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SubjectRe: IRC (was: Scheduler)
On Wed, Dec 19, 2001 at 06:44:35PM +0100, Daniel Phillips wrote:
> On December 18, 2001 10:02 pm, Larry McVoy wrote:
> > Maybe I'm an old stick in the mud, but IRC seems like a big waste of
> > time to me. It's perfect for off the cuff answers and fairly useless
> > for thoughtful answers. We used to write well thought out papers and
> > specifications for OS work. These days if you can't do it in a paragraph
> > on IRC it must not be worth doing, eh?
> To put this into a more immediate perspective for you, suppose you wanted to
> get some traction under your SMP Clusters proposal? I'd suggest it's already
> been kicked around as much as it's going to be on lkml, and you already wrote
> your paper, so the next step would be to get together face-to-face with some
> folks who have a clue. Well, unless you're willing to wait months for the
> right people to show up in the Bay Area, IRC is the way to go.

Actually, I haven't written a paper. A paper is something which lays out

design details

and should be sufficient to make the project happen should I be hit by a
bus. That's my main complaint with IRC, it requires me to keep coming
back and explaining the same thing over and over again.

Here's an idea: you go try and get some traction on the OS cluster idea.
I'll give you 6 months and we'll see what happens. If nothing has
happened, I'll produce a decent paper describing it and then we wait
another 6 months to see what happens. I'll bet you 10:1 odds I get a
lot more action from a lot more people than you do. Nope, wait, make
that 100:1 odds.

I've seen how little I manage to get done by talking. Talk is cheap.
I've also seen how much I get done when I write a paper which other
people can pass around, think about, discuss, and implement. A senior
guy at Morgan Stanley (hi marc) once told me "if you want to get things
done, write them down". And in my case, since people tend to like to
argue with me rather than listen to me (yup, it's my fault, my "style"
leaves "room for improvement" translation: sucks rocks), a paper is
far more effective. My style is pretty much removed from the equation.

I can just see me on IRC, all I'd be getting is style complaints while
people successfully avoid the real points. Look at the last 8 years
of LKML. I'd say most of the effect was from the LMbench paper and
maybe a few threads on performance which would have been more effective
if I'd written a detailed paper explaining my point of view.
Larry McVoy lm at
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