Smart-server-transport for 0.11 ?

Robert Collins robertc at
Thu Sep 14 05:31:24 BST 2006

So John raised some good questions in his code review of the
smart-servere transport patch which are not strictly about the code, but
more about the impact on users.

They were, that when emulating a file system the current protocol is no
faster than http or sftp - because of numerous things - its not
currently pipelined, its not got a good readv etc, and because its
current version-locked, forcing lock-step upgrades for early adopters.

I think that despite this, having the smart-server-transport in 0.11 is
a net win, and that we can ameliorate the protocol issues with some
documentation. I think its a win because we have a large set of issues
to address that are strictly outside the protocols scope:
 * HTTP server configuration
 * SSH configuration
 * inetd configuration
 * reliability

And probably numerous little bugs like the current SFTP servers
EndOfFile exception issue that we'll only hear about when folk are using

At the moment theres one primary dev for the smart protocol - Andrew -
and while the code is off in a branch its likely to stay that way.

I'd like to get the core - the smart server transport - in the core
library, so that other folk can effectively work with it day to day. We
have lots of improvements - adding a major/minor protocol version split
for instance, where any major version can talk to all minor versions
with the same major one.

For instance, I can see the following happening in parallel during 0.12:
 * someone adds major/minor support to the smart transport
implementation. (bumping the version to break 0.11 compatability as this
is done)
 * the remote-bzrdir work is merged, allowing optimisation of individual
methods to be done in parallel
 * specific use cases get the snort optimised out of them

I dont think we're as likely to get that done in 0.12 if the core
protocol is not merged yet.

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