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From Brian Wellington <>
Subject Re: DNS Protocol (Was: DHCP Protocol Home)
Date Wed, 20 Jun 2007 02:33:51 GMT
On Wed, 20 Jun 2007, Trustin Lee wrote:

> Hi Brian,
> On 6/20/07, Brian Wellington <> wrote:
>> On Tue, 19 Jun 2007, Trustin Lee wrote:
>> > On 6/19/07, Stefano Bagnara <> wrote:
>> >> >> What if there were a "frequently updated" dnsjava, containing all
>> the
>> >> >> useful community-contributed patches (including dnsjnio), released
>> >> >> under a
>> >> >> BSD license - would that be a good solution?
>> >> >
>> >> > Absolutely.  That is the best of the best IMHO.  WDYT guys?
>> >>
>> >> Sorry but I don't understand the proposed scenario.
>> >>
>> >> I think the problem is that we need a community around a new dns project
>> >> because we want to provide fast respose and more evolution than dnsjava
>> >> currently offer.
>> >
>> > It is true if Brian doesn't have any will to work closely with us.
>> > He's not replying to us so far, so I agree with you.  And I don't
>> > think what Alex is suggesting to us is not so far from what we have
>> > been discussing.  He didn't say it should be outside of the ASF. ;)
>> To be honest, I'm not really sure what the intent here is.  For the past 5
>> years or so, there really hasn't been much need for much evolution or fast
>> response from dnsjava - there haven't been many features that I've wanted
>> to add, and there haven't been too many external patches.
>> The dnsjnio patch set is, as far as I know, the only code that should be
>> part of dnsjava but isn't.  That's mostly my fault - I haven't had much
>> time to work on dnsjava recently, and evaluating and working with a large
>> patch takes more time than I've had.
> The intent here is about build a community around DNS protocol
> implementation.  I agree with you that dnsjava is a very mature and
> stable product.  But there are also demand for asynchronous DNS
> implementation.  dnsjnio is a good example, and some people want to
> switch dnsjava's internal implementation with existing NIO framework
> to fully utilize asynchronous API.  These changes will need quite a
> lot of work and we thought dnsjava and dnsjnio are a great starting
> point.  I'm not sure you have interest in these changes, but there are
> about four guys who are interested in these changes, so we might be
> able to create a nice community around it.  We also thought starting
> this work in the ASF will be beneficial to many parties such as James,
> MINA, and Directory project because they want to work closely with the
> DNS protocol implementor in the near future (or right now).  Is your
> question about our intent clarified?  WDYT?

If there are enough people to form a community, then it sounds like a good 

>> >> What about the "frequently updated dnsjava" you talk about? Who will do
>> >> that? In what environment? What community? As it has been proposed to be
>> >> BSD then it cannot be hosted by ASF because the Apache Foundation will
>> >> only create/maintain ASLv2 projects (and will also need copyrights for
>> >> everything maintained).
>> >>
>> >> Indeed, I really would like to know whether Brian has objections to such
>> >> an effort, what would be his own preferences about dependencies (or
>> >> evolutions) of his code, if he would be interested in collaborating in a
>> >> more "community oriented" project, if he would be interested in an
>> >> oversight role.
>> If someone wants to fork dnsjava, I can't stop them.  A "community
>> oriented" project sounds like a good idea, but as I said above, there
>> really hasn't been much call for new features.  In the 8 years or so since
>> the first dnsjava release, there's only been 1 serious request for commit
>> access to the repository, which makes me wonder where the community is.
>> People occasionally pop up and ask for large features (some of which make
>> sense), but very infrequently contribute any code.
>> If the decision was made to fork or evolve the code, I wouldn't object,
>> but I don't know how much of a role I'd be willing to play.  I'm not using
>> dnsjava in any other large projects, so the only real development I do
>> (other than applying patches) is adding small features needed for
>> miscellaneous DNS testing and adding new record types.  The main reason I
>> use dnsjava for testing is that I know the API pretty well, and it's easy
>> for me to write code using it - if the API evolved to the point that
>> wasn't as familiar with it and my code didn't work, I'd probably continue
>> to use the old version or use something else (like dnspython - dnsjava and
>> small programs using it are the only java code I write anymore).
> Our primary goal is not about forking dnsjava.  I think it's our last
> resort.  Especially, I appreciate your effort to maintain dnsjava
> project as a previous user and a fan.  With a bigger community, we
> could cope better with such a big request because it's not only you
> but all committers will have more chance to consider about the worth
> of the request.

Definitely.  If there are people interested in working on DNS code, I'm 
happy to let them.  The fact that I've written almost all of dnsjava is 
more a reflection of the lack of contributed code than anything else.

>> > dnsjava is licensed under BSD-license, so we can fork it without prior
>> > permission, though we need to try.  (But he's not responding.)  And
>> > starting from the ADS DNS protocol provider is also a good idea.  I am
>> > not a DNS expert so it's up to the actual contributor of the project.
>> > If Alex is interested, it's a great news, and starting the project
>> > from the incubator might be a better idea to attract more interested
>> > non-committers such as Alex.  Even if we have little code base so far,
>> > we could discuss about this project with the incubator PMC and ask if
>> > we can start from existing code that we didn't write (dnsjava) due to
>> > its inactivity.
>> I can't really comment on this, as I don't know much about the ADS DNS
>> protocol provider.  Again, though, the "inactivity" you're referring to is
>> mostly the lack of any necessary changes.  dnsjava is pretty standards
>> compliant.  Other than a good asynchronous interface, there really isn't
>> anything that's missing.
>> Of course, the inactivity could be the lack of frequent releases to pick
>> up minor bug fixes.  I don't do releases more often because releasing
>> software on sourceforge is a pain (doing anything with the file release
>> system takes many times longer than it should), but the code in CVS (which
>> would have been moved to SVN a year ago if sourceforge's SVN conversion
>> scripts worked) should be pretty stable, if anyone would like to volunteer
>> to do more releases.
> I admit 'inactivity' here is incorrect and apologize from my heart if
> it dismays you.  Most of all, please consider our intent as serious
> will to improve the best-of-breed DNS implementation.

I'm not offended by this; I was trying to explain more than anything else. 
I know that dnsjava's been mostly inactive for a while now, which is a 
combination of my lack of time and the fact that there haven't been many 
things to add.


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