26 Aug 2005 DV   » (Master)

the future of gamin

John has submitted a patch to have gnome-vfs bypass FAM/gamin and access inotify directly, and people have been asking what my opinion was. Basically it's just fine, there is only 2 concerns: first the OS portability, gamin/FAM back-end for notification should be maintained as a way to keep working on older systems, BSD, MacOS-X, Solaris, etc., second the switch between inotify and gamin should be done at run-time, the reasons are that gamin/fam is legacy and will continue to be around, and by doing so we don't introduce one more binary incomptatibility in the platform, it's hard enough already for ISV shipping on Linux.

But It should be clear too that I find FAM a very ugly, limited and completely underspecified (if specified at all!) API, that it should die as promptly as possible and its only vertue was to be slighly less broken and specific than the various default kernel APIs found on various OSes especailly dnotify ! Die FAM, die ! The ideal situation would be to have a sane POSIX standardized notification API, and just rely on a kernel impleemtation based on syscalls, but I would not hold my breath ! The best future would be for gamin to become a legacy and useless piece of code.


I hacked furiously on libxml2 again this week, first trying to address as many bug reported as possible before the next release (probably at the end of next week) and also found a way to reduce the memory allocator usage of the library which can lead to very significant speedups in some cases as the parsing speed for the database file I use to profile raised from 21MBytes/s to 25MBytes/s on 32 bits and I would expect greater improvements when running on 64bits systems. Kasimier seems to have much work so the progresses on XML Schemas are slowing down, I should use that to also finish the schematron implementation and adding an interface to validate DTD at the SAX level like the interface for SAX and XSD added in July, this should be close to trivial with the existing code.


I will be out of reach until tuesday evening, as I was called to cleanup the land of my mother, there is an alarming number of wildfire around in the South of france and preventive actions is urgently needed. I also discovered that there is frequent Ryanair flights from there to London, which I will use when going to FUDCon3 where I will be speaking about Xen again. I will also go to the GNOME Summit at MIT in Cambridge MA the following week-end 8-11 October.

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