Assessment of the iteration that is ending

The goal for the iteration that has just ended was:

By the end of this iteration, Obnam will have a first draft of a the simplest threat model that is still useful, and documentation for its architecture and implementation to support evolution of the threat model in future iterations.

A new release will be made at the end of the iteration.

That goal was not reached. There is a (very) simple threat model. The software architecture documentation was improved somewhat, and that process may have to continue as long as the project is alive. However, no release was made. There were relatively few code changes, so the lack of a release is not a big problem, but it’s a failure to uphold the intended release cadence, and that’s bad.


There was discussion about content addressable storage, see #69. I am not convinced it’s the right way to go, but the discussion and the ticket aren’t closed yet.

Alexander Batischev did a trial run of Obnam on his own data (#71). There were some problems, which will be addressed, hopefully soon, each in their own issue.

I wrote up a contributing guide for Obnam. It’s preliminary and rough, and feedback is welcome.

Other than that, I clearly took on too much work for this iteration, and found it too hard to enjoy the development process. It also made it hard to react to new input and interruptions.

Much of the overload came from not leaving room for debugging: I spend about a third of the time I had for this project and this iteration on debugging a failure in my CI system. Debugging always takes time, and it’s never possible to estimate it beforehand, and yet it’s always a surprise how long it takes and when it needs to happen. I need to allow more time for debugging.


Goal for 1.0 (not changed this iteration)

The goal for version 1.0 is for Obnam to be an utterly boring backup solution for Linux command line users. It should just work, be performant, secure, and well-documented.

It is not a goal for version 1.0 to have been ported to other operating systems, but if there are volunteers to do that, and to commit to supporting their port, ports will be welcome.

Other user interfaces is likely to happen only after 1.0.

The server component will support multiple clients in a way that doesn’t let them see each other’s data. It is not a goal for clients to be able to share data, even if the clients trust each other.

Goal for the next few iterations (not changed for this iteration)

The goal for next few iterations is to have Obnam support encryption well. This will involve having a documented threat model, which has been reviewed by all stakeholders participating in the project, and Obnam defending against all the modeled threats.

This iteration

By the end of this iteration, Obnam will have a plan for how to implement encryption for the initial threat model of the server operator reading backed up data. This will cover the encryption algorithm, how the encryption secret is handled, and Obnam can change its encryption in the future.

A new release will be made by the end of the iteration.

Tasks for this iteration

For this iteration, I’m committed to resolving the following issues: #43 (1h), #57 (0.25h), #72 (0.25h), #76 (0.25h), #83 (4h).

Total of just under 6 hours, rough estimate.

Created milestone 5 for this iteration.