Hugh Pickens writes:
Systemd has turned into the Godzilla of Linux controversies. "Everywhere you look it's stomping through blogs, rampaging through online discussion threads, and causing white-hot flames that resemble Godzilla's own breath of death," writes Jim Lynch. Now Sam Varghese reports at iTWire that although Linus Torvalds is well-known for his strong opinions, when it comes to systemd, Torvalds is neutral. "When it comes to systemd, you may expect me to have lots of colorful opinions, and I just don't," says Torvalds. "I don't personally mind systemd, and in fact my main desktop and laptop both run it."
Oh, there's been bitter fights before. Just think about the emacs vs vi wars. Or, closer to systemd, the whole "SysV init" vs "BSD init" differences certainly ended up being things that people had "heated discussions" about. Or think about the desktop comparisons.
I'm not really sure how different the systemd brawls are from those. It's technical, but admittedly the systemd developers have also been really good at alienating people on a purely personal level too. Not that that is anything particularly new under the sun _either_: the (very) bitter wars between the GPL and the BSD license camps during late-80s and early-90s were almost certainly more about the persons involved and how they pissed off people than necessarily deeply about other differences (which existed, obviously, but still).
Torvalds was asked if systemd didn't create a single point of failure which makes a system unbootable if it fails. "I think people are digging for excuses. I mean, if that is a reason to not use a piece of software, then you shouldn't use the kernel either."
Wow...I don't even know where to start. Nothing in anything you wrote makes a single solid argument for binary formats, especially ones that can get corrupt like the systemd logs, which apparently is NOTABUG:
You've described nothing that can't be done, and shouldn't be done with text formats. Windows has proved that failure of the approach for decades. It's just as easy to write user friendly frontends for text formats as binary. Insane. There's a reason the 'nix has avoided this for 40 years.
1. Yeah, because corruption can't happen on plaintext files.. the thing is you'd probably not even notice
2. Yes, I just described things that can't be realistically done with plaintext formats. It's been tried, it always results in headaches. Many of those headaches have been on my head. Yes, you're right, HYPOTHETICALLY it can (and there are very compelling arguments why it should) be done with plaintext. HYPOTHETICALLY the same is true of microkernels vs. monolithic kernels, you tell me how that one worked out. Things that work hypothetically don't always work out in practice.
3. No, Windows hasn't proved the failure of the approach. To say that is like to say that Windows has proved that terminals suck because Windows's terminal sucks, or that microprocessors are unreliable because Windows can crash. (And I am as much of a Microsoft hater as _gweg, I go out of my way to avoid anything MS and, where possible, try to make my stuff explicitly incompatible with it)
It's just as easy to write user friendly frontends for text formats as binary.
I wish. What this tells me about you is that you've never actually done such a thing, at least not to the extent of a proper industry-grade product. There are complex problems with it that you're unaware of as an armchair developer. I've seen them first hand, they're one of the things that made me fed up with KDE (which I otherwise mostly loved) and made me flee to other options.
Obviously I'm not saying there isn't a place for binary formats, with things like databases being the obvious example. Remember however this all started with my comment about binary log files. There's no possible way you're convincing me, or most anyone, that that's a good idea. There's no excuse for critical log files to be dependent on anything aside from a readable file system.
...and how about not assuming you know anything about me. I've been an "armchair" developer for a living since 1985.
at least not to the extent of a proper industry-grade product....<snip>...There are complex problems with it that you're unaware of as an armchair developer.
Just to clarify my previous post, for many years I've been the lead developer for a server based data center product currently running all over the world, which also has been in heavy use for years by data center assessment teams for IBM and HP, among others. It's that very sort of experience with the server side of things that makes me find systemd and everything about it totally revolting. It also makes it a little hard to accept condescending crap from some arrogant AC frankly.