To release Samba 4.0 'as is'

Michael Adam obnox at
Wed Nov 23 10:05:05 MST 2011

Hi Folks,

Jeremy Allison wrote:
> On Tue, Nov 22, 2011 at 05:13:16PM +1100, Andrew Bartlett wrote:
> > I would like to propose that we proceed to making a pre-release of Samba
> > 4.0 in the next month (ie, before Christmas), and that we propose to
> > release Samba 4.0 'as is' regarding major features.
> > 
> > To be clear, I propose that the DNS server work continue, and we seek a
> > resolution of the best approach here over the time between now and a
> > release, but we do not block a release on this point.  (I am confident
> > however that those involved will have a good solution, and even the
> > current flat file is clearly good enough for our many users). 
> > 
> > [...]
> >
> > This will give the vendors (Univention and Resara) and our numerous
> > users who are building on top of Samba 4.0 alpha releases a stable
> > release to move to, based on the current architecture, before we make
> > the change to a common file server for Samba 4.1.  
> > 
> > [...]
> >
> > I do wish to be clear that I'm certainly not abandoning the idea of a
> > single file server, and I know many others on the team have also
> > invested great amounts of their own time in this effort.  It is
> > important not only for NAS vendors who wish to add AD to the NAS (an
> > idea I raise with every NAS vendor I get the chance to speak to), but
> > also our users who still regularly ask for a combined release with the
> > AD server, file server and print server all present in the same runtime
> > installation.  
> > 
> > What do others think?
> -1. We can't do this. It isn't an integrated product yet,
> it's just a grab bag of non-integrated features.
> Without proper design and code to implement the source3
> fileserver, winbind and nmbd integration we simply don't
> have a finished product. The integrated fileserver is a
> MUST HAVE for a 4.0 release.

I agree. Put even more pointedly, Andrew's proposal is
exactly opposit to the one I have been making since several
months: For me the integration of the s3 and s4 components
is the only major thing that needs finishing for 4.0.
Everything else is also doable for 4.1 or later.
(I might be neglecting todos from the AD world that I am
not aware of.)

> Rightly or wrongly Samba4 is seen as the replacement
> for Samba3. If you ship what you have now you put the
> Team members who support OEM fileservers in an incredibly
> difficult position w.r.t. marketing and communications
> with our customers, not to mention the Linux distros.

Put differently, Samba 4.0 will correctly be expected to be
a superset and replacement of Samba 3.X.

If we tell the people, hey this is 4.0, you have the new
AD controller called "samba", but you can also enable
those legacy features with those legacy commands (smbd, ...),
then this is at the very least misleading and confusing.

I am all for releasing a 4.0 soon, as I have mentionend more
than once in the past (since more than a year now) but IMHO,
we should fix the integration of the components before the
4.0 release. The discussions of how to do this has been going on
since several years now and has been deferred again and again.

> > I also propose that we do not make the major architectural changes
> > between now and the release to change file server or winbind
> > implementations for the AD DC.  Instead, we continue to build on the
> > massive efforts already made here over the next few months, but we will
> > not change the default behaviour for a 4.0 release.

To my understanding, this is what release branches are for. :-)

> > With this plan, and with the quality brought about by our continuous
> > integration approach, I think we can make a Samba 4.0 release in a
> > reasonable time-frame, perhaps with a final release in about three
> > months time.  
> > 
> > This will mean we continue to ship smbd, nmbd, winbindd, samba etc as
> > found in the current alpha releases. 

This would basically mean that 4.0 will be a AD-only release.
The s3-fileserver components would just be dropped as a
snapshot and whoever wants to seriously use those components
should use the 3.6 release or wait for 4.X? I think this is
counterproductive and setting the wrong signs for our users.

For me Samba 4.0 should be not be the result of the
samba4/source4 development efforts but the superset of
s3 and s4 development, the outcome of our combined efforts.

I repeat, for me the only decisive and strictly necessary step
for releasing 4.0 at this stage is that the intergration efforts
are completed. All fileserver or AD featurs that are missing or
incomplete can be added later on.

Cheers - Michael

> Don't just ship whatever you have out the door, you need
> to produce a plan to finish the missing features, and
> create bug reports to track them.
> If you want to split the codebase and Team efforts completely,
> releasing an unfinished Samba4 is an excellent way to do it.
> Jeremy.

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