Linked by jessesmith on Wed 5th Nov 2014 10:39 UTC
Linux Over the past year I've been reading a lot of opinions on the new init technology, systemd. Some people think systemd is wonderful, the bee's knees. Others claim that systemd is broken by design. Some see systemd as a unifying force, a way to unite the majority of the Linux distributions. Others see systemd as a growing blob that is slowly becoming an overly large portion of the operating system. One thing that has surprised me a little is just how much people care about systemd, whether their opinion of the technology is good or bad. People in favour faithfully (and sometimes falsely) make wonderful claims about what systemd is and what it can supposedly do. Opponents claim systemd will divide the Linux community and drive many technical users to other operating systems. There is a lot of hype and surprisingly few people presenting facts.
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RE: Complexity
by CapEnt on Wed 5th Nov 2014 20:47 UTC in reply to "Complexity"
CapEnt
Member since:
2005-12-18

That's the problem, the "traditional philosophy" stuff is being dropped on Linux.

Linux is here, trying to gain desktop market share for the last 20 years, and never went above 1%. Some people on distribution and desktop environment development are growing increasingly tired and frustrated by this. They want to try new, bold, strategies.

It's is clear that it is near impossible to build a desktop operating system that "just works" using traditional UNIX development philosophy. On desktop, strong coupling of kernel, underlying components and desktop environment is crucial.

Having a desktop made of disjointed pieces patched together by scripts and lots of manual configuration can by fun for a geek, but for the average user and corporate users, this is simple not a option.

I remember 15 years ago when my desktop was a heavily customized Window Maker setup, a hand compiled kernel tailored exactly for my PC, a customized init sequence, a really bugged ALSA manually configured for my 4.0 audio setup, and that i had to record DVDs using command line applications. Why i used such thing? Because back then i found this to be funny and desktop environments (KDE and GNOME) also was far more primitive, so a desktop environment did not had such importance.

But that's it, back that time, you could not even eject a cd from your drive without a command line. Your system could not even detect that you plugged a headphone on your laptop. Could not properly regulate power levels. Could not setup screen brightness. Getting a webcam to work was a epic journey to the guts of your system. In some distros, even getting two applications to use the sound board at same time could require manual intervention (do you remember artsD? esd? dmix? the oss vs alsa battle? The bugged alsa oss emulation layer?). Something as trivial as replacing a harddrive could become a unbelievable mess.

Now the Linux kernel and all userland are far more evolved. We are in a point that we have the man power, the technical foundations and the corporate backing to make a desktop that "just works".

So, the philosophical question here is: we want desktop Linux to be finally popular or we want it to be a eternal niche project?

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