ZFS Removed From Snow Leopard - Community, Please Stand Up and Step In!
So, Snow Leopard is out and - confirming rumors - ZFS has been silenty dropped. Even the read-only version that was distributed with Leopard is no more there, and nobody knows about what will happen with the open source port available at MacOSForge.
Of course, Apple doesn't even care about commenting that, as we poor, professionals, paying assholes are supposed to be treated as the fan masses that goes "aaah" with the latest sparkle in the iPhone and can be driven everywhere without much effort. So we don't know whether Apple has only delayed development, is waiting for some legal stuff to be clarified after Oracle has completed the Sun acquisition, or what else. Thus I assume that Apple doesn't have any interest in maintaining ZFS further - but even if a version came out in a matter of weeks, I don't think I can rely on Apple any longer.
Personally I've already said many times that I'm sick and tired of depending on the mood of mr. Jobs (or any other executive at Apple). I don't consider Apple reliable for delivering Java on Mac OS X, and I think that the only viable solution is to survive for some other time until Java 7 will be available on Mac OS X, with all the features including the UI (I think it will happen). FLOSS is the only way to get your rights back and escape from the arrogance of vendors.
Now, it happens that ZFS is FLOSS too; so the community has the capability of stepping in. I've read comments from people that are completely discouraged about Apple attitude and are planning about abandoning ZFS or Mac OS X (for OpenSolaris or FreeBSD). The latter are the lucky ones, but some of us still have to do with Mac OS X for a reason or the other. So, before throwing the sponge, I think we have to first call for the community to step in.
I realize that developing a kernel extension, furthermore integrated in a system that is not completely open such as Mac OS X, is not easy - definitely not as easy as supporting a C, or a Java library, or application. But there are people with the required skills out there, and after all work is only required for the integration, as Sun is still developing (and keeping FLOSS) the core.
I don't want to give up with ZFS and Mac OS X, also because I'm working on using ZFS as a common filesystem that I can access (even though with limitations) between Mac OS X and Linux (via ZFS-fuse), which are the two operating system I'm using most of the time. I hope that most of people that are using ZFS won't give up easily, too. So, please let's talk about that.
PS Personally, I'm at the saturation level with maintaining FLOSS projects, and in any case I've not touched C since many many years - I can't contribute directly with development, but I'm available for testing (especially if we set up some automatic stress test that can be run in unattended mode - I have some lab gear that can be devoted to the task).
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