[systemd-devel] I wonder… why systemd provokes this amount of polarity and resistance

"Jóhann B. Guðmundsson" johannbg at gmail.com
Sun Sep 21 15:15:32 PDT 2014

On 09/21/2014 01:31 PM, Martin Steigerwald wrote:
> in the light of the ongoing discussions on linux-kernel

Could you provide a link to that ongoing discussion that is taking place 
in the kernel community regarding systemd?

> Did you ever ask yourself why your project provokes that amount of resistance
> and polarity? Did you ever ask yourself whether this really is just resistance
> against anything new from people who just do not like "new" or whether it
> contains*valuable*  and*important*  feedback?

I'm not sure why you are under the assumption that we do not consider 
and have not and are not gathering feedback from individuals, 
communities or companies for that matter but I'm going to address your 
questions anyway.

Have we ever asked ourselves why our project provokes that amount of 
resistance and polarity?

The answer to that question is yes, yes we have and yes we will continue 
to do so since resistance and polarity provides with the valuable 
information amongst other things if the implementation is bad and 
alternative approach is better ( which often reveals itself at the same 
time those friction take place ).

Dont get me wrong we will not do so when those discussion involve 
nothing but personal attack on our community member(s) which more often 
than not happens to be Lennart, Lennart is and never has been the sole 
person behind this effort, he's part of ever growing community.

Nor when it involves us having to implement somekind of hack as opposed 
to have the problem properly fixed where it belongs ( which could be us 
or not ) or when those discussion criticizes that we have chosen to 
tightly integrate ourselves specifically to the linux kernel it's 
ecosystem and with glibc in mind just like bsd based distribution as 
well as solaris and other nixes are tightly integrating their components 
to their kernels but for some dumbfound reason people on the internet 
are under the assumption that they have the authority of refusing us the 
freedom of doing the same o_O and the answer to those individuals we 
dont care about their opinion on this matter.

Now alot of the resistance and polarity that is taking place like in the 
url you pointed at is hiding itself behind their misinterpretation of 
the so called "Unix philosophy" and claiming that we somehow fall short 
on the guidelines originates from few things Doug McIlroy,Rob Pike,Ken 
Thompson said sometime in the 70's or rather the "Unix philosophy" was 
implied not by what these individuals said but rather by what they did 
which more or less boils down to this..

1. Write simple parts connected by clean interfaces.
2. Clarity is better than cleverness.
3. Design programs to be connected to other programs.
4. Separate policy from mechanism; separate interfaces from engines.
5. Design for simplicity; add complexity only where you must.
6. Write a big program only when it is clear by demonstration that 
nothing else will do.
7. Rule of Transparency: Design for visibility to make inspection and 
debugging easier.
8. Robustness is the child of transparency and simplicity.
9. Fold knowledge into data so program logic can be stupid and robust.
10. In interface design, always do the least surprising thing.
11. When a program has nothing surprising to say, it should say nothing.
12. When you must fail, fail noisily and as soon as possible.
13. Programmer time is expensive; conserve it in preference to machine time.
14. Avoid hand-hacking; write programs to write programs when you can.
15. Prototype before polishing. Get it working before you optimize it.
16. Distrust all claims for “one true way”.
17. Design for the future, because it will be here sooner than you think.

Now after you have read these more of an guidelines than actual 
philosophy I would like to hear from you where you think systemd has and 
is falling short of them during it's development phase and lifetime so I 
can better understand why people seem to be claiming it's not following 
these guidelines?

That being said acceptance and approval are outweighing resistance and 
polarity in the Linux ecosystem as things currently stand ( otherwise we 
would not be so widely accepted and adopted ) because we are and 
continue to solve real problems through close collaboration with wide 
variety of upstream and distribution, In the long run freeing up 
contributors time while doings so through the consolidation that takes 
place while we are at it.

If you are wondering as well if we are against emerging alternative init 
system like the one you refereed to, the answer to that question is no 
we are not.

We welcome and embrace them and hope they evolve to the point they 
become competing solution so we can continue to evolve ourselves ( or 
advance beyond us and eventually replace us ) but being frank that wont 
happen anytime soon.

Systemd has been what ca 7 years in the making now with what 5 of those 
years being direct integration with wide variety of components and 
distribution so this is not a simple matter of writing an new init 
system, this is so much much more work which I dont think those new or 
existing init project and it's developers realize.

Now just a word of advice...

You should take it with a grain of salt what alot anti-systemd sites or 
individuals are saying on the interweb since more often than not those 
things are based on misinformation ( like most recently on post on 
linux.com "Red Hat is the inventor and primary booster of systemd," this 
is false ) and since the internet is expert in spreading ignorance and 
we can only fight back ignorance with enlightenment and we can only do 
so with people that are willing to listen, which unfortunately more 
often than not, these individuals will not.

With regards to anykind of anti systemd discussion taking place in wide 
varity of Debians community mailinglists if I was you, I would simply 
remind those individuals that an democratic voting has taken place 
within the community and not accepting the outcome of that voting and 
help in the process integrate systemd better into Debian ( which in turn 
will result in feedback either there to here or directly here ) is an 
utterly and total disrespect to it's community members and Debians 
democracy ( from my stand point ).

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.freedesktop.org/archives/systemd-devel/attachments/20140921/3fa3bf44/attachment.html>

More information about the systemd-devel mailing list