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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No, I don't hate new ideas
by ACK!! on Thu 2nd Oct 2003 03:21 UTC

I don't even think it is bad concept to re-invent the wheel if the wheel was square to begin with.

But, It was not square and the init system works.

For a Desktop or some Server uses it just works too slowly.

What it does not have a seperate API/Network protocol with fancy whistles and bells?!? It must suck.

I understand the natural superiority of phython since that is the hot new language of the second. Don't get me started. Every other year there is a new scripting language that everyone just has to learn ... blah.. blah.

Still, shell scripts work everywhere.

Does the init system need cleaning up and tightening? Yes.

Do you need to re-invent it poorly through yet another scripting language? No.

By God, the boot process would be five times faster if the following happens:

1. Hardware recognition tools probed quicker

2. Distros would turn off unnecessary services (No, I am not running lvm why does that crap have to start by default on Suse).

3. Network probing and networked services starts were handled in a more intelligent manner. The services ideally would be clustered in one init script and if the network is not there then nothing else net-related would start and the process would just speed right along.

Want more information from an init script on the status?

Add more stuff to the shell script. It is a shell script for goodness sakes. Everyone busts on that fact that it is some high sin. However, you can do some incredible things very simply in a shell script.

I went through this with perl for awhile too. Everyone would say to me "Why are you doing it in a shell script? Write in perl."

I would say, "Because it is a 12 line shell script and I don't want to turn it into a 48 line perl script."

Now it is all about Python. Fine.

The main problem is not init. There are three real problems.

1. How the services are clustered and init does honestly need a re-write to allow clustering daemon initialization by dependent type like I mentioned for network stuff above.

2. Still, even worse is that application writers need to spend a half second thinking about how their program will be initialized and the code around its daemon mode for more flexibility like Seth is talking about.

3. But, finally there are the distros and the packagers. Most init scripts are cookie start|stop|restart things with only a few having a status option. Come on people get into the script and allow for a larger set of initscript options.

I just think Mr. Nickell is taking the hot new language of the moment and creating a hack/crack new level of complexity because init will still exist and then there will be the Dbus stuff and then the default gdm pre-session stuff starts and if you use Gnome there are the session apps and you get the picture.

I think there needs to be a process to for launching process at every step of every process. That is the ticket.