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Comment: Re: Boom in the EU = Boom in Redmond (Score 3, Interesting) 244

by ThePhilips (#47896811) Attached to: City of Turin To Switch From Windows To Linux and Save 6M Euros

We heard this argument many times before.

The problem with it is that with Windows you are pretty much forced to buy such solution, either from MS or from 3rd parties.

With Linux, it is really an option, a "nice to have".

For example, a small engineering company in Germany. They actually bought it for 12 desktops in their office. (One desktop is actually server.) Not because they had to, but because it basically freed them up from having a full time admin. (They have admin, but he wanted to go into the CAD/design, and the Ubuntu managed solution simply allowed him to.) (Why Ubuntu? They have tried it - it worked for them well and they have stayed with it.)

Comment: Re: Er? (Score 1) 314

by ThePhilips (#47853249) Attached to: GSOC Project Works To Emulate Systemd For OpenBSD

LANG=Japanese appname in the terminal makes so much more sense.

The problem with that, is that very few applications are now isolated these days. You typically have a DB back-end, data export/import and RPC to other system services. Setting a different locale is error prone since some data might be simply misinterpreted and end up corrupted. And that is real problem, since lots of user data are actually stored in textual form (even in DB!).

IME, the per-application locale has its uses, but in real world it causes more problems than it solves. In fact, since most Linux distros support quick account switching, the cheapest solution right now is to use two accounts with different locales.

Forcing systemwide language settings is a broken concept. The fact my Japanese wife has to set her whole iphone to English to get google maps to say street names in the US while driving is a great real world example.

There is no sane way to solve that problem on the level of OS. (Even "primary language; secondary language" is not enough, since for example I have to deal daily with three languages (Russian, English, German).) Most of the time this ends up being in the responsibility of the application developers: if they care enough, they offer a possibility to use a language different from the system one.

Think of the flip-side: you might accidentally force all Japanese and all English iPhones to download both English and Japanese locale data. And this is pretty large amount of the data to just sit around idly, just in case when user might once decide to hear the street names in different language.

Comment: Re:Needed by who? (Score 2) 314

by ThePhilips (#47852167) Attached to: GSOC Project Works To Emulate Systemd For OpenBSD

Wait, who actually needs to do those things?

Desktop applications.

For example, you change time zone or locale in system settings and your organizer app automatically picks up the changes.

And if the services do not depend on systemd, why are they part of the package?

Pottering is maintainer of all of them. So he brought it under the systemd umbrella.

Sounds like a made-up scenario and some bad packaging. Not a real-world need.

Applications "need" the services. They do not care who provides the services. As was said many times, the daemons - with few irrelevant changes to the source code to remove hardcoded systemd depedency - run fine without systemd.

Certainly fits the systemd reputation for taking over already-solved problems without any reason, though.

Yes.

Pottering also enjoys the confusion he has seeded with the organization of the systemd. He claims simultaneously (depending on the context; and to his advantage) that systemd is modular and monolithic. While in fact systemd has monolithic architecture and modular design. Pretty much the worst combination possible - prominently featured in the MSWindows, why comparison with Windows is highly relevant. (Ideally you want modular architecture, while design could be either monolithic (e.g. Linux kernel, optimized for performance) or modular (e.g. GIMP with the tons of the plug-ins, geared toward extensibility). But monolithic architecture is pretty much the worst thing you could ever do to a software project.)

Comment: Re:Er? (Score 1) 314

by ThePhilips (#47851571) Attached to: GSOC Project Works To Emulate Systemd For OpenBSD

The three services are actually needed.

For what? If you say "to bring more windowsisms to linux" then I can believe it. Otherwise, not so much.

For applications. To handle properly when user changes the system settings.

These daemons are primitive at best. There were more comments written about them then there is source code lines in them.

Note, I'm in no favor of systemd itself. Debian in the past exemplified that you can actually use GNOME on a system without systemd, with only slightly patched up systemd-*d daemons. Which makes a lot of sense to me. But their maintainer is Poeterring, and he merged that all into the systemd, and there is no replacement for the daemons, so...

The usefulness of logind can be argued, but centralized management of date/time and locale changes were long overdue. Linux is pretty much the only OS remaining, where application, if needed, can't really know if/when date/time or locale has changed.

Unix (not so much linux) has for a really long time been a multi-user system, where multiple users can use different locales and different time zones.

Nobody dismisses the multi-user-ness of the *NIX. In fact, the services should improve that by allowing a user to easily change his own locale/time zone without the need for log-out/log-in cycle.

The blank the services are filling is allowing application to perform application-specific tasks *when* user changes the locale or time zone. Editing a text config, and then restarting everything is, sorry, but horribly outdated. (We can update kernel on the fly - but not locale!? WTF?)

Comment: Re:Er? (Score 5, Informative) 314

by ThePhilips (#47850975) Attached to: GSOC Project Works To Emulate Systemd For OpenBSD

The three services are actually needed.

The systemd-localed is simple: it provides the user with capability to change the locale on the fly (and applications with the ability to react on the locale change).

The systemd-timedated does almost the same for the date and time.

And the systemd-logind is basically a dbus wrapper to provide access to log-out/shutdown/etc functions.

The usefulness of logind can be argued, but centralized management of date/time and locale changes were long overdue. Linux is pretty much the only OS remaining, where application, if needed, can't really know if/when date/time or locale has changed.

In no way the services itself depend on the systemd - they are simply part of the systemd package. Nothing more.

Comment: Re:So .. it's a college? (Score 2) 62

by ThePhilips (#47840055) Attached to: Willow Garage Founder Scott Hassan Aims To Build a Startup Village

[...] comes from the tried and true cycle of hypothesis --> test --> evaluate.

Ah. The science. The scientific process. But science is precisely the example of the branch with closed environment, discrimination and elitism, which abhors and rejects any innovation or change. Unless it comes from a prof with a fat grant, of course.

That's why, for example, computer science, effectively branched off and doesn't use the scientific process. Likewise, most of the industries: the scientific process is way too expensive and way too wasteful when applied to tangible things. Some areas do it because all low hanging fruits are already gone and there is simply no alternative. But again, due to the costs, it is applied in a very very limited fashion.

In the end, in this particular context, it is OK to ignore science because your definition of innovation is simply different. Heck, you measure "innovation" in number of published papers.

Comment: Re:So .. it's a college? (Score 2) 62

by ThePhilips (#47838919) Attached to: Willow Garage Founder Scott Hassan Aims To Build a Startup Village

That's an appealing idea, but I don't think it's true. I've read before that innovation generally comes from the experts in a field and the "happy accident" type of innovation from naive newcomers is more myth than reality.

Not in my experience, though.

But of course professional pride kicks in even before the first round of applause fades, and after that it is "of course it was very very hard work!!!"

Then again, I probably define innovation very differently than someone focused on an incubator village and start-ups. I'm thinking more along the lines of Bell Labs [...]

That's precisely the type of innovation I was talking about. (Facebook thingies happen by throwing stuff against the wall and seeing what sticks. When lots of people do it simultaneously, there is a chance that some of it sticks.)

The thing about big R&D centers is that nobody really sees what's going on behind the closed doors. Behind the closed doors in the most "productive" labs you would find chaos and disorder - precisely the environment where errors and accidents occur. But it certainly takes dedication (to field or problem) to actually make out of that a "Eureka!" moment.

Otherwise, if innovation was that easy to achieve by simply good planning, then it would have been done a long time ago.

Comment: Re:So .. it's a college? (Score 4, Insightful) 62

by ThePhilips (#47838751) Attached to: Willow Garage Founder Scott Hassan Aims To Build a Startup Village

Except that you would rarely see new people.

More innovation happens by accidents, mistakes and misunderstandings. Or the ever silly questions of the newcomers.

Without inflow of new people, the "village" would suffer mental rot pretty quickly.

In a sense, a maker fairs are already better "startup villages", IMO.

Comment: Re:The far reaches (Score 1) 826

by ThePhilips (#47755399) Attached to: Choose Your Side On the Linux Divide

I'm clearly a beardy type despite cutting my teeth on Unix well after 1988. Apparently I did get the message where so many others did not.

I started seriously with Linux in 1999, after 5 years of WinNT4. And I do not like the systemd.

SystemD is a reinvention of Windows for Linux. It's even made the same way as the Windows: modular design with monolitic architecture. Just like a card house: pull one card, and the whole thing comes down.

That's why Linux back then was like a breath of fresh air to me. Coming from NT4 (which was hard to keep working) to Linux (which I could bring back from a fatal failure in under 15 minutes) pretty much exemplified to me how *NOT* to design the software.

SystemD is indeed the "second system effect" which (unknowingly?) implements many errors of the Windows. The errors which still hunt MS to this day!. (E.g. all embedded Windows attempts failed. Now they have a dedicated embedded system - WinPho - because porting the "card house" to another device built around different paradigms is hard and costly and error prone. It works like crap in the end, while providing no benefits to developers (making portable applications proved to be futile; with WinPho MS stopped promising it) and consequently users.)

Comment: Re:NT is best (Score 1) 190

by ThePhilips (#47755053) Attached to: Munich Council Say Talk of LiMux Demise Is Greatly Exaggerated

Not so rare if (A) you have full assortment of the .Net run-times installed and (B) skip some monthly update.

At the worst, on my Win7 I had about 5 .Net run-times installed. It happened more than once that after one dot-point update, there was another dot-point update immediately available.

(Plus, there were two "uninstallable" .net updates: they would silently fail to install and after reboot you would be asked to update again to the same version. I see that shit because I have auto-updates disabled. But for normal people with auto-updates on, that would be a prompt to reboot ~30 min after previous reboot.)

The only solution is to uninstall the application which requires the uncommon .net version and uninstall the redundant .net run-times.

Comment: Re:NT is best (Score 1) 190

by ThePhilips (#47755031) Attached to: Munich Council Say Talk of LiMux Demise Is Greatly Exaggerated

On Debian based systems this was never a problem.

Debian IIRC would ask you ~3 times (displaying big scary warnings that you better know what you are doing and Debian isn't responsible for the consequences of your actions) before it would let you uninstall a core OS package like glibc or text-tools or perl.

That is also reason why Debian rebuilds the initrd so often, seemingly redundantly, during the update. To make sure that even if system went down during the update, and there are updated kernel modules, chances are great that your system would remain in a bootable state.

The traditional problems of the RedHat systems where RPM lets you screw your system (or screws it on its own automatically; or refuses to do a trivial thing, you force it and it conveniently screws it for you) at least to me are long over.

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