Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 11th May 2013 21:41 UTC
Windows "Windows is indeed slower than other operating systems in many scenarios, and the gap is worsening." That's one way to start an insider explanation of why Windows' performance isn't up to snuff. Written by someone who actually contributes code to the Windows NT kernel, the comment on Hacker News, later deleted but reposted with permission on Marc Bevand's blog, paints a very dreary picture of the state of Windows development. The root issue? Think of how Linux is developed, and you'll know the answer.
Thread beginning with comment 561380
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE[3]: Too funny
by Lunitik on Mon 13th May 2013 09:39 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Too funny"
Lunitik
Member since:
2005-08-07

See, this is what I *don't* like about systemd; it does too much. We already have cron and at for scheduling, we have udev for hotplugging and there are already many good solutions for managing logging.


There is no more udev, it is part of systemd - which is a good thing because the system management daemon should be managing the system. Why is it good to have at and cron around, as well as xinetd when all they're doing is managing services. The problem is that these are each using different methods, and are utterly incompatible so we are increasing the learning curve for no benefit at all.

Sure, systemd has a learning curve at first, but as you get used to it it just makes sense.

Personally I much prefer the Upstart approach of focusing on a small set of problems that need solving.


Upstart is crap, there is no real benefit to it over sysv at all. The main problem is it is still basically using scripting for everything, so there are still something like 3000 fs calls when bringing up the system. This, when compared to the about 700 of systemd, is simply too much - systemd needs to come down somemore too, but this includes everything up to a gnome desktop, when gnome-session starts to use systemd user sessions, this will come down drastically.

As others have said, fs access on linux is not great, so the less times we are accessing the disk, the better, and the faster the system will come up.

Honestly, I still don't even understand upstart, its language is just broken. I keep trying to look into it, but the more I do, the less I like it. Systemd uses the file system in a logical way for booting the system, and gives us more access in the /sys dir to many of the features of the system. Upstart gets us nowhere because fundamentally it is only a redesign of the init, it is not something substantially new.

You seem to think this is a good thing, but systemd simply results in a cleaner and easier to understand system. By removing many things like at and cron and syslog and logrotate and all these programs that do not communicate with each other, we end up with a more integrated base system. For me, this is a good thing, it is a miracle all these projects have managed to coexist for so long at all.

By moving all these into one project (with many binaries for each thing, because modularity is important for parallel booting) we now get a consistent API for all events on the system, whether hardware or software crashes or whatever, it all becomes predictable. Everything is handled in the same way system wide, and there are no more obscure config settings to learn depending on exactly what you're trying to achieve. This is a huge benefit to Linux, others moved to similar approaches a long time ago.

Couple this with the fact upstart has a CLA, and systemd becomes the only intelligent choice. Canonical does not have the Open Source communities best interests at heart, so their projects will not be touched by anyone outside Canonical. You essentially fall into the same trap as any proprietary company, you become utterly dependent on a single company for all issues that might arise.

Canonical will be replacing udev in UnityNext, and haven't been upgrading it in their repo's for a couple releases now. They are discussing replacements for NetworkManager, they want their own telepathy stack. They will be competing head on with not just Red Hat, but people like Intel and IBM, all these companies that are heavily invested in Free Software. Canonical are fooling themselves if they think they can compete by doing everything themselves. They simply lack the competency.

To date, the only things Ubuntu have actually done themselves is a Compiz plugin that was quite broken for most people, an init system whose initial developer left, and a few bloated APT frontends. Below this, they utterly depended on Novell and Red Hat for everything. Now they want to replace all this, they want to control everything themselves, everything good about Open Source simply is lost on Canonical.

For some reason, they are praised because everything "just works", but it works because of work done by others. It honestly makes me sad that the praise is so misplaced. In fact, Ubuntu are mostly reponsible for making things not work, for breaking others work because they don't actually understand the software they are shipping. To this day, Lennart gets a bad rap because Ubuntu devs didn't understand pulseaudio and so shipped a broken config.

Of course, Ubuntu is heavily used, so a broken config in their shipped release gave people a bad opinion of pulseaudio. Another example is the binary drivers constantly breaking on upgrades, it makes Linux look bad because users aren't really made aware of the issues before something breaks. Canonical just makes horrible decisions throughout the stack and this harms Open Source development because people just accept proprietary poorly maintained software instead of pressuring these companies to play nicer with Open Source.

This is my real problem with Ubuntu, they simply don't care about Free Software, they do not care about Open Source, they just want to benefit from it. They think they are being slandered in upstream projects because their code is rejected, but the code is rejected because it is bad code. Now they want to rewrite everything, they want the entire stack to simply comply with their tests, they cripple developers, they make it ok for poor code provided it meets the testing requirements. Open Source is innovative because of its dynamic nature, Canonical are ridding themselves of this benefit.

Edited 2013-05-13 09:57 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: Too funny
by Soulbender on Mon 13th May 2013 10:01 in reply to "RE[3]: Too funny"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

There is no more udev, it is part of systemd


Wow, how horrible. I'm guessing it's not only Ubuntu that will look at alternatives to systemd and udev then. Not everyone is happy about being at the mercy of RH and Lennart.

By removing many things like at and cron and syslog and logrotate and all these programs that do not communicate with each other


These programs have no need to communicate with eachother. at/cron performs completely different functions from syslog and logrotate. Putting all these disparate functions into the same daemon is pointless and doesn't solve any real-world problem.

Upstart is crap, there is no real benefit to it over sysv at all.


It's pretty obvious that you never worked with upstart. It solves all of the problems with sysv (PID files, backgrounding daemons, no automatic restarts etc) and it does so without completely taking over your system.
You know, like the old Unix philosophy: do one thing and do it well.

The main problem is it is still basically using scripting for everything


Uh, no it doesn't. It CAN use scripting if needed but most upstart config files are just configuration statements and one exec statement for the binary.

Honestly, I still don't even understand upstart, its language is just broken


I don't see what's so hard about it. it's a simple config file format. Here, i'll show you a very simple Upstart config for an imaginary service:

description "myservice"
start on runlevel [2345]
stop on runlevel [016]
respawn
console log
exec /usr/bin/myservice_executable

Canonical does not have the Open Source communities best interests at heart


Right, because Redhat, IBM, Novell etc has the community's best at heart...

By removing many things like at and cron and syslog and logrotate and all these programs that do not communicate with each other, we end up with a more integrated base system. For me, this is a good thing, it is a miracle all these projects have managed to coexist for so long at all.


Considering that they all do different things and at no point need to communicate with eachother it's really no miracle at all.

Canonical are fooling themselves if they think they can compete by doing everything themselves. They simply lack the competency.


Well, I for one welcomes competition and diversity.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[5]: Too funny
by hussam on Mon 13th May 2013 11:32 in reply to "RE[4]: Too funny"
hussam Member since:
2006-08-17

"There is no more udev, it is part of systemd


Wow, how horrible. I'm guessing it's not only Ubuntu that will look at alternatives to systemd and udev then. Not everyone is happy about being at the mercy of RH and Lennart.
"
the main reason why distributions are adopting systemd is it means they don't have to develop their own initscripts

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[5]: Too funny
by Lunitik on Mon 13th May 2013 14:12 in reply to "RE[4]: Too funny"
Lunitik Member since:
2005-08-07

Wow, how horrible. I'm guessing it's not only Ubuntu that will look at alternatives to systemd and udev then. Not everyone is happy about being at the mercy of RH and Lennart.


Most contributers to systemd are from outside Red Hat.

Udev was already a Red Hat project.

Basically every distro that matters except Ubuntu is likely to move to systemd. Debian are looking at it quite heavily, and the only competent developer at Canical is even a heavy contributor to systemd so perhaps they will finally switch too at some stage.

What is clear is that systemd is the way forward, whether you like it or not. I think if you actually use it, you will see why people like me find arguments against it to be absurd.

These programs have no need to communicate with eachother. at/cron performs completely different functions from syslog and logrotate. Putting all these disparate functions into the same daemon is pointless and doesn't solve any real-world problem.


You don't think that it is absurd to have 4 binaries essentially doing the same thing in different ways, rather than a single uniform method? It is just duplication of effort, and what is hilarious is each is about the size of systemd. There is no necessity when a single binary can accomplish the task each is trying to fulfil in a cleaner way.

It's pretty obvious that you never worked with upstart. It solves all of the problems with sysv (PID files, backgrounding daemons, no automatic restarts etc) and it does so without completely taking over your system.
You know, like the old Unix philosophy: do one thing and do it well.


Its "PID files" is not nearly as good as cgroups. All daemons are backgrounded, that is sorta the point. Have you actually worked with upstart though? It seems to me you haven't, you just know that your Ubuntu desktop uses it and seems to do fine. Try to configure one of its event files, you will understand why people dislike it.

Systemd does do one thing, and it does to it will. It manages services, but it is no longer just a replacement for init. I don't think you are grasping the fact that systemd does not only consist of one binary. There are a few to do different things, and these are actually more Unix like than the prior alternatives. Things like hostnamectl or datetimectl are tiny binaries that do exactly what you think they do.

The fact that you want to limit that one thing to just bringing up the userland is where we will not agree. A modern system is more dynamic than this, the central process on the system should be dynamic too. Upstart tried to address this, but its fundamental design is stupid. Instead of focusing on the end result, it just runs every daemon that could depend on something lower down. Want to start NetworkManager? Cool, you're going to get bluez and avahi and whatever else could possibly use dbus that is installed because NetworkManager brought that up. This is broken and simply retarded.

Uh, no it doesn't. It CAN use scripting if needed but most upstart config files are just configuration statements and one exec statement for the binary.


Try looking at the actual event files, those hooks work with the event file which is still just a series of scripts. Browse around /etc/events.d or whatever, you will notice they are scripts doing the same sorts of things as old init files. The fact this is abstracted to a simple config format is besides the point.

Right, because Redhat, IBM, Novell etc has the community's best at heart...


Yes, they do, because without a strong community, these companies understand they would limit their capabilities. The whole point of Intel and IBM investment is that they don't want a single software vender to control their destiny. They each understand the benefit of Open Source deeply, they each understand they need each other, that their future depends on collaboration.

Canonical seem to think quite the opposite, that just throwing code over a wall is fine, that community is irrelevant. This is not how Open Source projects succeed, you need a strong community around the software, innovation comes by many contributors pulling the code in their own directions. Canonical seem to have gone out of their way to ensure developers are not interested in contributing, thus making it safe to throw the code over the wall.

Couple this with the inclusions of things like the Amazon scope, and you see that Canonical are only interested in money. Red Hat must make money, they are a publicly traded company, but they are adamant about Free Software at the same time. This is why people trust them, as much as Canonical is harping on about being the leading guest in the cloud, those clouds are running Red Hat as the host OS for a reason.

People use Ubuntu because it is free, companies use Red Hat because they are competent.

Considering that they all do different things and at no point need to communicate with eachother it's really no miracle at all.


They don't though, they all manage services. If you don't think logrotate should communicate with rsyslog, if you don't think rsyslog needs to communicate with each daemon to ensure correct information, you are fooling yourself. We have tried to standardize these things so they can better talk to each other, but it has just been a failure. If you had any real experience maintaining a Linux network, you would understand the frustration of the unpredictability of logs - everything seems to decide arbitrarily what method they will use to log things. This all goes away with the journal, it supports all these methods and keeps them sane, then offers a new API which is far cleaner and better defined. All of this with the intent of at least offering something as good as Solaris and Apple have had for over a decade. Instead we are basically in the same situation we were in the 80's on many Linux distros.

Well, I for one welcomes competition and diversity.


There are not enough developers in the Open Source ecosystem to justify such lack of teamwork. The app story on Linux is bad enough, but now Canonical are defining their own developer environment.

Personally, I am glad everyone else is just moving their apps to the web, the native Linux story for client stuff is embarrassing. Please do not bring up how Canonical are standardizing on Qt/QML either, while KDE/RIM/Sailfish are technically each using this technology, the very nature of QML is causing a lot of problems. Each developer environment will be fundamentally different, API's will not translate. It is not standardization, it is even more proliferation.

Qt is another project that uses a CLA, so that is not an option for a company that cares about Free Software, about user advocacy. Perhaps it would be better to drop GTK and have the big guns all move to EFL(Intel and Samsung are both heavily invested there), at least it seems to be gaining momentum with a clean stack. Then we have to rewrite a lot of apps all over again though. It is really quite sad what is happening today in Linux clients.

There are a lot of Linux developers, but those are all working on web platforms, cloud platforms, everyone can clearly see the client platform outside of Android is a joke and it is getting far worse. I blame Canonical for this, they gave people permission to fork Gnome Shell by creating Unity - the most ironic name ever for a software project. If they hadn't done this, Cinnamon and the other forks wouldn't have happened, there would be less proliferation. Instead everything is a mess, and it is getting worse.

Edited 2013-05-13 14:27 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2