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Date:	Fri, 26 Oct 2007 19:31:04 -0600
From: (Eric W. Biederman)
To:	Adrian Bunk <>
Cc:	Kir Kolyshkin <>,,,,,
Subject: Re: [Devel] [PATCH] pidns: Place under CONFIG_EXPERIMENTAL (take 2)

Adrian Bunk <> writes:

> CONFIG_EXPERIMENTAL is a weak hint that some code might not (yet) be in 
> a perfect state, but it does not have any semantics regarding
> userspace ABIs.

Code that might not (yet) be in a perfect state sums it up pretty
well.  There is not plan or expectation to change magic numbers or
things like that but the behavior of the code may change as bug and
such are fixed.

> A dependency on BROKEN seems more appropriate.

Since you can't select that it seems a little strong.


One of the things we talked about at the kernel summit is how
almost inevitably when new user space interfaces are introduced
there are problems.  Someone over looks something, something
gets changed to get through the review something like that.  There was
discussion but no consensus on how do introduce something like that
but still allow our selves the ability to fix it.  Keeping the
code under CONFIG_EXPERIMENTAL is the best suggest I have seen
so far.  Even if it is slightly expanding the definition of

Every place the kernel uses pids is a huge scope.  It is very
easy to miss something with a scope that wide.  So the engineer
in me says chances of us missing something are pretty huge.
Especially since I know we have bugs in -rc1.

If it turns out that making multiple pid namespaces work is
hopeless we can always change the dependency to BROKEN later.

As for ABI and behavioral characteristics currently that is
largely well defined.  You are supposed to get the exact
same thing as you would on the system if you only had a
single pid namespace.  The places where we have questionable
semantics is in the intersections between namespaces.  

That is not an area I am willing to stand up and say we got
it perfect the first time, I'm going to support our behavior
quirks forever if I can find soon enough.  Very few applications
will care, and the differences might really matter at some point.

So does any one have any better suggestions on how to deal
with features that are enough work you aren't going to get them
perfect the first time.  You need the code merged or else you
can not complete the feature (too many dependencies through out the
code).  You want early adopters to start playing with the feature
so you can get feed back and you can test to make certain everything
is going ok.  You want to retain the ability to fix implementation
details even if those details are user visible, for a time until
things seem as good as they can reasonably get.

Roughly that sounds like CONFIG_EXPERIMENTAL to me.  But I would
be happy to hear if someone has a better idea.

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