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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The boot process is only one asspect of this project. More important is the use of DBUS for system services. While other projects may have address the system startup time they have not addressed the need to get reliable status information. i.e. are you running? are you also responding? what state are you in? do you have any errors? etc. With deamons and applications alike having a standard DBUS interface standard ways of querying status of these applications will make them easier to administer instead of the init script status hack which is usualy useless as it relies on things like .pid's to determine if a program is running or not (a program can be running but not responding or could have been killed without cleaning up the .pid). The of the craziest error messages I have ever gotten from an init script is something like, "It looks like the process is already running. If it is not please delete the /var/run/ and try again". Fine if you are working on a computer by hand, not good if the computer must be automated and self sufficent because it is clear across the country and the client using it have no technical skills whatsoever (or no access to a login - think networked appliance). Wouldn't it be great to have a cron script that broadcast the dbus every hour for all the services to report in and if one doesn't report in it restarts it? Why should I have to write a hack for every single service I want to have this functionality in if with DBUS and system services I can just broadcast to the 5 deamons I need to keep an eye on?