[svlug] This mess is surely a conspiracy, my brain hurts and I don't like complexity or live long and prosper

Ivan Sergio Borgonovo mail at webthatworks.it
Thu Jan 1 17:59:21 PST 2015

On 01/02/2015 12:22 AM, Sanatan Rai wrote:

>  |Working with JS is much nicer now than it was 10 years ago, and you've a

> That's a bit like saying that you can get used to banging your head against
> the wall and even like it. ;-)

I did say my brain hurts, didn't I? ;)

>     lot of tools. Still JS compared to python is a PITA and people are
>     writing "compilers" as CoffeScript to avoid to directly deal with JS.
>     But JS is in all browsers and in all mobile devices (and Dart isn't yet)
>     and it will take time to replace it with something better... or with a
>     better JS.
>     I think very few people are writing Java applets that run in the
>     browser, Flash is unfortunately still alive but Adobe and Apple sent a
>     signal it may disappear (like COBOL), javascript is still among us and
>     strong. The irony.

> Ie  bad choices made now will be with us 10 years from on. All the more
> reason to choose carefully.

Then take out your crystal ball and tell us which are the bad choices,
show us which are the good one and then take out your magic wand and fix
them, finally explain us where you were when people were experimenting
with new init systems? Probably you went to fix your crystal ball in the
same shop I took mine.

Was it such a bad idea to have code running in the browser? mmm yes, but
really no, but yes it was a bad idea if it was VB and well we didn't
care too much if JS was terrible, it was just less terrible than VB. Was
it there anything better? No.
Then we shouldn't have had JS in the browser... actually it caused more
headache than good at that time. But no matter if we already had JS
someone came out with Flash because JS was not enough
powerful/expressive. Was it bad? mmm yes, that one was bad, that one was
easy ;)
But still people would like to do more in the browser and somehow they
are right.
Hey the browser as a new platform... you won't need anymore to have a MS
license to do whatever (you'll just need an android phone... oh wait).

No choice is a bad choice. sysvinit is an ancient relic. People started
to look at alternatives and the best thing that came out was systemd.
How much does it cost to wait forever for the best choice?
Is there a best choice for any time and any context?

Were people looking elsewhere when systemd was being developed? No,
actually the people that had interest and skills already tried to make a
better init and systemd was the one that the people that had a *serious*
interest in changing it made.

What about MIR and wayland?

It was not a company, a government, a conspiracy, a group of clowns, a

That's the best the community could afford.

From my point of view that was a pretty nice process.
And yeah you don't have to remember me the «"debug" on the kernel
command line» issue ;)

>     Should we talk about how the story on client and server went? or the one
>     about process/threads/virtualization/containers?
>     What about RISC/CISC/CPU/GPU?

> Go on, I'd be interested!

We went back and forward from moving different kind and percentage of
workload from server (mainframe to cloud) to thin, fat, dumb clients.

We didn't have good threads so we run stuff in processes then we started
to have reasonably good threads, then we started to say they weren't
isolated enough, so we went back to processes, sandboxes, then we
rediscovered virtualization, rediscovered threads, moved to containers,
moved to single application containers, development environment, sooner
or later we will rediscover process and threads (I bet we will as soon
as stuff like lowRISC will become available) etc...
You can shake the chronology at will since in some context in some
moment in time a different previous choice was "the wrong one".

You could say the same about what should have been the perfect HW
architecture... why are we using x86 and not 68000?

Many of the choices that were made were far from being rational
technical choices or "democratic" ones, but we're in better shape than
we were 30 years ago, just with much more complexity to deal with.

Picking up systemd has been a much more technically rational and
democratic process than the ones we succeed to survive to.

I can't judge the technical merits in details, I'm looking at the process.
I see very few space for complaining.

It is like looking at creationist protesting against evolutionism.

Ivan Sergio Borgonovo

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