Fabrizio Giudici is a Senior Java Architect with a long Java experience in the industrial field. He runs Tidalwave, his own consultancy company, and has contributed to Java success stories in a number of fields, including Formula One. Fabrizio often appears as a speaker at international Java conferences such as JavaOne and Devoxx and is member of JUG Milano and the NetBeans Dream Team. Fabrizio is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 67 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

ZFS Removed From Snow Leopard - Community, Please Stand Up and Step In!

08.31.2009
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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).

Published at DZone with permission of Fabrizio Giudici, author and DZone MVB.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)

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Comments

Artur Biesiadowski replied on Mon, 2009/08/31 - 2:53am

And how this ended up on java zone?

Sebastian Mueller replied on Mon, 2009/08/31 - 3:04am

Which community? The *java* community or the Mac community? Am I on MacLobby here?

Daniel Kvasnička replied on Mon, 2009/08/31 - 5:19am

Is someone really willing to abandon OS X for OpenSolaris or FreeBSD (which are lightyears behind in terms of UX, IMHO) just because ZFS didn't arive at the time they dreamed of...? Wake up, people... My guess is that Apple waits for Oracle to finish the Sun buyout.

Fabrizio Giudici replied on Mon, 2009/08/31 - 6:08am

Could be the Oracle buyout; if Apple was a decent provider, it would have communicated it. "We're removed ZFS waiting for the Oracle buyout of Sun to complete.". Less than 70 bytes, it doesn't seem too complex. That's part of the reason I consider Apple totally unreliable.

If we want to talk about stuff that is lightyears behind, what about HFS+?

Casper Bang replied on Mon, 2009/08/31 - 12:02pm

> we poor, professionals, paying assholes are supposed to be treated as the fan masses that goes "aaah" with the latest sparkle

Yeah but you do make us Linux people laugh out loud though. And in this case, the answer is BTRFS. While not yet production ready, things are shaping up nicely and binaries have been available for the last 3 Ubuntu releases.

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