But the amount of flak he receives is unacceptable. The tone which people talk about him and even to him is despicable.
I'm glad he spoke up and hopefully people will realize that open source contributors are people too. If you have a technical reason to disagree, taking it personal is not constructive.
I could write a lengthy blog post about the unnecessary problems that PulseAudio and systemd have thrown up over the years (problems I'd never had an issue with in all the years of running Linux and other UNIX-like platforms), but those topics are done to death now. However my point is I think Lennart's been so carelessly cavalier in rolling out his code, and so unapologetic about the shitstorm he started that he's gotten a lot of peoples back up. Obviously this doesn't warrant the kind of bullying that he discussed in his post; however although he doesn't deserve such attacks, he has largely brought them on himself.
Maybe instead of fighting against the community as he tries to impose his own imperial vision of Linux, maybe if he worked with the community then the aggressive dickheads might leave him alone (or at least he'd receive more supporters from friendly folk - of who massively outnumber the aforementioned dickheads).
But just to be clear, as much as I think he might draw negative attention to himself, I think that any kind of personal abuse, let alone of the quantity that Lennart's been subject to, is absolutely disgusting and undeserved. Period.
Will he ever listen even to good constructive criticism? Probably not; his personality seems to be egocentric and elitist, and as I said he can be quite the bully himself. But I'd imagine he would at least read constructive criticism, rather than dismiss it outright as he would (and should) dismiss hate filled criticism.
Bully or not, please be friendlier. I will start and hope you're following.
I've seen a few interviews with Mr. Pöttering and I admire his cleverness and his ambitious fight for a better GNU/Linux. I am not a fan of his person, nor his speech, but this is not the time, nor place to call him an egocentric elitist. There is a reason for everything, I too would become such a person to protect myself from the everyday threatening and hatred. Things like that break a person!! Keep this in mind, we as Engineers are especially very susceptible and sensible to attacks, because we have sharpened and trained our minds to try to find a meaning behind every action.
Remember Aaron Schwartz! He couldn't bear the weight on his shoulders anymore. He was not a soldier, he was not a criminal, he was like you and me a person that deserves to be respected. Souls break apart and suicide isn't rare among our people. You shall keep this in mind, when you speak up without a filter.
Whenever I've been complaining about something about Linux, I was told to improve it, or shut up. That was a culture that I thought as very unfriendly, but it was nonetheless logical. I could pass that along to you, but you have an opinion about Systemd and Pulseaudio that I simply cannot fathom as authentic or fact based.
ALSA did not allow controlling the volume of different applications. Period. PulseAudio made it happen!! Yes it's not perfect, but it's opensource and maybe it'll be as good as the software you want to use on your own computer.
With Systemd systems are starting up much much faster than tweaks to other init systems can provide. You're comparing Apples to Oranges, when you say, but if you disable everything then and only then my favorite init system is faster than systemd. Not everything in systemd is smart or good, but it fixes a problem that people have neglected for too many years. Systemd changed that!
Let's not discuss what is better or not, you have to be a Software-Architect and not an untrained Software-Developer to discuss such things in detail without being a hypocrite, desinformative or misleading. My impression was that even though the ideas of Mr. Pöttering were brilliant, his Software-Architecture skills are his Achilles heel. That's what he needs more training in.
Thank you for taking the time reading this.
You criticize people for being unfriendly and then say you "simply cannot fathom" that their opinions are authentic?
How long have you been using Linux? PulseAudio was almost universally major pain point for many years until other people came along and fixed Poettering's work up enough to make it marginally better than ALSA. If you "simply cannot fathom" that the poster's opinions are authentic, you have been living under a rock.
I thought engineering and "science" was supposed to be a place for objectivity and fact-based reasoning, not pathos and let's-not-hurt-each-other's-feelings-with-criticism.
The operative word here is was.
ALSA had a lot of problems for my use case, Pulseaudio just works. Most of this is probably more due to other contributors and just generally distributions getting their act together, but the world we live in today is undoubtedly better than it was before Pulseaudio.
What about the counterfactual where Pulseaudio was never started?
It is often said that the best way to get a correct answer to a question on the internet is not to ask the question, but to post a wrong answer. It seems to me that what Poettering is doing is the exact same thing applied to open source software, and I for one am grateful for it.
That's an interesting way to look at it, and I think you're right. He's coming up with what he sees as a solution to something that, while it isn't broken, isn't great either (in the case of systemd, other init systems work but they all have shortcomings), only this time I think it backfired. Now the "wrong answer" as you put it, is being implemented by the major distros except Slackware and Gentoo, and I fear that it's gotten to the point that it can only be fixed by being surgically removed and replaced with something else, which may end up being even worse.
My personal solution is to stick with non-systemd distros, for others it's grimace and bear it, and for many it's not a problem in the first place.
Everyone would then be using JACK, and the world would be a better place for it.
My experience with JACK seems very similar to everyone else's early experience with PulseAudio, really buggy, lots of audio pops (small buffers) or latency (big buffers).
One of my most technically adept friends has spent a long time trying to setup a basic debian install with JACK working reliably (done) only it's very fragile, upgrades to random packages broke it so often we now do our audio work without a general purpose computer in the hotpath.
If your friend is using Debian, may I suggest the kxstudio repos ? They make JACK (1 or 2) easy as pie to deal with. I personally use Arch nowadays, and breakage after upgrading hasn't been a concern for quite some time.
Second, he is not Aaron Schwartz, who the community rallied around and the government bullied to death. In this case, the government isn't even involved, it's various groups of people reacting differently to Pottering, some in ways that I find disgusting, others in ways that I line up with (not happy with him or his work, but not attacking him for it), and still others like you with blind praise and faith bordering on religion.
"You're comparing Apples to Oranges, when you say, but if you disable everything then and only then my favorite init system is faster than systemd."
I never said that, please don't attempt to put words in my mouth to bolster your argument, because it makes you look quite the fool.
"Let's not discuss what is better or not, you have to be a Software-Architect and not an untrained Software-Developer to discuss such things in detail without being a hypocrite, desinformative or misleading."
You're making an assumption about me while knowing nothing about me, and at the same time calling me a hypocrite? Please, you're shooting yourself in the foot with this one.
There is simply nothing defensible in your entire argument, as far as I can see. You make assumptions, call me names including "hypocrite", telling me how to think ("You shall keep this in mind, when you speak up without a filter")? Sounds to me like you're just as much a bully as Pottering. It renders your entire argument invalid; you may as well be calling yourself out.
That's not how I remember it going down on HN. Not while he was still alive anyway.
tcpdumps are so much more fun.
EFF lennart, he is a scourge and a scum!
Postel said it best. http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc1122
be liberal in what you accept, and generous in what you send.
From your link: "Be liberal in what you accept, and conservative in what you send".
But the elephant in the room is that distros have adopted systemd and pulseaudio en masse. There must be buy-in for a reason. This outpouring of faux outrage is being leveled at an individual, what of the distro vendors?
Never forget chronology. The ideas and architecture in systemd are nothing new, in fact they're kind of obsolete. What has changed politically / strategically such that this specific instance can be rammed down everyones unwilling throats?
Lets run a thought experiment about if this hatred is a result of technical actions and behaviors or back room politics. Lets try... the upstart init system. A direct competitor. How many people have threatened to kill the authors of upstart? Oh, none you say? What a complete non-surprise.
This is the key weakness of his post. Hatred of authors of badly architected software is very rare in open source. Hatred of back room political dealings and extensive "embrace extend extinguish" product tying, well the feeling of hatred is completely unsurprising given that behavior being the opposite of the meritocracy straw dog he tries to tear down, but some claimed behavior does sound over the top (hire a hitman? really? a bit ridiculous if true). He could have made a decent post about misbehavior and over-reaction in politics and it would have been a correct and good post, but he can't admit in public the corrupt way an unwanted systemd is being shoved down our unwilling throats, so we end up with ridiculous "I am a technical guy" LOL yeah as if anyone believes the reported social problems are due to that.
There is, and this reason is not always on the merits of the software.
I would like to add NetworkManager to the list of software that (used to) pain my existence. The case for including this were pretty much the same as PulseAudio, that other entities already had settled on it, in this case Gnome.
So the fact that some of the developers were important members of the Gnome community sort of gave their creation a direct path into Red Hat and Ubuntu, who based their desktops on Gnome.
Had they not been, the software would have had a much harder time getting included, and based on merits alone it would not have happened. That rubbed a lot of people the wrong way at the time, for some very good reasons.
Which adds salt to the wound, or irony, of his claim of meritocracy in the second line of his post "Where contributions are valued only by their technical quality". Uh, no, that's definitely not why we're being forced into systemd.
My impression, at least with systemd, is:
1) systemd put in a whole bunch of work to be backward compatible. They make migration easier, at the cost of some complexity within the codebase. It supports some compatibility with init shell scripts and has inetd compatibility.
If you want to take a dim view of it, it's a little bit like Microsoft's "embrace and extend". systemd has "good" properties for adoption. They do seem to engineer aggressively for adoption, rather than just trying to make the best technical solution. Pottering does have a good understanding of these politics, which makes people angry.
2) Features. Other systems are more "modular", but don't cover as much ground. There are some supervision toolkits like daemontools and runit, but they are meant more for servers. These systems leave it up to end users to do more work. systemd you can kind of drop in and it mostly works, until you have to debug it.
Again, this is sort of like Microsoft. You can stuff in features to satisfy all the different camps, even if the combination of those features results in a poor architecture.
3) Genuinely good ideas/features. I guess this is why Pottering is so controversial. There is a bunch of crap thrown in with some good ideas. Socket activation is genuinely a good feature. It's not new -- Apple's launchd and I believe Sun's SMF use it too. But yeah I think we should give credit to the good ideas for some of the adoption.
There's no doubt they put in a lot of effort to systemd. The only thing that compared is Upstart. It does seem that people paid to work on open source by companies like Red Hat and Canonical are the ones who really influence the direction Linux is going on.
People had issues with Upstart too, though not to this level. So really the high adoption of systemd is not that much of a surprise, given that there were few realistic alternatives.
With software like this, whatever the replacement, if it doesn't have adequate backwards compatibility, it will never see any significant adoption. Switching over wholesale at once is simply too difficult.
Yes, and that reason is that redhat has their hands in other software too, and added systemd dependencies to it whether people like it or not. So distros face the decision of "adopt systemd or your distro won't be able to run gnome".
>This outpouring of faux outrage
It is not faux outrage, it is real outrage. I find it odd how people can dismiss even someone like Linus' complaints as "faux outrage".
If this were true, nobody would have adopted his work. If most of the major distros have switched to pulseaudio and systemd, it's because the people who actually know about this stuff have looked at his work and found it excellent.
While it's true that systemd does have it's supporters; equally not everybody "who actually knows about this stuff" likes systemd either.
When did that happen?
There was one udev bug regarding firmware loading where during the discussion it turned out that it's the right thing to do that in the Kernel to begin with.
How this is related to the greater systemd is beyond me.
(there's probably better write ups on this argument, Phoronix was just the first link that came up when Googling for the /proc/cmdline Linus systemd rant)
If you're going to say it's the kernel's fault, it's ultimately because they ever exposed the kernel cmdline to userspace, as something like this was inevitable.
> got flamed to a crisp by kernel developers who want to keep using "debug" to debug their kernel code because they've always done it that way
If their reports can be believed, they literally can't get work done (if it involves turning on debug in the kernel of a systemd installation), so it's far from some petty turf war or irrational hatred for change. Even if they should change, you seem to take it for granted, that they should have to change their kernel workflow, based on what something in userspace does -- why?
There was also some bug in systemd that caused it to log an excessive amount of assertion failures into some kernel buffer, which was in fact a really bad bug and was probably the reason for the whole flame-fest; naturally this bug has been fixed.
But think about it: is it likely that the whole distracting turf war over the "debug" flag helped in getting the actual bug fixed as fast as it could have been?
The reason why I would prefer to have systemd respect the "debug" flag, even if it means that kernel developers have to learn a new workflow, is that there are a lot more system administrators than kernel developers out there, and (on average) the kernel hackers have lots more expertise than the admins.
So if a system has problems booting there should be a simple, short, generic parameter to get some verbose logging enabled, that can be used to track down the problem whether it's in the kernel or in user space, which you can't know beforehand of course.
The kernel developers may be understandably unhappy about the change, but once they get over their initial reaction using a different parameter for kernel-only debugging is really quite trivial at their level of competence.
By this logic, there are a lot more servers than there are desktop Linux users, and more than likely a lot more system administrators than desktop Linux users (I believe I'm in the minority as I'm a system admin, who uses Linux daily on all his computers, desktops, laptops, and servers), so the things systemd does that are intended to make the desktop linux experience better, like faster boot (which was never strictly a problem on servers, except in the time it usually takes a server BIOS to get to the grub prompt, which systemd can't address), "better" hot-plugging of devices, socket activation (which already had a solution and is something you don't want on a server for the example use-case of mysql), the FSS logging that journald does (because sysadmins have already sufficiently solved that at scale) so systemd shouldn't be encroaching on server linux use. And there are a lot more system administrators out there than desktop environment developers, and (on average) have more system administration experience than the desktop environment developers.
This also assumes that sysadmins don't use the kernel debug flag, and only kernel developers do. I've had to use it on the rare occasion, and I've been glad that messages from the kernel are easily selectable via a specific kernel command line option as distinct from userspace messages.
Again, you have things backwards. It was the systemd developers that DIDN'T want "to respect the debug flag". The systemd developers tried to prevent the debug flag from getting past the kernel. It was the kernel developers that forced the systemd developers "to respect the debug flag"
All the credit that you're attributing to the systemd developers was actually down to Linus Torvalds drawing a line in the sand.
Linus Torvalds said in a recent interview that he don't like or dislike systemd, he even uses it and likes what the people of systemd is trying to do (but not necessary likes the way they're doing it), so yeah, even a person like Torvalds understand that we need what systemd folks are doing. Just that maybe this is not the best way to do it, but all folks just assume that systemd is bad and should be avoid at all costs.
Here's a theory. This is pure conjecture on my part—I'm not close to the systemd project or the various distros—so please take it with a grain of salt.
Programmers prefer to do less work. Simple tools get the job done and are easy to understand, but often require more effort to use effectively. Using a hand saw, it is hard work to cut a solid piece of wood, but the only servicing it needs is to sharpen the blade. On the other hand, with a chainsaw it is much easier to cut through wood, but there are many more things that you need to care about to keep it running smoothly. When put this way, the hand saw seems superior in its simplicity, but remember that it's not immediately obvious that chainsaws can be difficult to start, or that the chains get stuck sometimes. Standing in the hardware store, the chainsaw might seem like the way to go, but one might regret not choosing the simpler option when complications arise later.
It seems to me (conjecture, remember) that systemd offers a lot to the distros. It gives them hooks to manage difficult things and, after all, the systemd people are doing all the work. That explains why the distro maintainers might choose it, but my worry is that the convenience comes at a cost.
I haven't been keeping up with the linux side of things, could someone give some links to descriptions of this?
That is the "look what she's wearing" argument. The victim is newer responsible for receiving such violent abuse as Pottering has.
My point was that if Lennart worked with the community instead of against it then he would have had a more positive experience from the nice guys (who outnumber the dickheads). Or to use your "look what she's wearing" argument, you don't dress like a hooker for a date with a price. But that doesn't mean that a woman cannot wear what she wants and nor that she deserves sexual / physical abuse for her choice in outfits. But that if she wants to change the monarchy then she needs to play along with them and their silly dress codes. It's best to change a system by working with and inside the system.
In other words, the nice people in the open source community would be more vocal in support for Lennart and his vision if Lennart worked nicely with the community. Dickheads will always be around (which sucks), but at least their voices would be drowned out by the millions of Lennart supporters.
Freudian slip? ;)
I meant "prince", but I expect everyone had worked that out already :)
So, did he never question why is that? Other comments explain this better, but he's creating more problems than solving them.
" If you have a technical reason to disagree"
Not all reasons are technical, but a lot of it has to do with shortsightedness. People don't care how PulseAudio does things, but they care that it works (at least as good and reliably as ALSA), and is it here that it's failed.
Same thing for systemd, based on average reliability of what LP writes we're going to have uptimes of days...
Several other projects took flak (KDE 4.0 comes to mind) but they addressed the criticism
Simple elegance vs bloat and complexity. Welcome to Lennarts world.
Sorry, but have you by any chance seen how he treats people? Respect is a two way street.
Poettering is no longer mere "technical guy" from "technical community". He's more like political figure, and political figures have to deal with various political reactions.
Come on. We're talking about init systems here, not the Palestine/Israel conflict. It should be possible to have a level-headed discussion without insults and death threats. Saying "Poettering is a prominent, controversial person, therefore it's OK" isn't right.
This is, by the way, an offense you can end in jail for, for good reasons.
I'm quite sure the mayor of New York gets death threats on a regular basis.
Have you ever lived in a small town? This is what we call Tuesday evening at the local bar. Until they start buying bullets people threatening to kill you are to murder as people telling threatening to fuck you are to rape.
This is what systemd essentially is, an attempt to have a standardised minimal base OS beyond the Linux kernel (again like the BSD's), I don't see how it's 'highly political', if anything it's practical, which in turn is why it has been widely accepted by distros and software which makes use of it's features, like DE's.
No more so than all the GNU utilities that ship with every Linux.
BSDs come as a system, Linux is a kernel. BSDs are more like Linux distributions, but every (base) part is part of the project. You get the whole thing from one team, vs. a (more or less) curated list of independent (GNU) projects.
I really don't think that these approaches are the same.
I don't see any relevancy for the whole reference to BSD communities either, though.
To provide some background, that's actually a pretty good analogy, not to trivialize the middle east but to point out that forcing the adoption of one specific piece of software using an embrace extend extinguish business model is a traditional Microsoft tactic, and a lot of people in the linux community still see MS as their greatest enemy, fight to the death, etc.
The style of how systemd is being shoved down our unwilling throats is well optimized to generate the largest possible community firestorm at every step. Why someone would intentionally choose that rollout strategy, knowing the likely results, is a mystery. That social decision probably doesn't result in him getting added to many Christmas card lists (understatement).
I think the background for this has more to do with Avahi and PulseAudio than systemd.
I am likely forgetting something here, but systemd is way more than a "mere" init replacement at this time.
And it's absolutely not "Poettering is a prominent, controversial person, therefore it's OK"! It's never OK. It's rather "Poettering is a prominent, controversial person, so he should be at least prepared for that and not act like he's surprised".
I don't know. I wouldn't expect being harassed due to software I wrote.
The community ought to rally around him and ostracize people who take it from "technical disagreement" to "personal attacks", not wring their collective hands about how it's really unavoidable and/or his own fault. A community that implicitly condones such behavior is complicit, even if only a minority actively engages in it.
I would say it does speak to the need for community managers, but again, a difficult ask for OSS projects. Who, when, how and what powers do they have?
From my experience the OSS community can be quite dismissive of people who ignore prior art. Its a protective shield against bad design. You can not write good software as a large group by accepting people who fumble too bad. It's ok to submit a patch with a bug, its ok if the first implementation isn't any good. But when you have people who consistently push bad design, at some point it will slip through and the next generation of engineers as to deal with someones bad idea. Thus a conservative stance makes sense when it comes to APIs and architectures.
Now I know Poettering mainly for PulseAudio and systemd, both systems I really don't care for. My distribution of choice doesn't ship those, so I don't really have any gripes with him, but the fact that he is backed by a large vendor (RedHat?) is scary.
Imagine systemd/PulseAudio/whatever-to-come will be pushed into the "Linux core" by corporate pressure, funding etc.
How will I explain to my children that they are stuck with shitty-software-X? "Sorry son, there is no technical merit, its an ambitious guy's fault who was backed by RedHat."
I am already stuck with ALSA, if getting into a mud fight would help to avoid future clusterfucks, you could count me in. I don't think it helps though, so there is really no point in flaming the dude. Instead I suggest to use all this energy to discredit/control/QA his work on a scientific level.
Their stance is that Poettering shouldn't be attacked on a personal level, only on a technical level. If that is a irrelevant, detrimental, disgusting manifestation of a weak personality to you, I suggest that you loosen your grip on your pearls.
That's really not what I intended to express. Like I said I strongly oppose any violence. And that's why I suggested to stop flaming and use the energy for scientific criticism.
No, he is trying to move the discussion to being about his supposed victimhood because he doesn't like dealing with the real discussion. You are pretending that the person you replied to is tormenting Lennart. That is unacceptable and pathetic. This has become a constant problem now where people do something bad, get criticized, and then characterize the people criticizing them as abusive. The 99.99% of people criticizing him are not a problem because of the 0.01% who send him "dur I kil u!1" emails. This insistence on painting the entire group as being all the 0.01% is absurd.
What mrottenkolber, is stopping you from being an ambitious guy who writes non-shitty-software?
Write better tools, and software than Poettering, and leave him alone to write his.
Nobody is actually forcing you to use any of his software, no not even Redhat or any other distribution, this is free and open source software, you havent payed for anything, you are free to use whatever software you wish.
You have a problem with Poetterings software? Do not use that software.
How fucking hard is that?
People have lives and businesses that have depended on Linux for decades. They can't just get out, and they don't want to get out. Instead, how about they push the same 10 or so decisionmakers to take their side as the systemd supporters pushed to get into every distro with no alternative? Why is it somehow a terrible act to express your opinion if it is against systemd?
edit: and with the abuse that the uselessd guy is taking (steady flames and DDOS), it looks that creating an alternative is a position also hated by systemd supporters.
You should probably re-read what was said, instead of spewing nonsense.
>Write better tools, and software than Poettering, and leave him alone to write his.
The general perception is that Poetterig is able to push his software thanks to his position at Red Hat instead of its technical merits.
Based upon what anecdotal evidence is that the 'general perception' ?
And furthermore how on earth would he be able to 'push this software' just because he works at Red Hat ?
That's actually the essence of my online persona: I try to write good software. Not so ambitious though, I am too green to suggest the community should use my software.
> You have a problem with Poetterings software? Do not use that software.
> How fucking hard is that?
I really didn't want to step on anyone's toe here. I thought I made it clear that I oppose the violence. Sorry you feel like taking this on the personal level (irony?).
As to "how [..] hard is that?". I don't know, but as others have pointed out, and from what I hear, the guys working on Slackware have to put in some effort to maintain a distribution without systemd.
Yeah. And he should also personally fix global warming and create world peace. Otherwise he has like, no right to complain.
He can complain about global warming all he wants, but if he sends a mail-bomb or threatens any ExxonMobile higher up manager, or bombs an oil-rig, that shit will not be tolerated. Altough you may argue otherwise.
Please don't connect the "He" in parent to me please?
EDIT: By "necessity", I mean things such as GNOME (which is a very often used graphical shell in a majority of distributions) and udev (which is getting integrated into systemd, is used by most distros, and, bar Busybox's mdev or Gentoo's eudev fork, has no alternative) depending or planning to depend on systemd.
On one hand, personal and death threats are way out of line. On the other hand, he kinda rip what he sow. He could have done the same post without mentioning Linus and Gentoo for instance. When you put so much "energy" to push for a key component, don't be surprise by the push back. Especially if you're not willing to compromise. Yes, it can get out of hand, but that doesn't mean the push back has no ground.
Much of what Lennart says about the kernel community is true. Much of what they say about him is also true. While he might stay away from invective and hyperbole, the underlying contempt and dismissiveness of reasonable concerns is still there. This is one fight where nobody in their right mind would want to support either side.
Having been on the end of a chunk of hate for about 40% of my work simply on political grounds rather than any technical grounds, I can understand this entirely and I have no problem with Lennart at all on this basis. I'm talking about patches, not reengineering either.
The basic problem was raising a defect "X doesn't work properly, here's a tested fix that we deployed in production". The answer was ticket closed. I reopened, and asked for an explanation. Literally "get fucked, we don't want your 'fix'". I replied "I'll patch my own kernel and SRPMS then" followed by a massive lecture from one of the project leaders on how I should be communicating with the community and that I need to be part of the special circle jerk club on that project to get a patch in. The defects were even removed from the trackers if the community members were rude to the outsiders to hide the fact.
So out of the goodness of my own heart I wasted 5 days with GDB debugging shit, wrote a patch that fixed it and raised a ticket with the patch attached, was closed, BANG. This happened 4 times on different projects.
So yes I do find that a number of the higher profile projects are purely powered by liquid asshole.
Unfortunately that makes me want to rely on the platforms less and has made me shift my focus to the Windows and BSD platforms which are surprisingly less political.
Argh. I even hated writing this.
Similarly, "drama queen" is a larger category than "drama queens which don't help solve problems but only create new ones." It's easily possible to be a drama queen who solves problems. Personally, I find it hard to read a quote like "[someone who decided to] read things ONE F*CKING BYTE AT A TIME with system calls for each byte should be retroactively aborted" and not see it as anything other than a exaggerated and dramatic statement, which kinda fits the definition of a drama queen. Do you think it is a normal and non-dramatic response to reading a byte at a time?
The author also commented on your statement "otherwise Linux wouldn't be in the state it is" by writing "it's not an efficient way to run a community. If Linux had success, then that certainly happened __despite__, not because of this behaviour."
Certainly there's any number of successful racist, sexist, or fill-in-the-blank-ist organizations. Success should not be used to justify bad behavior (except for certain cases where the discrimination is a bona fide reason for the success, such as hiring only women for a topless club - but you are not making the point that assholes and drama queens are required for the success of Linux). To do so is to commit the fallacy of post hoc ergo propter hoc.
But productive assholes are not destructive assholes, nor is being an asshole a universal character trait. A fan of sports team X can be a faithful friend to other fans of sports team X while being an asshole to all fans of rival sports team Y. A team member can be verbally abusive towards those who don't use the One True Brace Style, while being the primary architect for the system. That person is a productive asshole.
That said, these people are usually called "difficult to work with", not "assholes". Calling a coworker an asshole usually makes it more difficult to work with them, not less.
It's hard to read about women doing scientific research 100 years ago without thinking that most of their male colleagues were assholes in how they treated women.
Even his personal criticism of Linus Torvalds is pretty specifically about an aspect of Torvalds' "community management style", not him as a person or his moral character or his work in general. It's also not a particularly wild analysis, I've seen that general sort of point made in all kinds of discussions, here on HN and elsewhere.
He does, for example, admit that he did not always live up to those standards he wants.
It's probably because he specifically works in and identifies with the larger open source community, and because people who (pretend to?) collect money to get him killed specifically identify with the open source community too.
He's discussing technical topics, there is no point in having such responses coming to one just because of a technical disagreement. For what it's worth, I have stuff flying my way too because I do not agree with the direction Python is doing and I don't think the tone that flies my way sometimes is justified.
Frankly, I don't think we'd get any momentum if we didn't.
This carries the danger of people shortening it into "I have the loudest voice" in their mind, which begs the question how other communities unite the role of "last instance for contentious questions" (aka benevolent dictator) with the ideal of being nice to everyone.
I don't see how it gets much more personal than starting off a mail to a new contributor with the line:
*YOU* are full of bullshit.
Quite frankly, even if the choice of C were to do *nothing* but keep the C++ programmers out, that in itself would be a huge reason to use C.
To bring this back to Lennart Poettering, I'd argue this is why community issues are hard to fix: there's far too many people who are happy to use efforts to stamp out really harmful stuff (threats of violence/death, flames and spamming/harassment) to instead try and knock down a prominent figure just because. It's a distraction that ultimately makes it irrelevant, and to boot ruins any forward progress to be made.
My observation of whats happening is quite frankly that people do not like the enforcing approach of systemd. There is no humble approach, it's the systemd approach and don't stand in the way.
It's not "insane". It's a thing people do because they get the impression that it's socially acceptable, because see, everybody sympathizes with people griping about systemd, right? Everybody agrees that Poettering is the devil, right? He's bringing it on himself by sneaking into people's houses and installing systemd on their computers, right?
It's not insane. It doesn't stem from some imbalance in brain chemistry or some other mental issue. Labeling it insanity belies the community's responsibility for setting standards of acceptable behavior.
But this a problem which turns up in every community where there are politicized issues. See: anything to do with women talking about video games.
We can take this problem even wider and start looking at say, American domestic politics and it's infatuation with "second amendment solutions". It's apparently socially acceptable to drop that phrase when discussing elections, policy and the president when you're a state or federal representative. Locally in Australia we've got an entire political party that carefully fans the flames of almost but not quite encouraging violence and intolerance.
You can certainly improve things at a community-by-community level, and OSS definitely should try to do so (and there should be support to do so in sensible, constructive ways). But this is a problem which goes a lot further then software development.
Also I figure people rely on meritocracy being some sort of infallible system, in some sort of just-world fallacy where they figure if this guy who's screaming bloody murder on the mailing list were wrong to do so, surely someone would have stopped him, right...? But he's got all these patches in the tree, so that means he's correct by definition, and that's more important than "real-life" social norms anyway.
* Most Linux-based OSS communities (specially the kernel) market themselves as a Merry Community
* In reality, they're not, they're full of bullies who won't hesistate to call you or your mother names
* You must equally be a bully enough if you want to stand on your own
And I relate with this a lot. Bullies act like this in groups, and they always feel extremely proud and righteous of themselves, and think they're doing God's Work. But beyond all that overflowing sense of righteousness, bullying is simply, plainly, wrong.
Unfortunately, most of these Linux-based communities have grown to become bands of bullies, and they are also extremely proud of it. Such a sad situation to be in. Folks who call themselves "Freedom-loving FOSS members" behaving in polar opposite to the values that they supposedly care about. Some things are just unacceptable.
"communities are full of bullies who won't hesitate to call you or your mother names" - I think this is best put as "doing controversial things will attract trolls and haters".
"you must equally be a bully enough" - no, you just need to tune out the haters and continue to work towards your goal.
Lennart and the others underwent a ginormous effort to grow systemd from a borderline dangerous "I'm smarter than everyone else" toy project into something that's actually useful.
They did that despite the fact that the problem in question had been solved a couple times over (upstart was the last in a series of "improved" versions of SysVInit), and despite the fact that systemd adoption incurs a large switching cost of re-writing init scripts for all packages.
The art of leading a successful open source project is partly in tuning in to useful feedback and tuning out the haters who have nothing to contribute. Yes, the haters function based on ways that are similar to bullying. But while you can keep them off the mailing list, you can't ban them everywhere.
The more visible a community or an undertaking, the more visible it is for haters and bullies, and the more effort is lost on policing them or tuning them out. There's no way around it, other than educating the general population or staying a small, very technical in-group.
This seems a bit disingenous. Unless you think upstart is literally perfect, the problem is obviously not solved, only iterated on...and without further arguments there's no reason systemd shouldn't attempt to be the next (further improved) iteration.
Systemd certainly has features upstart doesn't, some of which are prominent arguments for its adoption. So it seems the community doesn't agree - no, upstart is not the pinnacle of init systems.
For some people, BSD init works just fine and they're happy with it and they abhor the additional complexity. Without any doubt, Systemd also has its flaws - it's not compatible with *BSDs, or generally non-Linux systems, it's a departure from the "everything is accessible using a simple text editor" principle that has brought Linux where we're now, and there's a non-zero switching cost for each and every package.
Many people know polipo-audio (later renamed to pulseaudio) and the crashing propensity of its earlier versions, and who are kind of intimidated by the whole DBus/ConsoleKit tangle that introduces many moving components that are hard to debug when they fail. A system that is "perfect in theory" but crashes often is not that great.
So people are kind of apprehensive when the same guy who brought them crashing sound demons a couple years ago now comes over happily with a solution to replace the most central component for their system. Thus far, I've been pleasantly surprised by Systemd silently doing its thing and working as advertised. And I wouldn't swap it out for upstart if someone gave me the choice.
The morale? Yes, people grow up, complex systems become more manageable with time when people write debugging aids for them. (Including things such as VirtualBox which make debugging central system components much easier - imagine living in a world where your systemd crashes and bugs simply get closed with a WORKSFORME tag and ignored).
Meaning that if any of the older inits balk you can bring up the system piecemeal manually and get to town figuring out why it balked.
There are a number of experiences documented on G+ and forums of systemd getting into a deadlock, with no useful error messages, and where it can't be brought up piecemeal for diagnosis as everything relies on systemd running as pid1.
That is the kind of boot time Russian roulette that MS products have been lambasted for in the past.
The first opensource project I tried to contribute to when I started coding has been a horrible experience. When I asked about some directions regarding some details, the only responses I got were not nice, to say the least. f.i. they complained that i mixed british and american english, and that was the most constructive response. Well, stuff like that can happen if your 13, from austria and never had a proper english-teacher before ;-)
OTOH there are also the good experiences where people help each other out and aren't afraid to teach someone how things work. there are a lot of good FOSS communities out there.
For me personally the guys around the Aboriginal Linux project stand out. They have been really helpful on IRC and the ML is also refreshing to read :)
Maybe you are the problem. I don't know a single OSS developer that is more hated than you. Ever wondered why this might be?
Lennart's complaints about Linus are on point here. But not for the reason Lennart thinks.
Linus has scathing personal insults. And people don't hate him. Because most of the time... he's right. Linus has gotten where he is through brains, a lot of work, and a certain amount of luck. His code has been adopted through sheer technical merit.
Lennart has written a lot of code, but the perception is that much of it was adopted for political reasons. This adoption goes directly against the core principles of the Open Source movement.
i.e. people feel emotionally betrayed.
In contrast, Linus telling them to go fuck themselves is just strong wording around a technical discussion. It doesn't hit emotional buttons in the same way.
The "feature creep" of systemd is another case in point. Systemd is increasing it's functionality, and forcing people to use it. Because the alternatives are no longer supported, or their favorite software is now welded to systemd. This process hits more emotional buttons.
The perception is that Open Source is about freedom, personal choice, etc. When people have choices removed in Open Source software, it hits emotional buttons. When they get told "my way or the highway", they get deeply offended on a personal level.
Lennart may be right in all of his technical decisions. But the environment he's in means he's guaranteed to get a lot of flak for it.
After reading this http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Systemd , I dislike systemd also. The conspiracy side of my mind think redhead is pushing for systemd because systemd's complexity enable redhead to sale more support contracts.
If there's one thing people hate more than having flaws pointed out in something they like, it's someone else changing that thing and making it better. Not only does it feel like an insult, but it means that all that pain you went through to learn bash/xfree86.conf/ifconfig/alsactl/etc. is now irrelevant.
I don't see how you can seriously argue against systemd. The lack of integration and modernity in desktop linux has hurt it. Does no-one remember how much of a pain in the arse it was to simply connect to a WPA2 wifi network for years? That was because wifi configuration was a jumbled assortment of (really secure no doubt) shell scripts - not something that is easy to interface to a GUI. We should be celebrating the fact that someone is fixing the mess that is the linux userspace.
Anyway, none of this justifies the stupid amount of hatred inflicted on him. And I've still yet to see a sane technical criticism of systemd.
Also, you won't believe how many times an "alsactl restore" has ended up fixing my audio, even on systems with PulseAudio.
It's complicated and modern Desktop Linux userland (ConsoleKit/PolKit/dbus/pulseaudio/GNOME...) feels like a sub-optimal solution from a sysadmin perspective. Maybe systemd will fix some of these issues but some are afraid it will introduce others.
Having dealt with "modern Desktop Linux" I can totally relate to Datenwolf. I understand that he lacks knowledge but if you are not a developer of these systems it's impossible to deal with this mess. And yes - I think it's largely a undocumented, poorly implemented and overly complex mess.
And in cloud computing the admins are not kings, but peons.
Peons tilling the cattle (server) farm of 100s of servers, each running any number of VM instances. If one or more of those instances go down, new ones are spun back up.
And you see this attitude within systemd. If a daemons crashes you don't leave it down and try to figure out why it crashes. Instead systemd will simply restart any daemon it finds not to be running when it should.
Basically this is not uptime by way of applying carefully measured and maintained administration. This is uptime by machinegun.
It is what allows anyone with some grasp of php to rent server time on a amorphous blob like the Amazon EC2 and spin up the next Twitter or Facebook.
No need to optimize for or maintain the hardware. If the current load is too much, wave your credit card and have 1000 fresh instances behind the the load balancer, courtesy of Amazon or RH.
Datenwolf is demonstrating the kind of exasperation that have in the past driven people to look for alternatives to Windows. They thought they had found the promised land in Linux, but now the blight is coming over the walls and taking up residence even here.
Which is exactly his point. "Have you submitted a patch" followed by "it's not our bug" doesn't help, it's down right idiotic when it comes to emergent bugs. Everyone involved can honestly say "not my problem" while you're stuck with a dead system "because you have the disabled".
Mr.Poettering et al seem not to realize that bugs don't just come from within programs but from how programs interact with their environment. When you hide all the details behind a single monolithic process it is either "this works" or "this doesn't" and there's nothing you can do about it. When it's a shell script trying together 20 programs it's "this kind mostly works apart from when x happens, which I can have a check for".
The exact kind of behavior that has driven many from Windows to Linux.
"The "Poettering effect" is now sometimes used as a negative term for presumed damage his mindset is doing to opensource communities."
I guess there's two sides to every story...
What a strange situation.
That's not an issue that has two sides. That's an issue about his technical work, and then some people doing something abusive. There's two sides to that technical debate, but there's only one side to the other debate, and that's "stop being awful." There would only be two sides if the technical issues surrounding his work somehow justified the abuse. And they don't, because basically nothing justifies that kind of abuse in the tech world.
The comment "Linux is an awful community" is not technical, but it came after the abuse. Hopefully you can see that there's a difference between that and threatening someone.
It seems to read that he is basically going around systematically "upsetting the applecart".
Now, whether he's doing that technically or otherwise, it's still having an effect on the ecosystem. You can't detach yourself from that.
I stopped caring so long ago that I wasn't even hit by pulseaudio, so both Lennart and Mr. Drepper have my sympathy and support, as long as they keep to Linux (thankyouverymuch).
There's the software people hate, and the software nobody uses.
(Of course turning it into a personal attack is very poor behaviour.)
Poettering wants to show how his community is nice and welcoming, and he does it by... making gratuitous attacks at Gentoo? Sounds legit.
There is one data point you can possibly extract from the sudden appearance of jerks ranting about your work: it is a rough heuristic that suggest that group of people has grown "sufficiently large". People working in the arts sometimes take this as a suggestion that they have "made it", as they have finally achieved an audience that is large enough that touches on a diverse cross-section of the population, and n not just their original niche.
So this suggest that the thing Mr. Poettering is complaining about... is that the people whgo oppose his software have become so large that normal users from random parts of society are complaining. It is proof that it is not, as many suggest, a small amount of unix beards that are doing the complaining.
Mr. Poettering just needs to learn that when you make it big by trowing your weight around - especially when you deliver your own testosterone-fueled challenges and insults - you are making yourself a target. This may or may not be deserved, but if you want to survive in a world where assholes and jerks still exist you need to learn to not take their insults too personally.
/* I'll point out that this general advice is true for anybody with a large audience. If I were to reply to the long history of how systemd forced a coup and hostile takeover of the linux community, then i might suggest that while there area always assholes, this does stink a bit like he's responding to a situation nicely setup for him by some agent provocateur. It certainly fits his cabal's historical style. /
Edit; for the record, in no way am I condoning* jerks that merely throw around insults and threats. I am simply stating that they are inevitable once your audience is big enough.
 myself included; also: https://imgur.com/QWkbh
He promises stuff that does magic and its free, but the reality is hey can deliver, nor his sycophants and minions, anything that works.
He is poetter-izing linux, making it suck in the same ways as many commercial OSen.
I have to say systemd is the crappiest rip off of SMF I have ever seen.
Our attachment to Hacker News is also a bit annoying from a FOSS perspective, unless there's been some release since the suggestion at https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5006037 . Torvalds uses Google+. How is your comment any different from the pot calling the kettle black?
I wasn't aware Torvalds uses G+, shame on him for doing so. The comment was more about the absurd policies the user signs off on to use the service more than the lack of source code, not that that isn't an issue.
HN being closed source is a bummer. I respect a webmasters choice to refrain from publishing server side code. But considering most of the content discussed on HN, it is hypocritical. As unethical as HN is from a FOSS standpoint, I can't turn away from a site where the user-base falls on the right side of a bell curve for I.Q. Too good to pass up.
Poor baby. Why is everyone so mean to him? He's western, white, straight, male, 30s-40s (really?).
> I can only imagine that it is much worse for members of minorities, or people from different cultural backgrounds, in particular ones where losing face is a major issue.
Speaks for itself.