1. 4

    Hahahaha, you need to use a command line utility to generate json to tell your init system how to mount your home directory? This is insanity and I’m glad I’m not using a SystemD/Linux distribution.

    1. 25

      No, you don’t tell your init system how to mount your home directory. You tell systemd-homed, a separate daemon, how to mount your home directory. PID 1 isn’t involved.

      1. 3

        whew. I actually thought this was going to be merged into the main systemd codebase and would run as PID1 :D

        1. 7

          IIRC SystemD is a fleet of processes to avoid growing the amount of risky stuff in PID1.

          1. 5

            A monolith divided into too many processes is still a monolith.

            Schrodinger’s systemd: systemd is both just a better init replacement and the infrastructure of an entirely new OS, as is required in any given context to avoid criticism.

            1. 4

              Don’t get me wrong: there’s good reasons to criticise systemd.

              However, the people who volunteer their time to maintain distros have largely decided it solves problems they have.

              It’s definitely not ‘just a better init replacement’. It’s huge. However, there’s quite a few things that get criticised which are perfectly sensible.

              For instance:

              • Using JSON, a serialization format with multiple mature parsers, instead of inventing one.
              • Using multiple processes to reduce the surface area of PID 1 (no, it’s not perfect. Yes, it is better than jamming stuff into PID1).
            2. 6

              Whoa, don’t go spoiling the systemd hate with facts! If it’s not exactly the same as 4.2BSD on my VAX 11/750 then it must be un-unixy.

              1. 6

                Last time I checked /bin/systemd was about 2.5M, which still seems pretty large to me. More importantly, splitting systemd in separate processes is mostly an unimportant implementation detail; a lot of depends on each other and isn’t crash-resistent at all. Even restarting dbus will completely crash systemd, which is “fun” when your dbus no longer works correctly for some non-systemd related service and you think systemctl dbus restart is safe. It’s not and will crash your logind resulting in an irrecoverably broken system requiring a reboot 😐

                So, if we want to be flippant about it, then “ackchyually it’s not PID 1” is just an easy way to deflect criticism without actually having to engage in what the other person said.

                1. 4

                  Even restarting dbus will completely crash systemd, which is “fun” when your dbus no longer works correctly for some non-systemd related service and you think systemctl dbus restart is safe. It’s not and will crash your logind resulting in an irrecoverably broken system requiring a reboot 😐

                  I ran systemctl restart dbus on my machine for fun. systemd exists gracefully and kills all processes. Looking at the journal vim and spotify segfaulted (coredumpd picked them both up). Back at tty and able to log back into the system. The only process that really didn’t like this was NetworkManager which didn’t start after the login.

                  I’m not too confident any of this hold true unless this is an experience from years ago and the situation has improved.

                  1. 5

                    I don’t have access to a systemd system right now, but this was last year on my Arch Linux machine. It might depend on your configuration/version and whatnot, but a quick internet search reveals I’m hardly the first person with this issue (e.g., many more). One of the downsides of systemd is that it works fairly well when it works, but is really complex and hard to debug when it doesn’t.

                    Having all your programs crash is also not exactly great behaviour IMHO, but better than forcing a reboot.

                    1. 2

                      It might depend on your configuration/version and whatnot, but a quick internet search reveals I’m hardly the first person with this issue (e.g., many more).

                      People writing “It crashes” on stack overflow with no logs tells me they have the same behavior as I’m experiencing. Logs would prove otherwise, but I doubt that is the case.

                      Having all your programs crash is also not exactly great behaviour IMHO, but better than forcing a reboot.

                      Just two out of a lot. I assume enabling lingering would leave more of them untouched, but probably in a broken state when dbus is restarted.

                      1. 2

                        First search result: https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=1623651

                        I thought there was some GitHub issue for it too, but can’t find that right now. Either way, it still crashed for me last year, so…

                        Just two out of a lot.

                        Wait, you said that “systemd exists gracefully and kills all processes”?

                        1. 2

                          First search result: https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=1623651 I thought there was some GitHub issue for it too, but can’t find that right now. Either way, it still crashed for me last year, so…

                          Nice bug, but systemd is still not crashing. Restarting dbus is going to be wonkey and there will be bugs as there is no nice way of handling this.

                          Wait, you said that “systemd exists gracefully and kills all processes”?

                          Yes. Killing processes does in no way imply they crash. Sending SIGKILL should be handled by the process, after all.

                          1. 4

                            Oh c’mon, this is being pedantic to the point that it’s difficult to take in good faith. If restarting a system daemon stops all your processes then it’s a crash for all intents and purposes. Replying with “yeah but it doesn’t segfault” just comes off as trying to “win” an argument.

                            And this is why people get so frustrated and angry with systemd, because far too often they’re being told it’s “not a problem”. Well, having all my apps being stopped is a problem, segfault or not. I still had all my apps stopped and potentially lost my work. It’s also not something that seems to happen with other init systems, so for all intents and purposes this is a systemd problem.

                            1. 2

                              Oh c’mon, this is being pedantic to the point that it’s difficult to take in good faith.If restarting a system daemon stops all your processes then it’s a crash for all intents and purposes.

                              I think it’s more of what you expect when you claim “systemd crashes when you restart dbus”. I’m genuinely expecting poor handling, but all I see is systemd doing what it’s suppose to be doing. systemd killing your processes when you log out is expected behavior unless you enable lingering after all.

                              Replying with “yeah but it doesn’t segfault” just comes off as trying to “win” an argument.

                              Well yes. You are claiming restarting dbus results in a “irrecoverably broken system requiring a reboot”. But I have yet to see anything like that.

                              It’s also not something that seems to happen with other init systems, so for all intents and purposes this is a systemd problem.

                              You’d see this behavior with any software that depends on a central message bus. dbus handover was never proper even before the systemd merge, and It’s hard to see how this would change. The issue you linked above also echos notes the limitations you have when restarting debus.

                              1. 2

                                systemd killing your processes when you log out is not normal or expected behaviour and when it was introduced there was a lot of criticism of systemd. tmux shouldn’t need systemd-specific code to say ‘hey dont kill me when he logs out’.

                                Well yes. You are claiming restarting dbus results in a “irrecoverably broken system requiring a reboot”. But I have yet to see anything like that.

                                Because that was his experience.

                                You’d see this behavior with any software that depends on a central message bus.

                                Restarting dbus shouldn’t kill any processes, even those that use dbus. It’s a message bus. Restarting it should just queue up messages.

                                1. 2

                                  systemd killing your processes when you log out is not normal or expected behaviour and when it was introduced there was a lot of criticism of systemd. tmux shouldn’t need systemd-specific code to say ‘hey dont kill me when he logs out’.

                                  Feel free to disagree about expected functionality and what you personally think is correct behavior. It’s documented and there are options to turn off these features.

                                  Because that was his experience.

                                  Yes, and he is free to share his experience. But the claim is that systemd “isn’t crash-resistent at all” and that it “will crash your logind resulting in an irrecoverably broken system requiring a reboot”, which is what I’m unable to replicate. I have a hard time believing this is true unless there is more to the issue.

                                  Restarting dbus shouldn’t kill any processes, even those that use dbus. It’s a message bus. Restarting it should just queue up messages.

                                  I’m confused. The previous linked bugreport is an issue because there is a timeout on the socket connection. How would you queue up the messages if the dbus socket is not accepting them regardless?

                                  1. 1

                                    Feel free to disagree about expected functionality and what you personally think is correct behavior. It’s documented and there are options to turn off these features.

                                    I know what is correct behaviour because it’s been correct behaviour for decades. systemd is, as usual, wrong and broken.

                                    It shouldn’t need to be turned off. It should need to be turned on. Breaking loads of programs and forcing them to write systemd-specific code because of the personal preferences of one systemd developer is complete madness.

                                    I have a hard time believing this is true unless there is more to the issue.

                                    There are thousands of cases of serious bugs in systemd, why are you surprised by this one?

                                    I’m confused. The previous linked bugreport is an issue because there is a timeout on the socket connection. How would you queue up the messages if the dbus socket is not accepting them regardless?

                                    By designing dbus differently in the first place. Obviously if dbus is down you should queue up messages to be sent when it comes back up.

                    2. 3

                      I ran systemctl restart dbus on my machine for fun. systemd exists gracefully and kills all processes.

                      Killing all my processes because I want to restart dbus is not ‘graceful’ in my book.

            3. 4

              Doesn’t mean it won’t become mandatory to run after a short while, like pretty much every other “stop worrying, it will always be optional” feature.

              1. 5

                Sure, that may happen, and it might be a valid criticism. You could also criticize how, even though everything is in separate processes, there are so many interdependencies through nonstandard DBus APIs and whatever that the systemd is too monolithic. Or you may criticize them for reimplementing existing tools and pushing the new versions before the bugs have been ironed out. Or for deprecating C API calls and asking projects to instead use a DBus interface.

                My position is that systemd overall probably is a good thing, but if you’re going to criticize it, that criticism better be based in fact. There’s enough bad crititique of systemd out there already.

                1. 3

                  systemd is uniquely held immune from criticism. Any reasonable criticism of systemd has to be couched in a lot of meaningless phrasing so as to avoid being seen as being too negative. If you’re too negative about systemd (which is badly written and badly designed in every way I know that software can be badly written and badly designed, which is not an exaggeration) then you get downvoted as a ‘troll’ even if your criticisms are entirely valid.

            4. 1

              They have adressed this: this is generally an issue with the base CLIs not supporting JSON manipulation and generation and they didn’t want people to hand-write it. systemd is at a place where accidentally breaking the configuration file syntactically may make your system not boot.

              They still wanted to use a generally and widely supported format.

              1. 1

                There’s already a generally and widely supported format: /etc/passwd, which specifies where my home directory is perfectly well already.

                1. 2

                  That’s not the point. The OP was complaining that they ship JSON tooling, which is a reasonable second-order decision after deciding to use JSON as a format.

                  /etc/passwd is still a custom format, where even syntactical validation is not available as a standalone tool. I’ve spent a couple of years using and training puppet/chef and mistakes when generating/parsing /etc/passwd and similar files for providers is a very nice way to experience the bolted on mess that Unix is. Validating even just the correctness of such formats basically equates to “generate it, see if the system still works”.

                  1. 1

                    The complaint was about the use of JSON in the first place. The need to have code to deal with a format is obviously a necessary consequence of the poor decision to use the format in the first place.

                    The point is not the format of /etc/passed but that the world already has a mechanism for specifying home directory location. This entire mechanism is just yet another example of systemd reinventing the wheel because it has the social power to do basically anything it likes due to its monopoly on init across almost every distro.

                    This feature cream is what we warned would happen if systemd were adopted almost everywhere, but did anyone listen? Of course not.

                    1. 2

                      The point of homed is to fundamentally change the integration of home directories into the operating system (and thus make them easily to migrate without changes to the base system), so /etc/passwd is a bad mechanism for that.

                      That has been sufficiently addressed by the systemd team.

                      Who’s the “we” you are speaking of, by the way. systemd adoption indicates there’s a substantial “they”.

                      1. 1

                        That has been sufficiently addressed by the systemd team.

                        No, it has been stated outright by the systemd team. It hasn’t been justified properly at all. Nowhere have they addressed why it “needs” to be done this way, what the alternatives are, how it could be done in a less disruptive way, any issues with doing it other ways, or any of that, because they’ve realised over time they don’t NEED to justify their actions. They maintain software that is now tightly integrated into every major Linux distribution that they can do whatever they want and people just have to accept it unless they want to fork it and maintain the now-massive codebase that is systemd.

                        Who’s the “we” you are speaking of, by the way. systemd adoption indicates there’s a substantial “they”.

                        The thousands and thousands of people that pointed out the inevitable issues with systemd when it was being adopted by major Linux distributions as their init systems, but who were ignored and called ‘trolls spreading FUD’.

            1. 4

              The introduction of the term “open source software” was a deliberate effort to make this field of endeavor more understandable to newcomers and to business, which was viewed as necessary to its spread to a broader community of users. The problem with the main earlier label, “free software,” was not its political connotations, but that—to newcomers—its seeming focus on price is distracting. A term was needed that focuses on the key issue of source code and that does not immediately confuse those new to the concept. The first term that came along at the right time and fulfilled these requirements was rapidly adopted: open source.

              (emphasis mine) Wow. whether that is plain ignorance or a lie aimed to ignorant people, shame on them.

              1. 3

                Yes, this is a quite weird reason or explanation.

                Free in English means both libre and gratis (free as in „free speech“ and free as in „free beer“). And free software is both libre and gratis – where gratis is related to the license fee. I see nothing confusing here. It does not say, that you will get e.g. custom development, consulting or support for free. Just the license is free for anyone (compare it to proprietary software – this is huge difference).

                And what about the Open source? Let us read the Open Source Definition. It is the first criterion labeled „Free Redistribution“ which says:

                The license shall not restrict any party from selling or giving away the software as a component of an aggregate software distribution containing programs from several different sources. The license shall not require a royalty or other fee for such sale.

                1. 4

                  Free software can be charged for. Look at all the GPL WordPress plugins that cost money but you get the source.

                  1. 3

                    Or, of course, the support packages and hosted instances of apps like Discourse, Red Hat, and MariaDB.

                    1. 1

                      Free software can be charged for.

                      I should have added „once published“. Technically it is true, you can charge money for the distribution or for giving the software under the GPL license*. But once anybody gets this license from you, he can freely redistribute it. So usually you do not charge money for distribution or license but for services (consulting, support, custom development…). Theoretically you can ask money for license/distribution of an already published work, but there is low motivation to pay you and it is better to call it rather „support“ or sometimes „donation“ than a license fee.

                      *) e.g. I develop something and ask the first customer for the money – without paying he will not get anything (I am not obligated to publish or share my work) and after the payment, he will get free software licensed under GNU GPL.

                    2. 3

                      “Free Software” you have to explain once. “Open Source” you can never explain, as the current round of proprietary licenses that people are trying to call “open” shows. This wasn’t an improvement.

                    3. 5

                      I think you misread that, what she’s saying is that almost everyone who hears “Free Software” for the first time thinks it means “free” as in “no price”. She’s not claiming that this is what “Free Software” means, she’s saying that the term is confusing and ambiguous.

                      1. 5

                        Yes, that fell under the a lie aimed to ignorant people umbrella, which is what I think this is (in my honest opinion, that is. I know it may sound strong). Lie because someone not very familiar with the issue might be quick to internalize that simplistic explanation. The Free Software movement is and always was political and saying that “open source” isn’t just about businesses exploiting is a lie to make ourselves feel better. Again, I feel I have to make a disclaimer here that I’m not trying to flame.

                        1. 5

                          No problems with the flame framing, at least for me. However, what is your explanation then? What’s your view on what she describes as a problem? To my understanding, her take sounds realistic and reasonable.

                          1. 4

                            You mean my view on whether people mistake ‘free software’ for free as in beer? It’s a completely real problem, of course! But it’s not as much of a problem as “open source” is for free software. RMS on his essay Why Open Source misses the point of Free Software makes an argument on this which basically boils down to that “free software” stands for ethical responsibilities and freedoms. In my humble opinion RMS’s insistence on absolutely correct terminology hurt this effort back in those days.

                            Basically I think that sidelining or sometimes plain ignoring the commons in favor of terminology is bad. But as always these things are never black and white and you can find sense in both apparent sides of the argument. I don’t think people who regard “free software” is a bad term reject its ethics and I don’t think people who regard “open source” a bad term reject the complex issues behind software and politics. But sometimes the actual problem is that both are up for exploitation by profit seeking entities.

                            1. 3

                              The OSF regarded RMS as blockage and routed around him.

                          2. 2

                            I’m with arp242. It’s been true enough in my experience with ordinary people that I used open source to avoid it.

                            Another major problem is that many enterprise buyers believe that you get what you pay for in software. “Free Software” must be low quality. Also, many want to pay to justify the budgets for their personal fiefdoms. Those two effects mean a term like open source (or just avoiding “free”) increases paid, enterprise adoption.

                            1. 2

                              As I replied in another comment subtree, I completely agree with you, it’s just that I believe this derails the conversation about “free software” since we talk less about proprietary software making our life more difficult and more about terminology. It’s completely understandable that different people have different things in mind when talking about this!

                              1. 1

                                Again who cares what they think. If they choose to pay for inferior software that gives them less freedom they’re ironically free to do so.

                                We don’t say vim is bad because it’s hard to use for brand new users because we recognise that its benefits way way exceed its first time use costs.

                                In the same vein, we shouldn’t decide what word we use based on how people understand it on first impression when it the trade off is a word that colours the discourse we read it in the subsequent tens or hundreds of thousands of times we read it.

                                1. 1

                                  People that want to increase adoption by enterprises along with odds they’ll contribute code or money to open-source projects. Some people who want to get paid working of OSS, too.

                                  1. 2

                                    I’d prefer less corporate influence on free software. I don’t think any real successful businesses are operated by people so stupid that they’d dismiss free software based on the fricking name anyway.

                            2. 1

                              Who cares what people think the first time they hear the term? I’ve heard and seen open source tens of thousands of times. The first time is a distant memory.

                            3. 2

                              I think the article accounts for this pretty well. Not in the introductory paragraph as quoted, but further on:

                              those new to the term “free software” assume it is referring to the price. Oldtimers must then launch into an explanation, usually given as follows: “We mean free as in freedom, not free as in beer.”

                              I see other comments in this lobste.rs thread that have felt it necessary to repeat the “free speech vs beer” distinction to make their point, even though presumably most of us are not newcomers. So I think we can agree that this limitation of English is real, and was probably even more of a problem in 1998.

                              Other comments have pointed out Open Source has other meanings that can make it harder to explain sometimes. It’s possible to accept that and also accept Christine’s explanation for why they went with Open Source at the time. The article also touches on this:

                              while a friend in marketing and public relations felt the term “open” had been overused and abused and believed we could do better. He was right in theory; however, I didn’t have a better idea

                            1. 5

                              Time to upgrade this benchmark of scheme implementations?

                              1. 2

                                Thanks for this. Even since I saw this [1] I have been looking into Lisp. I started looking and realize its a pretty big community with many dialects and implementations

                                1. https://fodor.org/blog/webassembly-hello-world
                                1. 8

                                  -Wpedantic: webassembly isn’t a lisp, it just uses s-expressions for describing its text format.

                                  1. 1

                                    To quote you 7 months ago: “unreadable langauges with too many parenthesis”, let me know how your search goes.

                                    1. 1

                                      Honestly I stand by that. Every example of Lisp I have ever seen, looks like this:

                                      (sunday 10
                                         (monday 11
                                            (tuesday 12)))
                                      

                                      Where the linked syntax looks like this:

                                      (sunday
                                         10 (monday
                                            11 (tuesday 12)
                                         )
                                      )
                                      

                                      Style matters. Its a small difference, but to me its markedly more readable.

                                  2. 1

                                    By the look of the raw numbers, guile has to be much more than an average of 2x speed up to be any where near chez.

                                    1. 2

                                      “Compared to 2.2, microbenchmark performance is around twice as good on the whole, though some individual benchmarks are up to 32 times as fast.”

                                      So depending on how “around” rounds off, it may be. :-)

                                    2. 1

                                      I was surprised to see that gambit overtook Chez. I honestly have no idea who uses it.

                                      1. 1

                                        That’s a combined statistics of gambit and gerbil. I use gerbil for small stuffs.

                                    1. 18

                                      This is a good source of buzzword bingo

                                      The ceaseless pursuit of force multipliers is the only possible route to superlinear productivity improvements as an organization grows.

                                      Scale organizational efforts across a portfolio of synergistic products.

                                      Keep responsibility assignment matrices small, sparse, and local.

                                      I don’t think the conclusions of the article are invalid, it’s just a bit jarring to see this sort of bizspeak on Lobste.rs.

                                      1. -2

                                        No it doesn’t.

                                        Use a better OS.

                                        1. 1

                                          Don’t you feel it is a bit arrogant to go telling people they should be using a different OS as if they’re not using something because it was their choice?

                                          I do use other systems as well, I just like that machine enough to want to devote time to make it work the way I want. I use Linux and macs daily as well, been back playing with NetBSD on my spare time too. I’m no alien to other operating systems.

                                          If you think a bit towards a more picture, you’ll see that if popular FOSS can be built for Windows on ARM, that people using that platform might start using FOSS and then their transition to a full FOSS experience with Linux or BSDs becomes easier because the apps they use are already available? Or that people who must use Windows for work we’ll be able to use the same apps on their home on their own Linux machines and at work on Windows? There is no disadvantage to having FOSS running on Windows, it is good for the users. The problem is that people expect to FOSS to simply materialize ready for windows, and thats why the post is called “Windows on ARM needs more support from developers” as in Windows-based developers need to start supporting FOSS, Microsoft needs to make an effort to make worthwhile to port stuff.

                                          1. 1

                                            While I do definitely think that the simple “Use a better OS” is not a valid position to take, and certainly not a valid way to state that position, I must say that I share robmyers’ frustration here.

                                            I currently have two ARM laptops that I use extensively for cross-architecture (mostly Rust) device driver development for LoRa radios and the like, both running Linux. Both have their share of issues, but the community has really stepped up to build drivers like Lima and Panfrost that cover the hardest parts of supporting these devices (the GPU) and many other components such as for SoM/SoCs with their own WiFi peripherals, open source modules for initializing LPDDR3, et cetera.

                                            The main reason there has to be so much community effort in this area is that Microsoft and Google, who are really two sides of the same coin in this area, have not put forward the same effort in standardization that we saw in the early days of what one might call the “modern” PC era, with the standardization of the ATX form factor and power supply and the relatively uniform ACPI interface which enables open software to run unmodified even on most x86 laptops these days.

                                            To be blunt, it’s hard to imagine that MS doesn’t view the inherent heterogeneity and closed nature of the ARM ecosystem as a significant market benefit which can enable them to push back on the slowly increasing market share of free desktops while simultaneously capitalizing on the inclusion of Linux VMs in their OS distribution.

                                            Now more than ever, it’s critical that Microsoft make it as hard as possible to run free desktops on the most attractive hardware, since that is one of the few remaining barriers to many developers in adopting free software full time (as evinced by the fact that MS felt the need to put an honest-to-goodness Linux kernel in their OS distribution!), and that is an existential risk for Microsoft’s core business of selling support for a crippled OS.

                                            I’m certainly not going to aid them in that attempt by porting my software unless we see a commensurate response in terms of opening up or pushing for open hardware specifications (note: not open hardware in the sense of OSHW, but rather open protocols that other software can build upon). I imagine that a lot of other developers feel the same way, though many of us don’t even really have to put in a lot of effort to do that, depending on our tech stack.

                                            In short, it’s clear that open source software is, as always, the primary enabler for any new ISA, since most apps will Just Work (TM) once recompiled, with a little foundational effort on the part of library and compiler developers, and users can recompile the software at will, whereas closed source software cannot be made compatible without intervention from its vendor, and that Microsoft is, as always, capitalizing on the hard work of OSS devs without giving anything at all back in terms of hardware enablement, which is the only place OSS is really suffering these days. This behaviour sucked in 2005 and it sucks now, and I’m fed up with it.

                                            1. 2

                                              I understand you and that frustration. I do see some movement in terms of MS getting way more friendlier towards Open Source. The creation of .Net foundation and transfering all of that ecosystem into it is a huge step for example. As for hardware, who knows what kind of IP protections go inside the legaleze between Microsoft and Qualcomm. We must remember that Microsoft didn’t built that thing alone and a ton of what makes the Surface Pro X unique and basically the first high powered machine on the Windows on ARM space is technology actually coming from Qualcomm with probably a gazilion restrictions.

                                              I’m certainly not going to aid them in that attempt by porting my software unless we see a commensurate response in terms of opening up or pushing for open hardware specifications

                                              It would certainly be good for them to push that forward.

                                              Still, I think it is worthy to port stuff not because it helps Microsoft. Microsoft doesn’t need help, it is doing just fine. Linux on Desktop is not a threat at all. Who needs help are of course the users. 80% of computing users (guessing the number from memory) are on Windows, these people deserve open source too, specially apps. No one should need to run a full open source stack from firmware blobs and upwards just to benefit from FOSS. It is OK to run FOSS apps and transition slowly and then, if you enjoy them maybe in the future transition to a full FOSS system. It is more about the apps than the system these days, and at the moment we can’t port the apps.

                                              1. 1

                                                We must remember that Microsoft didn’t built that thing alone

                                                Boohoo, poor Microsoft. As if they don’t have the lawyers and money to force Qualcomm to open up their interfaces, at least a little bit.

                                                and at the moment we can’t port the apps

                                                But this is precisely because Windows is built from a proprietary perspective using proprietary technologies on a proprietary stack. The problem you’re asking FOSS developers to solve is a problem that was caused by Microsoft being anti-FOSS, and that’s not really fair at all.

                                                80% of computing users (guessing the number from memory) are on Windows, these people deserve open source too, specially apps.

                                                That market share is contingent. It’s not some immutable law of the universe that Microsoft is going to win and free desktops are going to fail; that ratio is because Microsoft and Apple and Google and tons of software companies actively work against FOSS desktops while relying on the labor performed by the people who use and make them (see, e.g., WSL2, which is literally just Linux, and ChromeOS, which is Gentoo). If MS and all their software partners are going to directly work against free desktops, as they continue to do, I’m not going to put forward additional effort to make their job easier, and neither should anyone else.

                                                And, to be clear, this isn’t about “one should need to run a full open source stack from firmware blobs and upwards just to benefit from FOSS”. The point is that it’s actively immoral to ask people who do use a relatively free stack and derive significant value from doing so to do extra work to provide a competitive advantage to a company that actively works to make those peoples’ lives harder in a pretty concrete sense.

                                                1. 2

                                                  Nora,

                                                  Boohoo, poor Microsoft. As if they don’t have the lawyers and money to force Qualcomm to open up their interfaces, at least a little bit.

                                                  I never said it was not their fault or that it was beyond their reach. I just mentioned that there are more forces into play than just microsoft. Please there is no need for sarcasm, we’re engaging in a frank and honest manner here and I really appreciate all the time you’re spending engaging with me.

                                                  In the blog post, there are recommendations at the end. One of them is that Microsoft pay up FOSS maintainers to do it. I’m not asking for free labour, the whole point of the blog post is to raise awareness that without a development stack for that ISA, the ISA is dead, and that Microsoft needs to up their game if they want the ecosystem to catch up.

                                                  If MS and all their software partners are going to directly work against free desktops, as they continue to do, I’m not going to put forward additional effort to make their job easier, and neither should anyone else.

                                                  There is no one working against free desktop anymore. There is no shortage of good hardware to run free desktops. If some hardware is not supported due to their makers fault, then, there are other options for those wanting to run free desktops.

                                                  The point is that it’s actively immoral to ask people who do use a relatively free stack and derive significant value from doing so to do extra work to provide a competitive advantage to a company that actively works to make those peoples’ lives harder in a pretty concrete sense.

                                                  Be aware that in the post I don’t call FOSS developers to do anything. I recommend that Microsoft itself up their game and make the necessary moves to support FOSS developers including giving them funds, machines, and infrastructure.

                                                  The whole post is about Microsoft needing to take action to make the new ISA better. You might have just skimmed the post, this is very common with long blog posts, I’m not judging since I do the same. The post begins with me telling what I personally tried to do on my own time and how I failed due to my own lack of knowledge. Then, I outline the needs for the platform, and then, I say what Microsoft should do. In no moment I tell that FOSS maintainers should just embrace it. I do tell that Microsoft needs to empower and support FOSS communities. It is the other way around from what you’ve been talking, I’m trying to ask microsof to be a better citizen and put money and actions into FOSS community and development.

                                                  These are some quotes from the article itself:

                                                  “… This will only work out if Microsoft work to empower the communities building such languages.”

                                                  “… Offer sponsorships for porting …”

                                                  All the call to actions in the blog post are directed at Microsoft, there is no call there directed at FOSS communties.

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                                                    All the call to actions in the blog post are directed at Microsoft, there is no call there directed at FOSS communties.

                                                    I apologize, then - I misunderstood what you were saying, and in that context, I was clearly not responding in a productive way. I agree that MS should make it easier to develop for their OS on ARM, and I agree that this will benefit users as both proprietary and F/OS software is available to them.

                                                    However, I do think you, like a lot of people who use non-free desktops primarily, are missing something crucial.

                                                    There is no one working against free desktop anymore. There is no shortage of good hardware to run free desktops. If some hardware is not supported due to their makers fault, then, there are other options for those wanting to run free desktops.

                                                    This isn’t accurate, and to say otherwise is naive. A great example of this is the periodic cycle in which proprietary or even open-core software (most recently the video game Rocket League, but also including a lot of audio/video software, some older accounting software, and several products acquired by Dassault Systems and integrated into SolidWorks) is acquired by a large company with an existing relationship with Microsoft (usually, or sometimes Google), and that software is subsequently removed from the pool of compatible software for free desktops, often (as in the case of, e.g., Rocket League) more proactively than simply ending support. That is, they actively put effort into making it harder for people who use free desktops. The existence of this practice makes it really hard to trust Microsoft at all.

                                                    I do apologize for the uncharitable interpretation of your post. But I do not think that investing in the Microsoft platform, especially on ARM where there are few to no advantages that are not artificially created to capture market share, is an effective, or really morally defensible, position.

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                                          “Well I guess putting out that fire was a waste of effort given that the house hasn’t burned down.”

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                                            Change is good. We must replace SystemD with this.

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                                              That’s pretty weird considering ActivityPub exists already, it’s W3C spec, and there’s a huge federated ecosystem around with with services like Mastodon, Pleroma, Pixelfed, PerrTube, and Plume using it. Why is Twitter creating a new initiative here instead of federating with the existing one that’s already widely popular?

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                                                Why is Twitter creating a new initiative here instead of federating with the existing one that’s already widely popular?

                                                Because they want to control it, most likely. A lot of developers would flock at a federated twitter and ignore community-driven alternatives.

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                                                  I wouldn’t hold my breath on developers flocking to an API developed by Twitter over community driven alternatives given the abysmal track record Twitter has in that space.

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                                                  Like the other commenters said, the likely reason is that they want to make embrace the fediverse and indieweb stuff, then consume it all and gobble it up. Then they own it.

                                                  I just wonder if this move would be primarily driven with a desire to stiffle competition, or they simply see a new potential source of “growth”. Somehow I don’t think “we believe twitter should be decentralized” is a top reason for them.

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                                                    I have a hunch that even if they were to do that, they would be a (possibly intentionally) worse implementation than Mastodon.

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                                                      They have explained that their objective is to create a team that will focus on adopting an existing project that fits their own standards, or, in case none exists, create their own.

                                                      1. 2

                                                        And that’s pretty weird. They should federate with the existing standard.

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                                                          They’re not interested in actually creating a functional federated system; they’re interested in Investor Storytime and creating some buzz. That should have been obvious as soon as they mentioned the word “blockchain”.

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                                                            That would be ideal, but It won’t happen. Just an example: Twitter requires a ton of information just for ads that they cant get if start federatinng.

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                                                            I can pretty much guarantee that this is going to be the end result here.

                                                          3. 0

                                                            ActivityPub is missing critical features like e2e cryptography and censorship resistance. It is not a very good protocol. I hope Twitter builds something better.

                                                            1. 1

                                                              It’s perfectly possible to implement those things on top of ActivityPub. And I trust a community driven protocol with a proven federation around it far more than something built by Twitter.

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                                                            App stores are broken package managers.

                                                            1. 3

                                                              Even if we assume that this is true, there still isn’t a package manager in the shared Linux platform. If you want to be a part of the Linux conversation at all, you need to produce at least two: RPM and DEB. And if you want to get more than a mere plurality of Linux installers then you need several more (Pacman, Guix, Nix, Emerge…)

                                                              For someone that wants to distribute a package that works, this really sucks. I don’t like the Play Store’s lack of dependency management, either, but when I produce an APK, I appreciate knowing that I don’t need to produce anything else. The ideal package manager format is the same one everyone else uses.

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                                                                For someone that wants to distribute a package that works, this really sucks.

                                                                On the other hand, for someone who just wants to use an existing program and not have it break six months down the line, it’s fantastic.

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                                                                  I don’t understand what this has to do with having several widespread packaging formats. Having software that does “not break six months down the line” requires only that:

                                                                  • The package be OSS, or, at least, the distributor posess a copy of the source code and the legal right to do necessary integration patching.

                                                                  • The package be buildable without an internet connection, using only files that the distro has.

                                                                  • Any online services the package relies upon be available six months down the line, either because it’s not a networked application anyway, the organization behind its runtime dependencies is stable (the NTP Pool, the DNS Root, the various TLS CAs, detectportal.firefox.com), or because it relies on no mothership (BitTorrent, mDNS).

                                                                  I love the idea of distro-curated, 100%-OSS, repositories. In fact, I’d go farther and say that I like the way they’re implemented better than the app stores run by Google, Apple, and Microsoft. The fact that they are incompatible with each other, however, just seems like unnecessary friction.

                                                              2. 1

                                                                What do you mean?

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                                                                I’ve recently switched to Devuan for some of my systems, and the possibility of running something simpler and less pervasive than systemd would make me reconsider.

                                                                On my laptop I’m running Fedora, so systemd, but it was never a problem anyway.

                                                                1. 6

                                                                  On my laptop I’m running Fedora, so systemd, but it was never a problem anyway.

                                                                  why is it a problem on the server then? IMHO, juggling daemons on a desktop workstation is much more involved that on a server where you mostly fire-and-forget a very limited amount of daemons and where normally there aren’t even any users logged in.

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                                                                    SystemD is a problem on the server because of the problems it has caused me there.

                                                                    1. 2

                                                                      Those systems are not powerful servers. They’re small and limited devices, that I’d like to keep as simple as I can. I try to keep the set of installed software minimal, basically :)

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                                                                    Apple won’t ship anything that’s licensed under GPL v3 on OS X. Now, why is that?

                                                                    There are two big changes in GPL v3. The first is that it explicitly prohibits patent lawsuits against people for actually using the GPL-licensed software you ship. The second is that it carefully prevents TiVoization, locking down hardware so that people can’t actually run the software they want.

                                                                    So, which of those things are they planning for OS X, eh?

                                                                    Copyright lawyers from multiple organizations that I’ve spoken to simply aren’t too happy with the GPLv3 because to them it lacks clarity. It took quite a while for GPLv2 to be acceptable in any place where lawyers have a veto because of its unusual construction, and GPLv3 added more of that, in language that doesn’t make it easy to interpret (apparently, I’m not a lawyer).

                                                                    1. 6

                                                                      I work at a large company and the guidelines from above are that we should avoid GPL licensed code at all cost. If we cannot avoid it, we need to get permission and isolate it as well as possible from the rest of the source code. This is done not because we want to sue our customers or begin with TiVoization, but simply to guard ourselves against lawsuits and being forced to release sensitive parts of our code.

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                                                                        That’s the generic “careful with GPL” policy. There are companies that are fine with GPLv2 specifically (for the most part) but aren’t fine with GPLv3 because they consider its potential consequences less clear.

                                                                        1. 3

                                                                          Which is why I now use AGPLv3 for everything I personally write. Fuck people taking and taking and not giving anything back. I feel like we’ve lost our open source way. I referenced this very article a few years back when I wrote this:

                                                                          https://battlepenguin.com/tech/the-philosophy-of-open-source-in-community-and-enterprise-software/

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                                                                            This is counterintuitive.

                                                                            Less people willing/able to even consider using your software instantly means less potential for submissions to fix bugs or add features.

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                                                                              It depends on your priorities. Do you want more users or do you want your software to be free?

                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                You seem to want more contributions, which is why I commented.

                                                                          2. 3

                                                                            The company I work for has the same policy.

                                                                            1. 3

                                                                              Yep. Policies like your employer’s are the main reason that I carefully choose licenses these days. I want to exclude as many corporations as possible from using the code without disqualifying it from being Free Software. I think WTFPL is the best widely-used license for this purpose; does your employer’s policy allow WTFPL?

                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                One of my employers explicitly put WTFPL on the backlist. Apparently it’s important to have the warranty disclaimer somewhere which it lacks. Consider the ISC-L (https://opensource.org/licenses/isc) instead, which is short and to the point, yet ticks all the boxes that seem to be important to lawyers.

                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                  The ISC license is a fine license indeed, but if you re-read my original comment, I am looking for licenses which are not employer-friendly. Indeed, I had considered the ISC license, but found that too many corporations would be willing to use ISC-licensed code.

                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                    Ah, right. I misread, I’m sorry.

                                                                                    Yes, WTFPL is corporate kryptonite (but still theoretically compatible, unlike the CC-*-NC variants that are explicitly non-corporate, but therefore non-free software compatible, too), so I guess it’s a fine choice for that.

                                                                            2. 11

                                                                              It feels to me like the FSF overplayed their hand with GPLv3, and it’s led to more aggressive efforts away from the GPL.

                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                Are there any articles from lawyers about what form this lack of clarity takes?

                                                                                Or is this just the old concern about linking and the GPLv3 has provided a convenient FUD checkpoint?

                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                  I talked to people (several years ago, so a bit hazy on the details, too), so I don’t have anything to read up on. Generally speaking these lawyers are friendly towards open source and copyleft, so I doubt it was just a FUD checkpoint for them.

                                                                                  The best I found (but I’m not sure it matches the points that I heard) is Allison Randal’s take on the GPLv3 from 12 years ago: http://radar.oreilly.com/2007/05/gplv3-clarity-and-simplicity.html. That one focuses more on the “laypersons reading a license” aspect that shouldn’t worry copyright lawyers too much.

                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                The claim that SystemD is just a better init replacement contains at least two lies.

                                                                                This is a good example of that. I look forward to SystemD replacing the Linux kernel, at which point we can simply ignore it as a part of GNU/Linux.

                                                                                1. 2

                                                                                  The claim that SystemD is just a better init replacement contains at least two lies.

                                                                                  The systemd project hasn’t claimed to be just an init replacement since 2014:

                                                                                  https://cgit.freedesktop.org/wiki/www/commit/Software/systemd.mdwn?id=47a25ac6194c8c15d7546ff163eb7cd8803c4996

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                                                                                    I know that markdown ignores newlines when translating to HTML, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use any right?

                                                                                    Or maybe I’ve been writing paragraphs wrong this whole time?

                                                                                    1. 2

                                                                                      It really depends on your tooling. Personally, I have word wrapping on in vim and typically use newlines to separate ideas (typically one sentence = one idea) so that the git log is clearer.

                                                                                      A colleague only uses newlines for paragraph breaks.

                                                                                      I’m very much of the opinion that I should prepare my text in a way that makes sense to me and my collaborators, not to some hypothetical person who can’t configure their text editor in a sensible way.

                                                                                1. 4

                                                                                  Don’t give bad actors an out by claiming they’re doing the one thing that they are not actually doing.

                                                                                  There isn’t a backdoor in Keybase. Claiming that allows Keybase to justifiably refute that claim, which buries what they are actually doing.

                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                    What is the nefarious stuff Keybase are doing?

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                                                                                    I have NFI how you can look at Cloudflare’s behaviour and be mad because they’re not doing enough censorship. There are no circumstances where networking infrastructure providers should be playing the part of thought police. It’s disgusting.

                                                                                    1. 2

                                                                                      In that case, would you mind hosting my website for me (free, of course)? Or are you some kind of censor?

                                                                                      1. 4

                                                                                        Much as domestic budgeting doesn’t have much to teach national budgeting, my obligations to you differ from the those of a corporation that handles a percentage of the world’s Internet traffic.

                                                                                        1. 3

                                                                                          I guess it’s wishful thinking on my part (hoping for enough competition that CF don’t hold undue power).

                                                                                          Perhaps DDOS protection is a ‘natural monopoly’, like other capital-intensive works. Something to think about.

                                                                                        2. 1

                                                                                          Pretty sure cloudflare will ask you to move to enterprise plan if you have high non-ddos bandwidth. Its not about money or profit.

                                                                                          1. 4

                                                                                            I’m doing 40gb/hr out and they haven’t complained yet.

                                                                                            They don’t care about outbound, because bulk bandwidth is only purchased in symmetric amounts, and they need high inbound for DDOS protection, so the outbound is effectively free (to them).

                                                                                      1. 4

                                                                                        “The Confusion”, by Neal Stephenson. The nerd version of Tristram Shandy continues. Very much a middle book so far for all that it does move the plot on.

                                                                                        “DIfference and Repetition”, by Gilles Deleuze. A notorious philosophical mind-bender. I am reading it sloooowly and thinking through its ideas with help from examples I’ve found in the history of pop music.

                                                                                        “A Cultural History of Early Modern English Cryptography Manuals”, by Katherine Ellison. A wonderful deep dive into the era when the terms of the crypto wars were first set. Not the 1990s, the 1640s… An earlier short article on the same subject by Ellison is available online -

                                                                                        https://www.northernrenaissance.org/1144000727777607680000-wayes-early-modern-cryptography-as-fashionable-reading/

                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                          Yeah, “The Confusion” is definitely a middle book. Some of the more fun nuggets to connect the various plotlines and stuff that later happens in Cryptonomicon happen in there, but definitely less standalone.

                                                                                          On that note, totally going to bookmark that Katherine Ellison book.

                                                                                        1. 4

                                                                                          Will this be used to oppose abortion as well?

                                                                                          If people want a morality clause license this is much better -

                                                                                          https://twitter.com/SarahJamieLewis/status/1176347681871912960

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                                                                                            This seems like a massive boondoggle and a potential security issue.

                                                                                            1. 35

                                                                                              That’s systemd for you.

                                                                                              1. 6
                                                                                                From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:
                                                                                                
                                                                                                  boondoggle \boon"dog*gle\ v.
                                                                                                    [...]
                                                                                                     2. a useless, wasteful, or impractical project; -- especially
                                                                                                        one authorized by a government agency as a favor to
                                                                                                        partisans, to employ unemployed people, or in return for
                                                                                                        corrupt payments.
                                                                                                        [PJC]
                                                                                                

                                                                                                Today’s new word :)

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                                                                                                This kind of pedantry lacks tact and pushes people away from the movement. No one wants to talk to someone who corrects them like this, so people shut down and stop listening. The speaker gains the self-satisfaction that comes with demonstrating that you’re smarter than someone else, but the cost is pushing that person away from the very ideals you’re trying to clarify. This approach doesn’t help the movement, it’s just being a dick.

                                                                                                This pretty much exactly describes how I’ve felt when exposed to that type of pedantry and almost certainly has contributed to me favouring permissive licensing and not engaging with the free software movement when in theory I share some of the same ideals.

                                                                                                1. 3

                                                                                                  I have the same reaction to people who use corporate-friendly permissive licenses to stick it to user freedom advocates.

                                                                                                1. 16

                                                                                                  I saw the disclaimer at the end (“Note: this article is not about Richard Stallman. I have no comment on the recent controversies”), but in my observation a lot of this pedantic nonsense comes from rms, so it’s hard not to talk about one without also mentioning the other.

                                                                                                  The question now is, can the movement grow beyond his childish pedantic stubbornness or is it too late?

                                                                                                  1. 3

                                                                                                    We need someone who’s a bulldog on user rights and software freedom without being childish and, let’s be clear, stubbornly wrong about things which have nothing to do with software. We need to ensure the Overton Window can’t be dragged so far to one side by the proprietary hardware and software companies that the right to repair seems like a radical and subversive idea, and that software which doesn’t track you seems like something only criminals want.

                                                                                                    1. 2

                                                                                                      RMS has been kicked out because he lost support and protection for being what he is. If not the movement, at least the community already grew beyond RMS, to the point where even his immediate surroundings turned against him and all the shit came out.

                                                                                                      I would say there’s still a lot to do in terms of communication and elitism, and this might be an unsolvable problem intrinsic to the hacker ideologies, but at least “pedantic stuborness” won’t be the main problem anymore.

                                                                                                      1. 1

                                                                                                        The question now is, can the movement grow beyond his childish pedantic stubbornness or is it too late?

                                                                                                        How many people have you met who are as childishly pedantic as RMS? The “movement” has been in progress for the last 20-30 years, and we’ve grown well past (and in spite of) Stallman’s word policing so much that it’s become functionally irrelevant. All he had was a pulpit at this point.

                                                                                                        1. 10

                                                                                                          He’s the one that started the movement and set the tone. You see this in many communities; the guy who starts it sets the initial tone, and this attracts like-minded folks and keeps out people who don’t have/like the same kind of attitude, which creates a snowball effect.

                                                                                                          1. 6

                                                                                                            You need look no farther than any lobsters thread about FSF calling android malware or abortion jokes in glibc manual to find people insisting that these are the words which must be used.

                                                                                                            1. 3

                                                                                                              You don’t have to call the Android surveillance platform malware. A rose by any other name, however…

                                                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                                                I’ll admit that some of the biggest loudmouths in the community might be drawn to RMS’ style, but the vast majority of us don’t follow.