Tux3 Report: Birds of a Feather flocked Together

Daniel Phillips daniel.raymond.phillips at gmail.com
Wed Mar 13 18:16:54 PDT 2013

Today's Tux3 report is a little shorter than usual, not because there is
less to report but because we are very busy preparing for the next Tux3
report, expected to be long and hopefully interesting.

The first annual Tux3 BOF at FAST was held month in San Jose. Here is the
group photo:


Some of the usual suspects may be easily recognized.[1] Hirofumi attended
remotely from Tokyo via an audio link kindly provided by Shapor (on the

Though no notes were kept, the gist of the meeting can be summed up easily:

   1) Purpose: What niche does Tux3 expect to fill?

   2) Progress: What works now and what remains to be done?

   3) Time frame: How many person-years of development work remain?

Purpose: With its compact footprint and even more compact feature set, we
agree that the natural niches for Tux3 are personal workstations and
portable devices. While Tux3 is designed to scale to enterprise levels,
such scalability has not yet been proven, some features required for
enterprise deployment are not yet available, and a record of reliability
has not yet been established. Therefore, the enterprise segment would be
better served for the time being by such established projects as Ext4. This
is not a serious issue given that the personal workstation and portable
device segment already amounts to some hundreds of millions of potential

Progress: Tux3 has come far enough that there now can be no turning back.
According to our initial measurements, we expect to raise the bar in terms
of performance while at the same time introducing a stronger filesystem
consistency model. The list of outstanding work items to bring Tux3 to a
state suitable for testing by early adopters is quite short.

Timeframe: The question was raised of how many man years of development
would be needed to bring Tux3 to a usable state. I suggested eight, which
was immediately questioned on the basis that Ext4 and its predecessors
easily account for several hundred man years of development. My answer was
accordingly clarified to be the number of years that our small team can
reasonably afford to dedicate to the project in order to bring it to the
point where further manpower accretion tends to become exponential. This
hockey stick effect is a necessary event in the lifetime of any filesystem
project that will actually be deployed. It was generally thought that
merging the code base would help bring that moment closer.

Beer: The beer, provided by tux3.org, was excellent. Several instances may
be observed actively deployed in the photo. Next year, we hope and expect
that our beer will be kindly provided for us by some wealthier organization.

So long for now. Next week I will report in some detail on our recent
efforts to develop a next-generation directory index for Tux3.

[1] The gentleman operating the camera itself did not wish to be recognized
at this time.


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