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On professionalism (my first and last post explicitly about systemd)

I have been trying my best not to comment on systemd one way or another for a while. For the most part because I don’t want to have a trollfest on my blog, because moderating it is something I hate and I’m sure would be needed. On the other hand it seems like people start to bring me in the conversation now from time to time.

What I would like to point out at this point is that both extreme sides of the vision are, in my opinion, behaving childishly and being totally unprofessional. Whether it is name-calling of the people or the software, death threats, insults, satirical websites, labelling of 300 people for a handful of them, etc.

I don’t think I have been as happy to have a job that allows me not to care about open source as much as I did before as in the past few weeks as things keep escalating and escalating. You guys are the worst. And again I refer to both supporters and detractors, devs of systemd, devs of eudev, Debian devs and Gentoo devs, and so on so forth.

And the reason why I say this is because you both want to bring this to extremes that I think are totally uncalled for. I don’t see the world in black and white and I think I said that before. Gray is nuanced and interesting, and needs skills to navigate, so I understand it’s easier to just take a stand and never revise your opinion, but the easy way is not what I care about.

Myself, I decided to migrate my non-server systems to systemd a few months ago. It works fine. I’ve considered migrating my servers, and I decided for the moment to wait. The reason is technical for the most part: I don’t think I trust the stability promises for the moment and I don’t reboot servers that often anyway.

There are good things to the systemd design. And I’m sure that very few people will really miss sysvinit as is. Most people, especially in Gentoo, have not been using sysvinit properly, but rather through OpenRC, which shares more spirit with systemd than sysv, either by coincidence or because they are just the right approach to things (declarativeness to begin with).

At the same time, I don’t like Lennart’s approach on this to begin with, and I don’t think it’s uncalled for to criticize the product based on the person in this case, as the two are tightly coupled. I don’t like moderating people away from a discussion, because it just ends up making the discussion even more confrontational on the next forum you stumble across them — this is why I never blacklisted Ciaran and friends from my blog even after a group of them started pasting my face on pictures of nazi soldiers from WW2. Yes I agree that Gentoo has a good chunk of toxic supporters, I wish we got rid of them a long while ago.

At the same time, if somebody were to try to categorize me the same way as the people who decided to fork udev without even thinking of what they were doing, I would want to point out that I was reproaching them from day one for their absolutely insane (and inane) starting announcement and first few commits. And I have not been using it ever, since for the moment they seem to have made good on the promise of not making it impossible to run udev without systemd.

I don’t agree with the complete direction right now, and especially with the one-size-fit-all approach (on either side!) that tries to reduce the “software biodiversity”. At the same time there are a few designs that would be difficult for me to attack given that they were ideas of mine as well, at some point. Such as the runtime binary approach to hardware IDs (that Greg disagreed with at the time and then was implemented by systemd/udev), or the usage of tmpfs ACLs to allow users at the console to access devices — which was essentially my original proposal to get rid of pam_console (that played with owners instead, making it messy when having more than one user at console), when consolekit and its groups-fiddling was introduced (groups can be used for setgid, not a good idea).

So why am I posting this? Mostly to tell everybody out there that if you plan on using me for either side point to be brought home, you can forget about it. I’ll probably get pissed off enough to try to prove the exact opposite, and then back again.

Neither of you is perfectly right. You both make mistakes. And you both are unprofessional. Try to grow up.

Edit: I mistyped eudev in the original article and it read euscan. Sorry Corentin, was thinking one thing and typing another.

Comments 18
  1. I really like your blog, but I think that you set the body text to a very small font. You should consider making it larger.

  2. Would be nice if you tell exactly who tried to involve you.To my knowledge nobody did from the eudev side and I think we spent countless time to explain that eudev exists mainly to:- learn about the device manager and see what’s so magic about it (nothing).- make sure our users aren’t left in the cold because the systemd-udev people just cared about the latest and greatest linux, glibc and gcc version.After the Fosdem show I was hoping we got rid of such “fans”.

  3. Justin, yes, fixed.Guilherme, agreed, I need to fix that. I plan on spending some time on it while traveling next month. I’m looking for a whole redesign with responsive design to fit better tablets since I also read the web more often on tablets than not myself.

  4. The worst offender is bonsaikitten in #gentoo. If systemd is mentioned, he instantly either makes fun of them, or talks shit about systemd for no reason.

  5. I have to say that as a ‘normal’ Gentoo user, the whole debate makes my sick.Rather than debating the merits of either system, and how the best bits of each can be used to improve both, thus benefitting everyone, every debate ends is shouting and trashing.How am I as a user supposed to know which to use?

  6. @Alexander Wright>How am I as a user supposed to know which to use?Through your own experiences, test things with an open (as possible) mind, give them a fair chance and play around with as much as possible and let yourself evaluate what is available for you to use/deploy. It worked for me with init systems just as it did 10 years ago when I was new to Linux and asking if I should use emacs or vim 😛

  7. @Hoodlum maybe because bonsaikitten is right about it?That being said, considering your pseudonym here… you should not be surprised.

  8. I completely agree, gray is nuanced and interesting.But isn’t that where it all went wrong? From what I understand, systemd was marketed as an extreme, or at least pushed in that way..Isn’t it the case that Gnome 3, a DE out of all possible application types, has a hard requirement on systemd (… Desktop environment requiring a specific init?Isn’t it the case that, outside of the distributions that want systemd (and that is probably the most of them), there are quite some that don’t see a chance to go on without it because of the requirement to run it from all sides?This, is black and white, this does not allow for gray. I think it’s that which made so many people so angry.I do believe, as you said, that systemd should be criticized, it’s always good for something to be criticized, I love it when I get criticizm on whatever I do, as it opens up for discussion.However, I heard systemd was getting blamed when Gnome made that requirement. Like, what? :PI personally have been enjoying the whole drama. Not because I enjoy drama, but it certainly beat the soaps on TV, and sometimes even a good drama movie. Most probably also because I don’t care. I have to thank Gentoo for that, as it allows me to be in the gray, and I’m running OpenRC and mdev (I don’t even want eudev). My laptop ran fine without any device manager, at all, the kernel does a great job without them. I don’t even use a DE, dwm is simple and suits my needs without any distractions. I don’t even have GTK or QT on the laptop, as long as Opera 12.16 is still there that is possible.Not being part of the drama and just enjoying it, with or without popcorn, is great!@Hoodlum @mirabilos: It was years ago that I decided never again to join #gentoo ..mainly because of Bonsaykitten being in control there and making a mess, so to say. But that is offtopic here.

  9. systemd was strongly sold as a floor wax _and_ a dessert topping, which annoyed a lot of people who wanted one of them but not the other.OTOH, linux is becoming an appliance, and systemd fits well into that model. Gentoo doesn’t, and perhaps that’s why Gentoo people got so ratty.Personally, as long as OpenRC keeps going, I’m good.Will

  10. BIG FAT NOTE: I DO NOT SHARE ANY OF YOUR DETRACTORS VIEWS. I WILL MERELY USE WHAT YOU’VE SAID HERE OR IN OTHER POSTS.So, the title of this post is *professionalism*? ReallyBIG FAT NOTE: I DO NOT SHARE ANY OF YOUR DETRACTORS VIEWS.I WILL MERELY USE WHAT YOU’VE SAID HERE AND IN OTHER POSTS.So, the title of this post is *professionalism*? Really? You’re not kiddingarround? Anybody who defends some serious stuff use always professionalism as an excuse for anything. The worst periods of history are full of examples.Don’t you know that various countries and their police/army collaborated withthe SS and brought before us *professionalism* as an excuse? Don’t you know thatany war criminal who is sent anywhere, e.g. Iraq, will also use *professionalism*?I mean there too many examples to just fire up *professionalism* as a validreason to not take a stance against or for systemd. Lenhart and his cabalsdo not care about professionalism shit since… since when? They used variousreasons as Troy Horse at first but they’re getting far too many distros on theirside to not care about any valid reasons to use systemd. (See, every major distrosout there use systemd as a default…)So, you’re saying to not take a stance and just be profesional? Doesn’t it remindyou something? Realy?I read in another post where you were saying that systemd has good positive sideaffects, like to not use shell scripts. No kidding, so to not use shell scriptsis really a positive side effect? I would have expected then, for someone likeyou to advance the argument of simplicity/efficiency using well written C code… But it’s not the case. You’re advocating systemd in place of that.It’s really too funny.? You’re not kidding arround? You’ve just bought in what those who treat you a nazi will use to attack you. D ont you know that various

  11. What? Last piece of sentence shouldn’t be there. There is a double sentence. What the hell…. I’ve just started writing here and then finished somewhere else and pasted contents on a selected text… Result: awfull. It’s still readable.

  12. I think that about nails it to the floor. If people could talk about things without resorting immediately to hyperbole… well, I’m not sure more would get done, but it’d be less annoying.Re: toxic supporters, I think Gentoo is still an example in Donnie’s “Assholes are Killing Your Project” slides. 🙁

  13. I personally prefer systemd. OpenRC is nice, but it is still ultimately just an elaborate initscript wrapper around SysV init and ultimately doesn’t fix all the problems initscripts and SyV have. The aim here is to completely get rid of SysV, not polish it. A polished turd is still a turd. That and OpenRC still doesn’t have half the nice features I like systemd for (It’s dependency-based concurrent service stuff is way ahead of OpenRC here.)That said, I do see where people are coming from that systemd is trying to take over everything from low-level interfacing with process/control group stuff to higher level things like logging and network control. That said, I think people overstate this, not realizing that most the stuff systemd has “taken over” is in the form of an optional feature of systemd that is usually not even enabled by default. I personally don’t mind, as I like to view systemd as a full system manager, not just a drop-in replacement for SysV Init.Lennart Poettering does get on my nerves, though. He doesn’t handle criticism well and I think he believes he should be the one-all-end-all decision-maker for what Linux userspace should work like. On he other hand, a LOT of his ideas are on the better side. Pulseaudio is pretty handy (Though I think it was, at first, deployed well before it was ready by a lot of distributions.), and I really do like how systemd works and how much FASTER it makes my boot.I’d like to see Gentoo go by systemd by default today (Gentoo’s systemd support is topnotch.). OpenRC, as it is, has done its job, but we need less abstraction of SysV and more alternatives to it.

  14. […] both extreme sides of the vision are, in my opinion, behaving childishly […] Whether it is […] labeling of 300 people for a handful of them […] You guys are the worst. And again I refer to both supporters and detractors, devs of systemd, devs of eudev, Debian devs and Gentoo devs, and so on so fort […]They are not behaving childishly, it’s just the “fight-or-flight” response triggered by extreme danger.To many, this topic is very important professionally and/or ethically. A single bad decision could irreversibly jeopardize a career or a lifetime of dedication. Bring them to their senses or ignore them, but don’t pity them – they’re just being human.

  15. You too can have your own bottom-half of the Internet. :-)I’m so happy I have someone to shield me from this particular bit of open-source nastiness.

  16. As much as I appreciate your views, this post provides nothing helpful.In Gentoo, due to political reasons (among other push/cooperation from consul member) and lack of understanding of implication, instead of creating two different profiles, and have systemd and openrc USE so that people can choose the base system, they now need to fight portage and package managers when due to dependencies the entire system tries to migrate to the dark side (either).So instead of having side-by-side configuration, people at both sides are enforced to deal with the other side.It is not too late to fix this, regardless what people want to use, they will benefit from adding determinism.Having wrote that, I truly believe that the effort of systemd is about control, a control of a single company of the entire eco-system of Linux. It started as personal agenda, but was leveraged to establish control by a cooperation, quite successfully for my surprise.eudev is the best project that evolved, one of the most justified forks. It enables us to not be tied to the ridiculous spaghetti programing pattern of the systemd guys (you mentioned professionalism?). I truly happy these guys stepped in and created alternative instead of keep fighting with $$$ control over solutions.OpenRC is not so far away from systemd, baselayout was there long ago and even now it has features that systemd “by design” do not wish. With decent effort OpenRC can run systemd units, without the need of the monolithic tightly coupled windows like components, nor need for uselessd and alike. Especially when soon kernel will enable to manage cgroup using single process.So I am unsure what you tried to argue in this post… but if I choose to use non systemd solution, I would like nothing of systemd to exist on my system, nor to worry that at the next emerge –update @world my system will be re-installed completely.BTW: today I had free time (after several times my battery went empty while working), and wrote the missing bit remained by loosing upower to systemd, a new primitive battery monitor that relays solely on sysfs[1] :)[1]

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