Linked by Eugenia Loli on Wed 1st Oct 2003 23:09 UTC
General Development OSNews was the first news magazine to break the story on Gnome's Seth Nickell effort to replace the Init system. Soon, it became confusing to many readers as to if Seth is planning to completely replace the Init system or simply "bridge" it. We had a chat with Seth and discussed about his plans on the project (which is a personal project so far) and for Storage, an exciting project which aims to replace the traditional filesystem with a new database-based document store.
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by Rayiner Hashem on Thu 2nd Oct 2003 00:30 UTC

Some level of runlevels or profiles support is absolutely required. A lot of computers are multi-role machines. My laptop, for example, runs ssh/nfs/etc services when I'm tethered to my desk, but I don't want to bother with those when I'm on the go. Also, I have two network interfaces, a wired and a wireless one. When I'm running around, I don't want my bootscript to try to start the wired network, because I'll just get a 30-second delay whiles it flails about trying to connect to a DHCP server. Similarly, when I'm out of range of a wireless hub, I don't want my machine to start up the wireless interface, spending inordinate amounts of time scanning for a wlan.

A couple of comments overall:

1) Using C for this is a bad idea. RedHat has the right idea with using something like Python for non-performance critical services. There are no computational bottlenecks in the init system --- its entirely a matter for spending 0.001 seconds to start some C program, and then waiting a second while it does its initialization.

2) I'm really sick of people equating age with low-quality. The existing init system was fine for what it did. Now, the requirements placed on UNIX have changed, to a set of requirements where the current init system is no longer suitable. Replacing it with a new system, more suitable for desktop use, is a fine idea. But code doesn't rot, and the age of the init mechanism has nothing to do with how it performs.

3) Other than these things, I think this is necessary. Some sort of unified method is required for selecting profiles (for laptop usage and whatnot) and the current init system doesn't handle this well. Startup speed is also pokey compared to WinXP, so this should be a nice boost.