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Re: Really, about udev, not init sytsems (was: Gentoo guys starting a fork of udev)

On Sat, Nov 24, 2012 at 06:03:02PM +0100, Toni Mueller wrote: 
> On Sat, Nov 24, 2012 at 05:15:25PM +0100, John Paul Adrian Glaubitz wrote:
> > If both Ubuntu and Gentoo would just go with the rest of the community
> > and accept systemd, we wouldn't have to bother whether udev runs
> > without systemd or not.
> I would highly prefer a system where I can take small bites if I want
> to, and where components are as portable as possible

Why? Why would you want to rip such low-level stuff apart? It
seriously doesn't make any sense unless you need a highly-customized
setup, for embedded applications, for example.

> and as it stands,
> I am very uncomfortable with systemd, too. It's certainly
> interesting, but having a hard dependency on it is imho a no-no.

Again. What's so bad with systemd? I don't get it. I really don't get
it. You're not seeing your init daemon 99% of the time you're using
your computer, so why even bother with it? When you have something
such low-level, you're best off with taking the best solution which
is clearly systemd and which is why most distributions are adopting

> Please take a step back, look at the bigger picture, and tell me
> whether you think that we, as Debianites, or as Free Software
> Advocates, are still heading in the right direction:
> 1. What does it mean if more and more software is required to run a
>    Linux system, in the various scenarios, and losing the ability to
>    swap components w/o major kernel hackery?

Because it's a LOW-LEVEL component and you don't profit at all by
choosing any different solution. It's not like your browser or desktop
which you can choose on your personal preferences. Argueing which init
daemon is the best is like argueing over which oil pump in your car to
choose based on preferences. You choose the one that does the job
best, it doesn't have to be customizable, that's just non-sense.

>    So far, being highly
>    modular was a way to contain the complexity, and finish off bugs.

So, you think code is more maintainable when it's spread across dozens
of projects instead of doing the work in one repository? Why should we
have separate repositories for atd, crond, anacron, xinetd, init, rc,
watchdogd, autofs and so on when these projects are more or less
something that should be performed by ONE daemon, because what these
daemons do overlaps quite a lot?

>    It's not only "more eyeballs" to catch them

systemd has over 118 contributors, that makes 236 eyeballs. I guess
that's much more than any eyeballs in any of the traditional daemons

>    it's also the complexity
>    that makes it increasingly hard for people to understand what's going
>    on in the first place, so the problem of having the required
>    knowledge, that you highlighted in your message, will only get worse
>    and worse with tighter integration.

systemd is not complex, sysvinit is. Just compare the average init
script with a systemd unit file and you will understand.

> 2. What does it mean if more and more software only runs on Linux?

It's a very good thing. It makes Linux stronger as a free platform
which is what we need in order to be able to compete against the
proprietary platforms. We need to combine power.

You probably want to hear now that's unfair to the other free
operating systems, but seriously, I don't care. You want to dictate
developers of free software not to take advantage of Linux-specific
features. You want to force them to consider stuff like FreeBSD as

> 3. What does it mean that - my claim/experience - more and more Linux
>    software is simply broken (see Gnome for a popular example, but I
>    have more)?

It's broken because it doesn't run on your favourite non-Linux
operating system? I don't think so.

> > I don't see anyway why something as low-level
> > as udev should be highly portable in the first place.
> Maybe, but I do see why systemd must not be a hard dependency of the
> Linux kernel, and if systemd is basically the user-space part of udev,
> and both can't live without each other, then something is fundamentally
> wrong in the design. IMHO.

systemd has a hard dependency on the Linux kernel because it takes
advantage of many Linux-specific features and it would be stupid not
to do that. Linux has these features, so we should be free to use
them when we can.

Do the FreeBSD people develop all their stuff in a fashion that it
would run on Linux as well?

I'm sorry for the harsh tone, but it's really something that annoys
me, people constantly complaining about systemd but never really
coming up with good arguments why something as low-level as
systemd/udev should be replacable in the first place. 95% of the users
don't care and just want something that's reliable.


 .''`.  John Paul Adrian Glaubitz
: :' :  Debian Developer - glaubitz@debian.org
`. `'   Freie Universitaet Berlin - glaubitz@physik.fu-berlin.de
  `-    GPG: 62FF 8A75 84E0 2956 9546  0006 7426 3B37 F5B5 F913

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