[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Init system deba{te|cle}

On Sat, 02 Nov 2013 15:58:45 +0100
berenger.morel@neutralite.org wrote:

> _ sysvinit scripts are scripts. Scripts needs programming skills, and 
> the sh language does not have an easy to read syntax. I would in fact 
> call it rather obscure compared to various other languages I used. 
> Systemd configuration files are, real configuration files. Plain-text, 
> no XML (this point is important for me), no script (this one too). Just 
> some key-value associations.

I find shell scripts the most efficient way to automate system adin
tasks. It could be because I am a programmer, but at least init scripts
are already provided, and small modifications should not be a problem
even for non-programmers. For new scripts you have 'skeleton' file that
can be easily adjusted for a particular work.

> _ systemd configuration files can be shared between distributions more 
> easily than sysvinit scripts. Thus, it is "more portable" across linux 
> distributions. The work being centralized, it makes the package's 
> maintainers needed to do less work.

There is nothing more standard/portable in Unix-like systems then POSIX

> Another advantage it have, is that it is able to parallelize the start 
> of daemons, and to only start daemons when they are first used. It is 
> not an important feature on a server, but for desktops or laptops which 
> are computers you can start lot of times in a day, it can save time. On 
> that particular point, my opinion is that it is not the good solution: 
> the good solution is to only start daemons you really need.

I do not see 'start daemons when they are first used' is quite an
important benefit and start in parallel is already supported by
sysvinit (startpar).
> Portability have a 
> cost, and it is often the lack of features or the need to reinvent the 
> wheel on some targets but not on all. WxWidgets knows the problem I am 
> talking about.

I'd say the problem is in the lack of real effort to solve programming
problems in an abstract way.

> And the last problem I can think about, is that it does things that are 
> not only system initialization. It means that, by itself, it might 
> become hard to maintain. I said might, because I never looked at 
> sysvinit source code (since it is old, it could bet not so clean, having 
> be maintained by lot of different people) not systemd's one (good 
> software designs can make things damn easy to maintain, even when they 
> do not do only one thing).
> and so, which would imply duplicate work. If Debian was a normal Linux 
> distribution, then portability would not have been a problem. 

I don't see why Debian is not a normal Linux distibution and how
is it related to portability

> There 
> would still be the lack of UNIX philosophy, but, be honest: any 
> distribution using Gnome, KDE or even XFCE as the default DE is already 
> damn far from the UNIX philosophy. I have nothing against that, do not 
> take me wrong, it is a choice. But using those DEs as defaults DE proves 
> that this philosophy is not so important.

I don't think UNIX philosophy is not so important. First of all, the
principle of all-might is by nature authoritarian. All-in-one
"solutions" are a characteristic of big companies that want to impress
their users, while not giving them enough real benefit. Systemd makes
system startup more complicated and you need to know not only shell
scripts but also systemd syntax. This will make many people unable to
solve their system startup problems and force them pay money to big
companies, which is in essence what big companies want. Debian should
not put interests of big companies above interests of its users.

> LXDE, on the other hand, would 
> be a better choice for a UNIX philosophy fan (better, not perfect, since 
> UNIX philosophy imply that softwares discuss between them by text only, 
> which can not really be easily done when you come to GUIs. I think that 
> raw UNIX philosophy is not adapted to modern graphical uses, but this is 
> a personal opinion which can be changed rather easily since I want to be 
> wrong).

I do not think UNIX philosophy is not wrong, I think users are
wrong. Users want false impression of power and that only makes them
dependent on the software that makes them such an illusion, similar to
effect of narcotics. Look what RMS says about companies want to
control their users with software. 

Reply to: