds for those objections would be.

That sort of thing has always met a lot of resistance. Currently any in-kernel API can be changed as long as you take care to fix up all the in-tree users. Obviously that makes certain kinds of changes much easier. And having in-tree users for API's makes those API's easier to understand and maintain.

On DTrace envy

Posted Aug 8, 2007 21:30 UTC (Wed) by madscientist (subscriber, #16861) [Link]

You're right, I misspoke. I wonder about ahl's point as well: is the Linux devs' position that they shouldn't create special hooks for code that is not GPL-compatible, and hence stands no chance of ever being integrated with the mainline kernel? Or is it only binary blobs they don't like? They really push hard the goal of getting everything promoted up to the mainline kernel.

Of course if it's the case that the in-kernel hooks can be made generic between SystemTap (et.al.) and DTrace, then it doesn't matter anyway.


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