Monthly Status Updates/August 2007

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August was a quiet month for public Amanda development, as Zmanda engineers continued work on a number of large changes such as the Device API and Application API and prepared for further architectural refactoring.


Wiki Changes

Discussion Fora

Zmanda Forums

This month the team provided forums support to lots of new users. Especial thanks to Andrew Rakowski for his community contributions. In total, Jean-Louis Martineau, Sachin Kale, Dustin Mitchell, Pavel Pragin, Sunil Sawant, Paddy Sreenivasan, and Kevin Till all helped out.

Mailing Lists


This list exists primarily for support, and there was lots of it this month. The supporters were unusually diverse this time, with over 20 contributors, including Joshua Baker-LePain, Paul Bijnens, Brian Cuttler, Gene Haskett, Patrick M. Hausen, Chris Hoogendyk, Matt Hyclak, Aaron Grier, Jon Labadie, Jay Lessert, Jean-Francois Malouin, Dustin J. Mitchell, Marc Muehlfeld, Steve Newcomb, Charlie Reitsma, Donald Ritchey, Mario Silva, Frank Smith, Mauricio Tavares, Skylar Thompson, Greg Troxel, Geert Uytterhoeven, and Stefan G. Weichinger. Kai Zimmer

In addition, Mitch Collinsworth, Chris Hoogendyk and Jon LaBadie discussed a way to integrate client initiated backup. This discussion went on in parallel on the amanda-hackers list, below.


The discussion on client initated backup started by Mitch Collinsworth on the amanda-users list continued here, with additional contributions by Greg Troxel and Dustin J. Mitchell. Dustin suggested that this might be a good Google Summer of Code project. Additional wishlist discussions on mirroring and scheduling were led by and contributed from Paul Bijnens, Aaron J. Grier, Chris Hoogendyk, Matt Hyclak, Jon Labadie, Jean-Louis Martineau, Christopher McCrory, Marc Mengal, Dustin J. Mitchell and Frank Smith. At this time, however, none of these discussions led to a patch.

Dustin J. Mitchell started a discussion thread on the use of threads in Amanda. He wanted to know if it was OK to require threading support in future versions of Amanda. At the end of the month, the discussion was still ongoing, but an emerging consensus appeared to support mandatory threads as long as the threaded code was well-tested, optional on the client, and it remains possible to perform a manual restore without thread support. Dissenting voices included Aaron J. Grier, who expressed doubts that threads were a useful development paradigm at all and dismay at introducing new library dependencies, and Marc W. Mengel, who was uncertain about the permanence of threading APIs and skeptical about threaded restores on very old hardware.

Although the amanda-hackers list is primarily about development, there was additionally some user support provided by Jean-Louis Martineau, Dustin J. Mitchell and Greg Troxel.

Code Changes

Only a few very small fixes were committed to the repository:

  • Satya Ganga fixed server-src/ so as to be compatible with bash 2.03 on Solaris 8.
  • Terry Burton contributed a new A4 label template for DLT tapes.
  • C R Ritson submitted a patch to integrate with the same locking paradigm used by amdump and amflush.
  • Dustin J. Mitchell made a number of changes:
    • To the build infrastructure for libreadline, for greater portability and easier configuration;
    • Additional quoting code to sendsize, sendbackup, and driver to index filenames with spaces and colons;
    • Allowing 'make dist' to run without a preceeding 'make all';
    • Including more build information in 'amadmin version'; and
    • Greater portability of arguments to the ssh command, as suggested by a community user.

In the background, Jean-Louis Martineau continues work on the Application API, and Ian Turner is putting the finishing touches on the Device API. Look for large patches with these changes in the coming months.

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