[svlug] arduino + drone fun

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Tue Sep 26 12:34:14 PDT 2017

Quoting Rob Landley (rob at landley.net):

> Things break unless humans regression test them. I regularly send "hey,
> you broke X" emails to people (kernel devs, qemu devs, libc devs...)
> because they keep breaking stuff and not noticing until I poke them.
> (The embedded world at large waits for crazy people like me to try the
> new stuff, and then they install stuff trailing anywhere from 18 months
> to in extreme cases 7 years).

This is important to note, and may indeed lead to second-class support
for non-default init systems in Debian over time.  (This is maybe even
likely.)  Not through hostility, just through neglect, bitrot, and lack
of QA focus.  

Now, I personally regard this as small beer.  I think I could write
adequate conffiles for a dozen or two services to run under a BSD-style
init in a couple of hours, if I had to.  That sort of thing used to be
an essential skill, then we all got lazy because it's so easy to
disengage the brain and rely on distro package maintainers.  (FWIW, I
like OpenRC because it seems BSDish.)  

For comparison, I've also got a Devuan Ascii (dev branch) VM instance
with OpenRC I've been kicking around.  OpenRC isn't official in Devuan,
either, but any possible future breakage seems small beer for the same
reason.  But yeah, I'd patch it and poke upstream (less to be a good 
neighbour than to stop needing local state).

> That said, these days I'm using devuan chroots/containers rather than
> debian ones when I need something newer than ubuntu 14.04.

Devuan's continuing to look solid, IMO, and I'm relying on it more all
the time.

For that matter, for quite a few years, when I say 'Debian', it doesn't
necessarily mean software maintained by the Debian Project, and most
often did _not_ involve that project's installer.  For years, I tended
by preference to use other Debian-family installer images to install
Testing/Unstable systems -- often using the late Sidux / Aptosid
project's live CD images, and more recently that project's surviving
fork, Siduction.
It's convenient, has cutting-edge hardware support (but not restricted
firmware BLOBs), and I can opt to not install the DE packages to get a
sparser starting set.

And, with caution and knowing-what-you're-doing, it's always been 
feasible to use third-party repos.  So, basically, when I say 'Debian',
I increasingly _actually_ mean a system that uses Debian-style
architecture without particular regard to exactly where the installer or
packages came from.  

This Works for Me[tm].  After all, one of the main attractions of
Debian's tradition of strongly enforced distro policy 
is that it creates a compatibility base.  Why not use that?

More information about the svlug mailing list