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#76 2019-02-21 22:44:45

franko
Member
Registered: 2019-02-04
Posts: 33  

Re: A philosophical diatribe: How to avoid having users - and how not to

I must admit ESR himself is a character I don't like much, but I also agree with cynwulf that his main point in the OP is valid: to beat systemd there has to be a really viable alternative to the "big" distros using it. There may also happen other scenarios, like a hypothetical growing frustration with systemd among devs and maintainer of some big distros or whatever, but those hypothetical scenarios assume a relatively passive stance, which might also finish up in ever more software being systemd-dependent, and so push out Devuan and similars out of the picture.

However, though, I tend to think it is still a bit too early to say whether Devuan is doing it right or not. Given the convenience of earliness, ESR thought it was a good time to say and/or do something about it, it didn't go too well here, but I don't really see it as a catastrophe of any kind. It's not by attracting ESR's that Devuan will grow and become a viable alternative to the big players using systemd, but by attracting end users.
Now, if I got it right, Devuan aspires to be a "metadistro", like Debian is. So, once Devuan matures enough, "all we need" will be some sort of Devuan-based "Ubuntu". The question is, will it ever and when will it happend? What to do in the meantime? How to keep it going while the systemd "virus" spreads?

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#77 2019-02-22 00:10:03

golinux
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 1,677  

Re: A philosophical diatribe: How to avoid having users - and how not to

franko wrote:

What to do in the meantime? How to keep it going while the systemd "virus" spreads?

Well, talking and wishing and philosophizing won't get the job done.   That takes committed volunteers willing to do the work.  Unfortunately, end users and outsiders have lots of ideas/demands but rarely lift a finger to make them a reality.

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#78 2019-02-22 01:08:45

sgage
Member
Registered: 2016-12-01
Posts: 170  

Re: A philosophical diatribe: How to avoid having users - and how not to

Nobody is going to 'beat' systemd. It has too many powerful and moneyed backers, and many distro-makers love what they think is the convenience of it. I would just like to see a sustainable alternative, Devuan, carry on and supply a base to other distros. There are already other distros based on Devuan - there's a 'derivatives' section on this very forum.

You and ESR might have all kinds of notions as to 'what Devuan needs to do to compete with blah blah blah', but all that stuff takes people to do it, as golinux has so clearly pointed out on many occasions. Alas that I am not a developer - I'm an old broken guy that can't really see very well, and I lost my superpowers 10 years ago in a medical mishap.

Devuan seems to me to be doing the best that they can with the people-power they've got. I am not privy to any sort of info, but I hope more people are signing on. And it seems the Devuan Project is in some sort of communication with Debian. Maybe the tentacles of systemd can be slowed down and even stopped at some point upstream.

These are early days, really.


franko wrote:

I must admit ESR himself is a character I don't like much, but I also agree with cynwulf that his main point in the OP is valid: to beat systemd there has to be a really viable alternative to the "big" distros using it. There may also happen other scenarios, like a hypothetical growing frustration with systemd among devs and maintainer of some big distros or whatever, but those hypothetical scenarios assume a relatively passive stance, which might also finish up in ever more software being systemd-dependent, and so push out Devuan and similars out of the picture.

However, though, I tend to think it is still a bit too early to say whether Devuan is doing it right or not. Given the convenience of earliness, ESR thought it was a good time to say and/or do something about it, it didn't go too well here, but I don't really see it as a catastrophe of any kind. It's not by attracting ESR's that Devuan will grow and become a viable alternative to the big players using systemd, but by attracting end users.
Now, if I got it right, Devuan aspires to be a "metadistro", like Debian is. So, once Devuan matures enough, "all we need" will be some sort of Devuan-based "Ubuntu". The question is, will it ever and when will it happend? What to do in the meantime? How to keep it going while the systemd "virus" spreads?

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#79 2019-02-22 14:48:31

Panopticon
Member
Registered: 2018-01-27
Posts: 306  

Re: A philosophical diatribe: How to avoid having users - and how not to

What i find encouraging with Devuan as a desktop is the few that have the knowledge who put in the time to create stable blends such as  refracta, miyo, star, etc. Not everyone's cup of tea when you are not familiar with a slimmed down gnu linux desktop os, but they are there and workable and more often than not they back them up with help here on the forum and possibly elsewhere as applicable. I class myself as a desktop end user, i have no need for server ability or databases as i am not that user, however i do tinker and i like programs to run well and be usable and that is what Devuan does well 99.9 percent of the time, that stable factor.
I do hope Debian and Devuan have a place to exist together as far as init is concerned and it doesn't go all the way to systemd which in many users opinion is total bloat and not needed for many applications within the gnu linux sphere.

Last edited by Panopticon (2019-02-22 14:51:06)

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#80 2019-03-05 22:51:50

obiwan
Member
Registered: 2019-03-05
Posts: 1  

Re: A philosophical diatribe: How to avoid having users - and how not to

This thread made me sad. Luckily, it seems Franko gets it.

I too am somewhat an old hand. Not as prolific and famous as ESR, but involved in development of several distros in the late 90s. And some of the comments here made me a bit worried. I think they missed the point.

Getting bigger that Ubuntu or whatever other random distro is not a good goal in itself. Let just not waste time on discussing it, its a strawman. What IS important is to create a viable distro that will be around in 10 years. Being around requires having developers, and continuing to have new ones (as old ones will inevitably leave). This requires having users. Getting users means making things work logically/intuitively (i on purpose do not put the word "easy" here. Reading manuals is fine. But a few points ESR made a fair enough).

And, surprisingly perhaps, the desktop IS important. See Linus recent rant on why ARM has problems making it in the server market? People are used to have x86 desktops. They develop on that, so they don't want to make life complicated by having a different arch on the server. It is likely a big reason why MS got any influence on the server market at all. And I know it is why e.g. Redhat spends time desktop things. You will need good people to help, but for that you will need to invest in attracting users.

A big threat I see to Devuan is that large subsystems become so dependent on systemd that it takes a lot of work to remove such dependencies. This can happen because there are so few big systemd free distros. So I would not care at all about beating distro X, but I would care to be a viable alternative that makes upstream think twice about what to support.

I personally feel (but this is something that would be good that the core team needs to figure out), that being a viable alternative to debian (which includes both desktop, sever, perhaps some embedded use. And includes experts but also users willing to learn) is a very nice thing to strive for. This is why I recently installed it, and so far I like it (and my use cases are home, business laptop, and high-performance computing, and i tend to prefer KDE these days). I updated to beowulf though because ASCII was simply too old for my needs.  I had to put it a bit more work to fix several annoying problems (which i will not go into here, but point is that they were fixable because the whole thing seemed to be designed well, and that is exactly what I expected of this distro).

A final note: Being a distro based on "no systemd" is not enough to live. Several distros seem to make their hatred of systemd define their existence. It is a trap. Such traps were also common 20 years ago. And I feel it is a waste of energy, and the emotion finally runs out (and the users that came to you just because of the word "systemd" eventually give up and leave). It seems better to focus on making a better distro. I am (and I am sure you are as well) convinced this needs to be done without systemd, as it is badly designed software, but that is the reason you build your distro without it. Not merely because it is named systemd or because systemd is the only software that is bad. If tomorrow systemd turns into good software I happily use it.

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#81 2019-03-12 20:17:28

jf384
Member
Registered: 2018-06-28
Posts: 5  

Re: A philosophical diatribe: How to avoid having users - and how not to

Looks like ESR has left the building. Sad.
The way I read it, he was giving tough love. A guy who came from a lifetime in the UNIX/BSD world is now installing Linux in every room of his house. Ironically, should he have given his same advise to FreeBSD 15 years ago? 
I do understand the reflex to lash out at (constructive) criticism, but, at least, please keep the snark in check next time a *nix sage offers ideas and support.

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#82 2019-03-12 22:10:33

golinux
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 1,677  

Re: A philosophical diatribe: How to avoid having users - and how not to

We did not "lash out".   As a result of his comments, we improved how Devuan is presented on the website.   He was invited to contribute but disappeared when he couldn't bully us into his (misinformed) vision of what we should be doing.  Celebrity doesn't count for much here especially when it's saddled with an attitude.

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#83 2019-03-13 04:41:53

ToxicExMachina
Member
Registered: 2019-03-11
Posts: 106  

Re: A philosophical diatribe: How to avoid having users - and how not to

GNU/Linux is very friendly OS. But it chooses friends carefully.

Thus:

1. The matter of having userbase is the matter of having userbase from community.

2. Random user is useless for community, community is useless for a random user. There must be mutual interests, otherwise a group of parasites will appear nearby community.

3. Community is not amorphous mass. It's self-organized group with common idea.

4. Community must be aggressive. It's essential for self-defense. But aggression must be directed into right way. It's impossible to be friendly to everyone. Being friendly to someone means being a hostile to someone else. I suppose everyone here understand what do i mean.

Many topics on community behavior are still to be discussed.

On Devuan improvement: It's a great base for custom distribution and custom improvements. Additional repos and scripts will be very helpful. Corporation able to beat community in this field is impossible. I've got some ideas but i have no enough time to start implementations. I hope i'l get more time soon.

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#84 2019-03-13 05:56:00

ToxicExMachina
Member
Registered: 2019-03-11
Posts: 106  

Re: A philosophical diatribe: How to avoid having users - and how not to

golinux wrote:

We are not trying to be "better" than Ubuntu or any other distro.  We offer an alternative. And desktop users are NOT our target audience and we are NOT trying to attract users who want shiny, shiny.   As I said before . . . there was a time when we considered shipping Devuan as a core system without ANY desktop.

Desktop is not something shiny. Desktop is environment able to provide tools necessary for end user. So Devuan target audience are also desktop users. Shiny GUI is rather anti-desktop. It's time to do total revision of the "desktop" term.

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#85 2019-03-13 06:04:37

ToxicExMachina
Member
Registered: 2019-03-11
Posts: 106  

Re: A philosophical diatribe: How to avoid having users - and how not to

golinux wrote:

Systemd is more of a threat to the stability of servers than the desktop

The root of threat is not systemd. Systemd is just one harmful consequences of real problem. There is something bigger and much more dangerous ;)

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#86 2019-03-13 07:01:20

golinux
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 1,677  

Re: A philosophical diatribe: How to avoid having users - and how not to

@ToxicExMachina . . . really . . . what is your problem.

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#87 2019-03-13 07:19:46

ToxicExMachina
Member
Registered: 2019-03-11
Posts: 106  

Re: A philosophical diatribe: How to avoid having users - and how not to

golinux wrote:

@ToxicExMachina . . . really . . . what is your problem.

I don't know why do you think i have a problem. I've just expressed my opinion on the subject. If you don't understand what am i talking about i can try different formulation. I did some observations for many years and i noticed that something bad happened with FLOSS ecosystem during 2010's. I don't know where is the point of disaster exactly but i see results.

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#88 2019-03-13 08:05:35

darry1966
Member
Registered: 2017-06-14
Posts: 55  

Re: A philosophical diatribe: How to avoid having users - and how not to

Its name Pottering and said person bought us Pulseaudio and Systemd which is a problem on the desktop.  In my book invading viruses in the Linux Ecosystem.

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#89 2019-03-13 09:22:59

ToxicExMachina
Member
Registered: 2019-03-11
Posts: 106  

Re: A philosophical diatribe: How to avoid having users - and how not to

darry1966 wrote:

Its name Pottering and said person bought us Pulseaudio and Systemd which is a problem on the desktop.  In my book invading viruses in the Linux Ecosystem.

I would agree if Poettering wasn't just a pawn. If Poettering will stop someone else will come. I won't describe here the problem in details right now because it can harm this forum. The only thing i can say here is: community became weak. This is why systemd and other crappy initiatives came to FLOSS ecosystem.

Last edited by ToxicExMachina (2019-03-13 09:23:58)

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#90 2019-03-13 21:33:13

ChuangTzu
Member
Registered: 2018-06-13
Posts: 136  

Re: A philosophical diatribe: How to avoid having users - and how not to

Go ahead and name it...they are watching after all.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YvAYIJSSZY

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