[arch-general] Status of dcron

Jim Pryor lists+arch-general at jimpryor.net
Sun May 1 03:33:37 EDT 2011

Hi I'm the upstream developer of dcron (and an Arch user). As some of
you know, I haven't been able to tend to this project much for the past
year. Part of the trouble was I was in the middle of a large refactoring
project when other responsibilities dragged me away, and I was never
able to make enough time to catch up with the bug reports and patches
several helpful users sent me. I appreciate all the help you guys sent
my way; and I am sorry I wasn't able to push it out more quickly.

I've now made some time to catch up with dcron. I've just seen that
there's been a recent mailing list thread discussing the long time that
dcron has sat with an unfixed scheduling bug, and whether Arch should
switch to a different default cron daemon. I wanted to write and push
this email out before I read that thread.

There are two separate issues here.

One issue is that the current developer of dcron (me) has demonstrated
he won't always be able to respond to issues promptly. There were some
times when development was active, but for the past year an important
scheduling bug was left unaddressed. (A scheduling bug in a cron
daemon!) Even if that bug will now be fixed, individual users may
sensibly prefer to use a program whose development team can commit to
being more responsive. Moreover, the Arch distro may itself sensibly
prefer to use such as a default.

I think those arguments are entirely reasonable; and I don't want to
campaign for anyone to stay with dcron if it doesn't suit their needs.

However, I still like dcron myself; that's why I took over development
of it. And I believe the outstanding issues and most-requested
refinements are fixed, or are in the immediate pipeline. So I do want to
keep developing it for those who still value its balance of simplicity
and features.

That raises the second issue: what is the current status of dcron?

As I said, my source tree contains a large refactoring push. I have
deferred this, and back-ported some important bugfixes, and a few simple
features or packaging changes, to a v4.5 release. I'll push this to
<http://www.jimpryor.net/linux/dcron.html> shortly; and I hope it can be
packaged and pushed to [testing]. I'd welcome any testing and feedback
any of you might be able to do.

I will push those changes, as well as all the other deferred parts of my
source tree, to dcron's git repo at <http://repo.or.cz/w/dcron.git>. And
I'll update the dcron-git package on AUR, at
<http://aur.archlinux.org/packages.php?ID=33377>. If any of you were
interested and able to test this, I'd very much welcome such feedback

These will all be pushed in the next couple of hours.

Thanks, and I apologize for any inconvenience my inability to keep up
with this project has caused anybody.

Jim Pryor
profjimm at jimpryor.net

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