Donate

Categories

Advert

Recent Comments

Anti-Systemd People

For the Technical People

This post isn’t really about technology, I’ll cover the technology briefly skip to the next section if you aren’t interested in Linux programming or system administration.

I’ve been using the Systemd init system for a long time, I first tested it in 2010 [1]. I use Systemd on most of my systems that run Debian/Wheezy (which means most of the Linux systems I run which aren’t embedded systems). Currently the only systems where I’m not running Systemd are some systems on which I don’t have console access, while Systemd works reasonably well it wasn’t a standard init system for Debian/Wheezy so I don’t run it everywhere. That said I haven’t had any problems with Systemd in Wheezy, so I might have been too paranoid.

I recently wrote a blog post about systemd, just some basic information on how to use it and why it’s not a big deal [2]. I’ve been playing with Systemd for almost 5 years and using it in production for almost 2 years and it’s performed well. The most serious bug I’ve found in systemd is Bug #774153 which causes a Wheezy->Jessie upgrade to hang until you run “systemctl daemon-reexec” [3].

I know that some people have had problems with systemd, but any piece of significant software will cause problems for some people, there are bugs in all software that is complex enough to be useful. However the fact that it has worked so well for me on so many systems suggests that it’s not going to cause huge problems, it should be covered in the routine testing that is needed for a significant deployment of any new version of a distribution.

I’ve been using Debian for a long time. The transitions from libc4 to libc5 and then libc6 were complex but didn’t break much. The use of devfs in Debian caused some issues and then the removal of devfs caused other issues. The introduction of udev probably caused problems for some people too. Doing major updates to Debian systems isn’t something that is new or which will necessarily cause significant problems, I don’t think that the change to systemd by default compares to changing from a.out binaries to ELF binaries (which required replacing all shared objects and executables).

The Social Issue of the Default Init

Recently the Debian technical committee determined that Systemd was the best choice for the default init system in Debian/Jessie (the next release of Debian which will come out soon). Decisions about which programs should be in the default install are made periodically and it’s usually not a big deal. Even when the choice is between options that directly involve the user (such as the KDE and GNOME desktop environments) it’s not really a big deal because you can just install a non-default option.

One of the strengths of Debian has always been the fact that any Debian Developer (DD) can just add any new package to the archive if they maintain it to a suitable technical standard and if copyright and all other relevant laws are respected. Any DD who doesn’t like any of the current init systems can just package a new one and upload it. Obviously the default option will get more testing, so the non-default options will need more testing by the maintainer. This is particularly difficult for programs that have significant interaction with other parts of the system, I’ve had difficulties with this over the course of 14 years of SE Linux development but I’ve also found that it’s not an impossible problem to solve.

It’s generally accepted that making demands of other people’s volunteer work is a bad thing, which to some extent is a reasonable position. There is a problem when this is taken to extremes, Debian has over 1000 developers who have to work together so sometimes it’s a question of who gets to do the extra work to make the parts of the distribution fit together. The issue of who gets to do the work is often based on what parts are the defaults or most commonly used options. For my work on SE Linux I often have to do a lot of extra work because it’s not part of the default install and I have to make my requests for changes to other packages be as small and simple as possible.

So part of the decision to make Systemd be the default init is essentially a decision to impose slightly more development effort on the people who maintain SysVInit if they are to provide the same level of support – of course given the lack of overall development on SysVInit the level of support provided may decrease. It also means slightly less development effort for the people who maintain Systemd as developers of daemon packages MUST make them work with it. Another part of this issue is the fact that DDs who maintain daemon packages need to maintain init.d scripts (for SysVInit) and systemd scripts, presumably most DDs will have a preference for one init system and do less testing for the other one. Therefore the choice of systemd as the default means that slightly less developer effort will go into init.d scripts. On average this will slightly increase the amount of sysadmin effort that will be required to run systems with SysVInit as the scripts will on average be less well tested. This isn’t going to be a problem in the short term as the current scripts are working reasonably well, but over the course of years bugs may creep in and a proposed solution to this is to have SysVInit scripts generated from systemd config files.

We did have a long debate within Debian about the issue of default init systems and many Debian Developers disagree about this. But there is a big difference between volunteers debating about their work and external people who don’t contribute but believe that they are entitled to tell us what to do. Especially when the non-contributors abuse the people who do the work.

The Crowd Reaction

In a world filled with reasonable people who aren’t assholes there wouldn’t be any more reaction to this than there has been to decisions such as which desktop environment should be the default (which has caused some debate but nothing serious). The issue of which desktop environment (or which version of a desktop environment) to support has a significant affect on users that can’t be avoided, I could understand people being a little upset about that. But the init system isn’t something that most users will notice – apart from the boot time.

For some reason the men in the Linux community who hate women the most seem to have taken a dislike to systemd. I understand that being “conservative” might mean not wanting changes to software as well as not wanting changes to inequality in society but even so this surprised me. My last blog post about systemd has probably set a personal record for the amount of misogynistic and homophobic abuse I received in the comments. More gender and sexuality related abuse than I usually receive when posting about the issues of gender and sexuality in the context of the FOSS community! For the record this doesn’t bother me, when I get such abuse I’m just going to write more about the topic in question.

While the issue of which init system to use by default in Debian was being discussed we had a lot of hostility from unimportant people who for some reason thought that they might get their way by being abusive and threatening people. As expected that didn’t give the result they desired, but it did result in a small trend towards people who are less concerned about the reactions of users taking on development work related to init systems.

The next thing that they did was to announce a “fork” of Debian. Forking software means maintaining a separate version due to a serious disagreement about how it should be maintained. Doing that requires a significant amount of work in compiling all the source code and testing the results. The sensible option would be to just maintain a separate repository of modified packages as has been done many times before. One of the most well known repositories was the Debian Multimedia repository, it was controversial due to flouting legal issues (the developer produced code that was legal where they lived) and due to confusion among users. But it demonstrated that you can make a repository containing many modified packages. In my work on SE Linux I’ve always had a repository of packages containing changes that haven’t been accepted into Debian, which included changes to SysVInit in about 2001.

The latest news on the fork-Debian front seems to be the call for donations [4]. Apparently most of the money that was spent went to accounting fees and buying a laptop for a developer. The amount of money involved is fairly small, Forbes has an article about how awful people can use “controversy” to get crowd-funding windfalls [5].

MikeeUSA is an evil person who hates systemd [6]. This isn’t any sort of evidence that systemd is great (I’m sure that evil people make reasonable choices about software on occasion). But it is a significant factor in support for non-systemd variants of Debian (and other Linux distributions). Decent people don’t want to be associated with people like MikeeUSA, the fact that the anti-systemd people seem happy to associate with him isn’t going to help their cause.

Conclusion

Forking Debian is not the correct technical solution to any problem you might have with a few packages. Filing bug reports and possibly forking those packages in an external repository is the right thing to do.

Sending homophobic and sexist abuse is going to make you as popular as the GamerGate and GodHatesAmerica.com people. It’s not going to convince anyone to change their mind about technical decisions.

Abusing volunteers who might consider donating some of their time to projects that you like is generally a bad idea. If you abuse them enough you might get them to volunteer less of their time, but the most likely result is that they just don’t volunteer on anything associated with you.

Abusing people who write technical blog posts isn’t going to convince them that they made an error. Abuse is evidence of the absence of technical errors.

47 comments to Anti-Systemd People

  • Matti

    Dislikes systemd, don’t hate women. Just felt I needed to say that.

  • aL

    I dislike systemd… I dont critize it much coz I dont do much work about it and mostly is a part of the stack I dont care that much about… Its crawling out of the init system too much for my liking… but meh… such is life…

    I love women… even more than men ;)

    Not sure how you managed to related these 2 things on your post… unless you are trying to insult anti-systemd people vicariously?

  • Dmitry

    Bookmarked it.
    Just wanted to say, that jessie have been released allready.

  • Lin

    Dislike systemd, like young girls. Just felt I needed to say that.

  • Larry Cafiero

    I see Matti’s point, and I don’t think hating women is a prerequisite to being anti-systemd.

    However, you make a good point that the most vociferous protests against systemd seem to be coming from those furthest from the process. This is most concerning, and I’m waiting for a rational argument against systemd which has yet to arise.

    I, too, am fine with systemd. Thanks for the excellent blog post, Russell.

  • Shlomo

    I was with you until the insane woman hating part. Of course all you insane sjws jump to woman hating as the main cause of anything anyone dislikes. It’s not that people like the old system they are used to using it is that they irrationally hate women for no reason.

  • Matti: thanks for the “not all anti-systemd people” response.

    aL: In my post I said “for some reason…”, I really don’t know why the misogynists have banded together to make dislike of systemd their issue. I don’t choose to relate these issues, I just report on what I observe.

    Dmitry: Thanks for pointing that out, this post has been in my drafts folder for a while. ;)

    Larry: I guess to some extent this is driven by people who don’t have the ability to influence things through technical work. If I had any problems with the way things were going I could develop my own patched packages, run my own APT repository, etc – I’ve done all this and more in the past. People who lack such skills can only comment. But if they restricted themselves to useful comments such as bug reports and analysis of technical features then it would be better for everyone.

    Recently there was a discussion about systemd on my local LUG mailing list, it turned out that none of the people who had the strongest objections to it had even tested it once. There was only one person who had any serious disagreement with systemd who had actually used it.

    Shlomo: I cited adequate references to support my assertions, feel free to read them.

  • http://www.dailydot.com/politics/8chan-pedophiles-child-porn-gamergate/

    Shlomo: From your anti-SJW rant I guess you found my post from the thread on 8ch.net. The above article about 8chan is worth reading.

  • http://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=15%2F04%2F26%2F0231205

    Soylentnews has a thread titled “Debian Systemd SJWs”, user Marand makes some insightful comments including “Unfortunately, all he’s managed to do so far is convince the Debian folks that anybody that doesn’t approve of the move to implement systemd for Jessie is a Mikee apologist and supporter, such as the remark made in this post by Russell Coker [coker.com.au]. If Mikee’s real goal was to get legitimate anti-systemd sentiment ignored because everyone’s more focused on his attention-grabbing bullshit, he did a great job.”

    I should have stated in my post that I don’t think that all opposition to systemd is based on people like Mikee, it’s merely the most vocal commentary that comes from crazy assholes.

    It is possible to disagree about which option is best on technical merits. But such disagreement has to be based on the fact that both options have been proven to work and that the sky isn’t going to fall if the option you prefer doesn’t get chosen.

  • moatib

    “Forking Debian is not the correct technical solution to any problem you might have with a few packages.” – Russell Coker

    “Abusing volunteers who might consider donating some of their time to projects that you like is generally a bad idea.” – Russell Coker

    Remembering MPlayer? Cdrtools? FFmpeg? OpenOffice? And many more stupid political decisions taken by you, Debian packagers?

    You have no moral lessons to give to anyone!

  • Nate

    Hey, I was a little perturbed at your post, especially the part about how people who hate SystemD are also people who hate women. I think this is totally a very untrue statement. First, I dont think there are very many people in the Linux community that ḧate women¨, but even fewer that also hate SystemD. I personally dislike SystemD because it is slow, bloated, tries too much, and if you want to take a quick look at the source code, it looks like complete spaghetti. On top of that, SysVinit and all the other tools that SystemD absorbed/replaced where just fine on their own, and in some places had more functionality. It is really unlike the Linux and UNIX philosophy to attempt to create a tool that replaces lots of other smaller tools, especially when the other tools work better. The only reason a load of distros are switching over to SystemD is because it is easier for them to have one maintainer taking care of all of these tools instead of multiple smaller maintainers who may drop off the map any minuet. This is easier for Debian and Arch, not their users.

    Anyways, sorry for the rant.

    -Nate

  • Nate: Very few people directly admit to hating women. But people who are prepared to associate with someone like MikeeUSA are implicitly admitting to it. Also the fact that this matter is being discussed on 8chan which is the home of GamerGate is strong evidence for that conclusion.

    But really just look around, track the discussions and see what positions people take.

    Systemd systems boot faster than systems running SysVinit. Booting with systemd requires involves systemd doing most things instead of the mass of scripts that you get with SysVinit. I think that disproves the claims about bloat and performance.

    It’s ok to think that SysVinit is a better choice, Debian still supports using it. But all the threats and abuse aren’t ok.

  • moatib

    “Systemd systems boot faster than systems running SysVinit.” – Russell Coker

    Sorry, but this is pure bullshit and was proven false numerous of times even on the unofficial Debian User Forums(forums.debian.net)!

  • auroradelagente

    Russell Coker @etbe say users can’t say anything. If it weren’t for users, Debian would be only an anecdote, like Minix

  • Bernhard R. Link

    If you blindly shoot with a shot gun into the forest, then it is no wonder the animals that come out of the forest lunge at you will be mostly those that you already knew to be the rabid ones.

  • moatib: I don’t read the Debian User Forums, why would I want to read that? Dealing with jerks who comment on my blog posts is bad enough.

    aurora: Minix never became popular because the license didn’t allow free distribution so all development was restricted to what the owner was prepared to accept. Linux got the developers because we could freely do what we wanted with it. The developers made it a product that people wanted to use.

    Bernhard: Are you claiming that following the Debian procedures regarding the technical committee and the GR process counts as “blindly shooting”? Are you claiming that my blog post which gives a quick summary of how to use systemd is “blindly shooting”?

    What do you think we should do with the people you consider to be “rabid”? The standard practice when dealing with rabid animals is to kill them. Presumably you aren’t advocating that solution.

  • oz

    Devuan Finanical report can be found here:
    https://devuan.org/devuan_financial_report_2014.pdf

    In contrast to what you wrote:

    Apparently most of the money that was spent went to accounting fees and buying a laptop for a developer. The amount of money involved is fairly small,

    Only a tiny part went to buying a laptop. An these are the reports for 2014. 2015 had more donations.

  • oz: In page 2 of the PDF you cite it shows E1115 as total outgoings for the 2014 year of which E541 is for a laptop and E450 is for “financial admin”.

    My claim was that most of the money that was spent went to accounting fees and a laptop. To be precise 48.5% of the money spent was on a laptop and 40% was on “financial admin”.

    Unless you are claiming that “accounting fees” and “financial admin” mean entirely different things then I think that we can agree that my description of 89% as being “most of the money spent” is reasonable.

    Also I think that describing 48.5% of something as “a tiny part” is entirely unreasonable. If you asked people to describe 48.5% in English words I think that the most common answer would be “half” and I doubt that anyone would say “a tiny part”.

    81% of all money spent that didn’t go to financial admin went to buying a laptop. The laptop is the main that was purchased in 2014.

    Are reports about 2015 out yet?

  • The total amount of money donated is €5956. Of that, €541 were spent on a laptop – That was the tiny amount I meant. We can argue whether 10% is a lot or not.
    The money for admin fees was €450, which too me seems a lot (maybe because I don’t know anything about finance). Your precentages, as calculated are regarding what has
    been in total spent. Which makes it confusing.
    The naive reader would think that the took the money and spend it on false causes. They only spent 1 sixth of the money donated in 2014.

    The reports for 2015 are still not out yet, unfortunately.

    Just to make it clear, I am sitting on the fence here. I don’t like systemd (but I don’t hate women), and I am not using devuan.

  • Tom

    “If you hate systemd you hate women” Is this preschool? This is the kind of vitriolic labeling you’d see from a child.

  • oz: the fact that they have enough money left to buy another 9 laptops doesn’t change the fact that half the outgoings were related to that laptop.

    Tom: I said nothing like that. I merely noted the strong correlation between misogyny and dislike of systemd and the fact that the most hateful misogynist who bothers Debian people is involved in the anti-systemd thing. The fact that the 8chan people appear to be against systemd is further evidence, for those who are unaware 8chan is the home of GamerGate since it was banned from 4chan.

  • oz123

    > The fact that they have enough money left to buy another 9 laptops doesn’t change the fact that half the outgoings were related to that laptop.

    No it does not change that fact. But what is your point? They bought a laptop for a developer? What do you expect them to spend the money on? Beer and Poker? They are building software, they need a laptop.

    I really don’t see where you are going with it. Get over with it. Devuan is existing. And it is not bad. Like the fact that Ubuntu made Debian better, I am also happy that there is Devuan, and for that matter and eco-system of Debian based distributions.

  • oz: If they are going to actually fork Debian then they need build servers to automatically build the software. They need build/test servers for all the different supported architectures if they want to do more than just amd64 and i386. They need servers to distribute the software, if you get even 100,000 systems using your APT repository then you need some big servers and a mirror network.

    This isn’t a major issue to me, I’m only replying to correct you. You seem very desperate to prove me wrong as after so much effort to find errors you are now doing the “what is your point” thing.

    As for your comparison with Ubuntu you should keep in mind the amount of money that was invested in Canonical. The Ubuntu way isn’t a viable option for Devuan.

  • John Smith

    SystemD all the things!

    If you disagree you are a racist, a sexist and homophobe!

    >:^)

  • richardo stallmanu

    >Also the fact that this matter is being discussed on 8chan which is the home of GamerGate is strong evidence for that conclusion.
    This article in question is being spammed in the thread by MikeeUSA himself, or at least someone pretending to be him. MikeeUSA is either a severe case of mental illness, or a long-running troll. He found 8chan’s /tech/ board just a month or so ago and has been shitting up threads spewing his his usual bullshit. You gave the thread in question ammo by making such a stupid assertion.

    systemd is great, it does a lot of things better than anything else. There’s really no need to bring up someone who’s mentally ill as evidence that “the misogynists” are against systemd. What does that even prove?

    Many people on 8chan are just left-libertarian, and would probably identify as equity feminists (especially from polls I’ve seen of that TERRIBLE, HORRIFYING GamerGate board, majority are left-lib on the politicalcompass.org chart,) but also a lot of edgy trolls.

  • Jude Nelson

    I am a Devuan developer.

    First, you should know from the Geek Feminism wiki (and other OSS projects’ mailing lists, if you look around) that MikeeUSA is a well-known troll, and does not represent anyone but himself. He is in no way affiliated with Devuan. In fact, he was promptly banned Devuan’s mailing list and IRC channels for the *very same reasons* he got banned elsewhere–he showed up and started harassing people. Frankly, I find your suggestion that Devuan is filled with racist misogynistic homophobes because MikeeUSA claims to hate systemd and like Devuan to be about as ridiculous as me suggesting that the systemd developers are filled with racist misogynistic homophobes because weev has positive things to say about systemd (check Twitter–he does).

    Second, Devuan has had Jenkins build servers, an SDK, a CI system for queuing package builds from GitLab, and an APT overlay system set up for some time now. We’re also developing replacements for logind and udev, and maintaining packages that can be built with systemd options disabled. We don’t need to mirror Debian–we instead overlay Devuan’s packages on top of Debian’s mirrors and have the CI system merge the package metadata from both. Although not yet officially supported and still undergoing tests, it’s already possible to install Wheezy, point APT to apt.devuan.org, and dist-upgrade to Devuan unstable. See our git repositories at https://git.devuan.org for the juicy details.

  • richardo: MikeeUSA is going to keep spouting misogyny, he’s been doing it for over 10 years now and there’s no reason to expect him to stop. Does anyone know why he’s taken a dislike to systemd?

    The fact that you think systemd is great isn’t relevant to this discussion. It doesn’t bother me that some people think it’s not great, I would be happier if we could have a discussion of features in init systems. When I wrote about how to use systemd that was an opportunity for interested people to discuss the relative merits of systemd and sysvinit – but no-one took that opportunity. Instead I got abusive comments.

    Why does a post about how to use systemd get comments that are primarily gender and sexuality based abuse?

    Jude: I have known about MikeeUSA for many years. Some years ago he sent me a death threat and I also suspect that he was the author of a rape threat I received (which from the nature of the comment indicated that the author had spent a lot of time fantasising about such things).

    AFAIK Weev isn’t involved in the discussions on Debian mailing lists. I don’t think it’s relevant when awful people comment on software and everyone else just acts normally. But when awful people get abusive and others follow their example we have to question the motives of the followers.

    If Devuan is not going to compile all of the packages and is based on users taking most packages from Debian servers (which is totally acceptable) then it’s not really a fork of Debian.

    https://git.devuan.org/devuan-doc/manuals

    The Wiki link at the above page is broken.

  • Jude Nelson

    > But when awful people get abusive and others follow their example we have to question the motives of the followers.

    Our mailing lists and development channel IRC logs are public. Please point out where you see people getting away with being abusive or following the trolls’ examples without later getting reprimanded for it. Now, I’ve been involved since January (so I can’t speak for happenings prior to that), but every troll we’ve encountered during my time has been banned or simply ignored.

    You may be confusing “abusive” with “expressing extreme dislike for systemd, its creators, and more moderate opinions on the matter.” While there are definitely people who have done the latter, they have been asked both in public and in private to tone it down (and they have).

    > If Devuan is not going to compile all of the packages and is based on users taking most packages from Debian servers (which is totally acceptable) then it’s not really a fork of Debian.

    Think of it as a copy-on-write fork :)

    > The Wiki link at the above page is broken.

    Thanks, I’ll let the relevant people know.

  • Jude: You don’t seem to have understood anything about this post.

    My dealings with anti-systemd people makes me want to have nothing to do with them. I am not interested in reading about devuan, as far as I’m concerned the only good thing about it is that it keeps the anti-systemd people away from Debian. My patience for those people ran out before the Debian fork was even announced. My definition of “abusive” in this case is messages that have little substance other than profanity.

    One thing we can take away from the commentary on this post is that the way to make anti-systemd people behave is to make it a PR issue. My last post about systemd received abusive comments. This post didn’t receive any, apparently because I made it a PR issue.

    Doing the GamerGate thing isn’t a viable way of influencing software development decisions.

  • Jude Nelson

    > Doing the GamerGate thing isn’t a viable way of influencing software development decisions.

    And now this post has gone full Godwin.

    Good day.

  • Anonymous

    lol, amazon says jump and debian asks how high. regardless, this is a trash article with little heed paid to technical arguments and a big fat emotional purse dump instead. way to lower the standard of debate and feed the trolls by addressing them directly, and mikeUSA is just a troll, I know that what he says isn’t nice but letting him get a rise out of you (or even stupider saying you’re so upset over words on a screen you’re going to have a full mental breakdown and now need to document all his bad posts as ‘incidents’) isn’t how you stop him.

    just indulge me for a minute here: if he said he liked wayland would you write him into an article about wayland? would all the developers working on wayland compositors or adding wayland support become men that hate women?

  • Jamie

    >Why does a post about how to use systemd get comments that are primarily gender and sexuality based abuse?

    Because that is the goto insult mode for immature jerks on the internets? What, have you never read slashdot?

    I don’t see anyone “doing the Gamergate thing” except for the Gamergate cretins. They (like most jerks) handily self-identity. Also, like may cretins, they have loud, ill-informed opinions about everything, and enjoy showing up where they aren’t wanted to stink up the place. (cf. the Hugo awards attack.) What else is new? Reactionary jackassery has been a tradition since people invented clay tablets.

    Making weird claims that, because some jerks showed up, there is some sort of equivalence between people who dislike Systemd is not conducive to reasonable discussion. It *is* as relevant as Weev being a jerk, because it is the same thing, just on Twitter instead of Debian lists. The equivalence is on point, and ignoring that isn’t helping your case.

    For what little it is worth, I dislike Systemd more, the more I use it. From very little things like truncate-anything-useful-by-default for commandline log viewing, through (for want of a better term) aesthetic choices in config format, through bigger issues like architectural decisions (I’m not going in to that now, lack of time) to the primary authors’ demonstrated negative track record in playing well with others, I want to see viable alternative. Many (certainly not all) Systemd-boosters seem to not want to see that. (OTOH, some things it does are smart, and in a better world would be incorporated into a less aggressive design by people with better social skills through better efforts at consensus.)

    I am not going to dignify the weird attempted linkage to Gamergate with any sort of personal response; that is, as discussed above, somewhere between ad hominem and non sequitur. You are, of course, free to associate with whomever you like. You are not free to make spurious, frankly silly and insulting linkages without pushback.

  • dugans

    Quote- etbe: “One thing we can take away from the commentary on this post is that the way to make anti-systemd people behave is to make it a PR issue. My last post about systemd received abusive comments. This post didn’t receive any, apparently because I made it a PR issue.”

    Not so much a PR issue as you went to a childish level of name-calling and prevaricating about other projects and systemd.

    The one and only thing that will determine how well systemd fares is time.
    Many folks love it.
    Many folks do not.

    It would be nice to think that the BEST option will win in the end but historically markets have shown this is not always the case:
    Politics often have a big impact and so does convincing those with little knowledge…
    If thousands of people who don’t understand HOW an init system works are convinced that systemd is great while only those who really do understand the problems number in the dozens, well, I think you see where I am going with this.

    Betamax was better than vhs way back in the day- which one won that war?

    Hopefully we will still see a number of init systems available and working perfectly in the *nix world in the future instead of just one that makes it difficult or impossible to use anything else.

  • Jude: I don’t think you understand Godwin’s law. It was never just about references to Hitler (or other evil people) but inappropriate references. The fact that this post has been discussed on 8chan and that 8chan users have joined the discussion here makes 8chan relevant. We’ve even had someone in this discussion defend GamerGate.

    Anon: If MikeeUSA liked Wayland it wouldn’t be relevant unless a heap of Wayland supporters started using the same tactics. Even then it wouldn’t be particularly relevant to technical issues as which protocols are used for display is determined by applications. The X protocol must be supported because of all the ancient applications but the interfaces provided by SysVInit can easily be provided by all other init systems.

    Jamie: OK then, please explain why a strict technical post that informs users who want to use systemd attracts the attention of immature jerks on the Internet.

    Also the “pushback” on this post hasn’t included profanity or abuse linked to gender or sexuality. It’s proof that “immature jerks” can refrain from such things if they want to. Why can’t they do that all the time?

    dugans: Are you seriously saying that the lack of homophobic and sexist abuse in comments on this post is doe to this post being a “childish level of name-calling”?

    Also in the past I’ve maintained a fork of sysvinit for SE Linux support (by the standards of the devuan people I’ve forked Debian). I’ve also written SE Linux policy for SysVInit and systemd which involves having a reasonable knowledge of how they work. My experience with init systems hasn’t given me any reason to think that systemd is unsuitable.

  • Philip Lacroix

    Dear Mr Coker

    If your intention was to honestly analize the “social issue” related to SystemD, then you trashed a good opportunity with your own hands, by posting an ambiguous, childish, superficial and offensive statement about users who dislike SystemD and allegedly “hate women”. That was not a very intelligent move on your part.

    It doesn’t make sense, now, to talk about “correlations” and try to say that people have “misunderstood you”. If you want to be involved in a constructive conversation, then please don’t post stupid things like this in the first place, don’t spread FUD, stop calling “hater” everyone who doesn’t agree with your opinion, and don’t play the victim when people respond to you accordingly. I’ve seen quite a bit of this on the Internet, and it’s always the same pattern.

    Now what’s next? Are we going to be informed that there’s a correlation between people who dislike SystemD and those who eat children, dance with the Devil and drink turnip juice?

    Support your SystemD init if you like it, but please refrain from writing manipulative rants and insults about people who don’t, especially if they are doing something useful and constructive on their own. Who are you to tell people what they should do? Who are you, for instance, to denigrate the Devuan project, its volunteers, and everything else that doesn’t match your personal opinion about init systems and project forks?

    The Debian technical committee decided? OK, then let other people make *their own* decisions, as the Debian committee is not the “axis mundi”.

    Best regards,
    Philip Lacroix

  • Philip: I’m happy for people to do useful and constructive things on their own. I’m also happy for people to do useless things on their own, that’s ok too.

    If my post was childish, superficial, and unintelligent as you claim then it probably wouldn’t have been discussed so much in so many mailing lists (as you yourself were doing).

    I don’t expect to have a constructive conversation in any public forum about systemd vs SysVInit any time in the next few years. Any time there has been any such discussion the best outcome is for some people who have never even tested systemd to start ranting about supposed problems and the usual outcome involves profanity and other abuse from anti-systemd people.

    Some people say that this blog post is offensive. But other people say that my Systemd Notes post was offensive as an explanation for the profane comments it received.

    You seem to believe that I am somehow invading Devuan territory. Really I want nothing to do with Devuan. What I want is to be able to discuss technical issues (such as how to get systemd working as desired) without the haters. Can we agree that’s a reasonable aim?

  • Jane Doe

    I’m a long time feminist, dedicated womens right activist and free software developer and I don’t like systemd. I do not appreciate being accused of ‘hating women’ simply for exercising my freedoms as a free software user and developer.

    The Nazis where amongst the first modern government to enforce animal rights, this does not mean that PETA wants to commit genocide against racial minorities.

    But hey, I also support the development of infinitychan (the most misogynistic jumble of php you could think of) and the way in which 8chan is operated, so I guess you can just go ahead and dismiss my opinion simply because I believe that free speech has value. You may not like some of the things people on 8chan believe or say but to quote Noam Chomsky “If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.”

    Your post is disrespectful toward women and towards people’s right to exercise the Four Freedoms.
    I hope you take the time to consider the logic of your thesis.
    Or as we say over on 8chan, fuck off you inane piece of shit. :^)

    ps. I had to enable your ?non-free? javascript to post this, if you want to do something for women’s rights that might be a good place to start.
    pps. Thanks for letting paypal, google and twitter know I visited this site, not just a hero for women rights but also software and privacy rights too.

  • mario

    I don´t like systemd, not hate it. Who is MikeeUSA? I don’t care. Please keep things simple (my old friends: rc.d, init.d, cron.d, etc.). Systemd has some hidden features (#761658). Kubuntu 15 with systemd is slow at booting as before. Deception.

    If you plan to “Filing bug reports and possibly forking those packages in an external repository” you’ll probably meet with Marco d’Itri (Jaromil knows enough). Sorry, currently debian is no place for devuaners.

  • Philip Lacroix

    Russell

    > If my post was childish, superficial, and unintelligent as you claim then it probably wouldn’t have been discussed so much in so many mailing lists (as you yourself were doing).

    Unfortunately, most of the time if something gets some attention it’s not because of its merits. Fortunately, most of the time such attention fades quickly. I wouldn’t have bothered to write here if somebody else, who apparently likes you very much, had not sent your entire rant, with all your comments added, but without the comments of people who pointed out and corrected your obvious (intentional?) fallacies, to the mailing list to which I subscribed… which for the record has nothing to do with SystemD. And of course you were slinging mud at the project which is being discussed on that very list. So please don’t try to hide behind your finger.

    > I don’t expect to have a constructive conversation in any public forum about systemd vs SysVInit any time in the next few years. Any time there has been any such discussion the best outcome is for some people who have never even tested systemd to start ranting about supposed problems and the usual outcome involves profanity and other abuse from anti-systemd people.

    From [em]some[/em] anti-SystemD people. Those people are most probably a tiny, aggressive minority. So why not just ignore them? Did you forget how to deal with trolls? Even on [em]your own[/em] web log? Don’t get me wrong, but you seem quite naive. Besides, there’s an equally aggressive, tiny minority of trolls among the pro-SystemD people, isn’t it?

    > Some people say that this blog post is offensive. But other people say that my Systemd Notes post was offensive as an explanation for the profane comments it received.

    If you did receive “profane” comments on your blog, why didn’t you just delete them and go ahead, instead of posting insults and spreading FUD yourself? That won’t help much to restore a peaceful environment for a technical discussion, which apparently is what you want.

    > You seem to believe that I am somehow invading Devuan territory. Really I want nothing to do with Devuan.

    Actually, I didn’t think that you were invading anything, as I had never heard about you before. I respect your choice, so do respect mine and don’t insult people, me included, even indirectly, with your insinuations and pseudo “correlations”.

    > What I want is to be able to discuss technical issues (such as how to get systemd working as desired) without the haters. Can we agree that’s a reasonable aim?

    This “haters” thing has become an obsession… Just discuss, do it, period. And deal with trolls as everybody else has been doing since the birth of the Internet: I guess that there’s enough technology nowadays in order to do that quite well. Unless you start insulting people, thus becoming yourself a troll. Somebody should stop at some point, no? On the other hand, the more you whine and play the victim, the more you are going to attract trolls: that’s quite an old pattern. As with discussing SystemD, that software doesn’t interest me, but I won’t accept to be labeled (even indirectly) with your “woman hater” nonsense just because of that. That’s so stupid. I respect and love women.

    Take care,
    Philip

  • nicolas

    Hello, Russel

    I was looking for info on the systemd technical controversy when I noticed your post and the subsequent comment session. As a software developer I have my own views on systemd but, as an outsider, I don’t think I am qualified to take a strong position on that matter. I am here as a citizen of the internet though, and as such, I, like many others here, am concerned with the flaws in your reasoning and the damage to the community you are in they cause. You are certainly not the only one to blame but you are not innocent either. Here are the flaws I noticed:

    1) You rely on personal experience and isolated examples. You use anecdotal elements to form beliefs on wide social phenomenons.

    Your data set is very small and you have no reason to believe that it is a fair sample of the population you draw conclusions on from, especially if you consider the presence of a well know troll in it (https://encyclopediadramatica.se/MikeeUSA). It is only the content of you comment session you are analysing here. What you will see there are only the opinions of the most vocal people who happened to be around, some of which may not even be genuine.
    As the others pointed, your a fool if you take them seriously. It’s the internet. Are you born two days ago? Who would use such a sample to establish usable “correlations”. As advertised in the 90’s, it’s like everybody is your neighbour here. Most people are decent but, everybody is your neighbour here, and that includes every single douchebag on earth. Same goes with all these people with anger management issues who will send you death threats at the slightest whim. You have a much larger audience here than in real life and they can all respond to you. A vocal minority can easily become the loudest.
    You grossly generalised all or the vast majority of the anti-systemd advocates as assholes and misogynists on a basis you should know to be dubious. This is bullshit and the pushback get for it is well deserved.

    2)You judge things on the basis of where they come from.
    You assume some things to be false because of where they came or what they are associated with and don’t bother to check.
    The fact that a claim originated from 8chan or was relayed by trolls doesn’t make it false, even if it was the awful place you claim it is.

    8chan is an open anonymous image board. Anybody can use it. There is no “trolls only” sign. Here is an active Christian board (https://8ch.net/christian/) and here is an active gay board (https://8ch.net/cuteboys/), both in the top 20 boards. It’s only noticeable feature is (relative) anonymity. With a mask, people can do a lot of things they can’t when burdened by the fear of their peers the mask is here to free them from. Some will shitpost and lie and troll like MikeeUSA. But some will also tell truth they are too afraid to say without it (for instance I learnt a lot about human sexuality and all its weird variations there). A lot of decent people can be interested by this format, not just troll. And even if you were to shut down the place because of them, that wouldn’t solve nor help with the problem. Get rid of your toilet, you’d still have to shit. They existed long before image boards were there.
    Is this place convenient to them? Definitely! But that’s also true for, amongst other, every other outcast. And since many positions that are now seen as common sense were highly unpopular in the past, you can’t infer from the fact that their opinions are unpopular that they are wrong and that it is a good thing to stop them.

    Regarding your views on 8chan being an active paedophile network, I can only tell you to do your homework. The thing operates within us law. There is a damn report function and it works. I saw it in action… It’s no more a paedophile network than twitter or youtube. Can paedophiles talk there? Yes, as long as it is not prohibited by US law. Can they talk about elements related to their condition (their views on things and stuff)? Yes, as long as it is not prohibited by US law. Can they actually share or organise the sharing of illegal material? Perhaps, but it is not allowed, it wouldn’t last long and it is exactly as risky as doing it on reddit or tumblr. If you are not fine with the current definition of what is illegal, pass a law. Coming up with objective criteria that go further that what is already in place but not too far is actually very tricky but if you have something better to propose, fell free, I tried myself.

    As you may have guessed, I browse image boards quite often and have been for a long time. And if I’ve learnt something there, it is to carefully check what I am told because some of the information posted here are artistic works of fiction and falsehood (http://imgur.com/gallery/BuF31), which brings me to my last point:

    3)You judge things on the basis of where they come from.
    You assume some things to be true because of where they came or what they are associated with and don’t bother to check.
    The fact that the dailydot, or even the timed, gave their credit to a claim doesn’t make it true.

    Gamergate is a good example of that. The only thing mainstream media did on the topic was blindly repeating the allegation made by the newspapers and people who were accused of corruptions and collusion… Top quality investigation going on here. Of all the things I read or saw on the topic, I never saw anything that went through even one, let alone a collection, of the accusations made by gamergaters along with the evidence they have for it (because there is such a thing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEMdf8D0lfw) and debunking it. On the other hand, gamergaters, knowing that you should trust no one on the internet tend to source their claims.

    Can gamergaters be wrong about their points like moon-landing conspiracy theorist are? Well, go figure! Be a sceptic. But even if they are, then they are genuinely wrong (or at least I am) and all the points about their alleged misogyny are consequently bullshit, especially if you consider that how #notyourshield is a thing.

    So I think you could do a far better job at thinking critically than what you did here if you wanted to. I think that the quality of your decisions would subsequently improve and that we would all benefit from that. Look how prompt you were to acquire prejudice. The irony in all that is that because of what you did, now people have a good reason to blame you for spewing SJW oriented hateful crap.

    -Nicolas

  • Jane: When there’s a discussion about a minority group on the Internet it’s inevitable that someone claiming to be a member of that group and/or an advocate for that group will join the other side. Anyone can claim anything on the Internet when posting anonymously.

    mario: In regard to bug #761658 it seems reasonable to default to Google DNS when all other forms of DNS data are unavailable. Marco helpfully described how to change that default. He didn’t describe why OpenNIC is obviously unsuitable, but anyone can skim read the Wikipedia page about it to discover that. Marco does tend to be abrupt with people who spend inadequate effort in researching issues before filing bug reports, but the hostile atmosphere of init systems in Debian means that people who are less thick skinned won’t get involved.

    Philip: If you believed in not responding to people you regard as hostile then you wouldn’t be commenting on my blog. Feel free to follow your own advice and stop commenting – you won’t be missed. But if you are unable to stop commenting then try to develop some empathy and understand why other people might be unable to stop commenting about issues.

    It’s great hypocrisy to demand that other people stop responding to people they disagree with when you are unable to do it.

    nicolas: I didn’t just base this post on comments on my blog but also on discussions on several mailing lists.

    I think the fact that this post gets so much attention from pro-gamergate and pro-8chan people is noteworthy.

  • Philip Lacroix

    > It’s great hypocrisy (…)

    So now I am also a hypocrite? Thank you. I wasn’t going to post any more words here, but it would have been impolite not to thank you for your compliment. May your fame rise forever. Adieu.

    Philip

  • nicolas

    Your response to Philip is a strawman. He never said anything about not responding to people who disagree with you in general. He only advised you to not respond to the ones who disingenuously claim to disagree and use flawed argument in order to stir shit for their own amusement (aka trolls). Since trolls get their sick pleasure from the things you respond to them, not feeding the trolls with your responses is an effective way to get rid of them and that’s well known.

    > I didn’t just base this post on comments on my blog but also on discussions on several mailing lists
    Maybe but the sample is still small and you were still wrong to generalize what you saw there and equate the entire anti-systemd side the work of a few assholes. I mean, there is a well-known troll in there. How do you even know that all these people you saw were genuine? How do you know the ones who are genuine were not manipulated into being genuinely wrong?

    > I think the fact that this post gets so much attention from pro-gamergate and pro-8chan people is noteworthy.
    (Are you up with the logical fallacy known as “genetic” once again? Even heinous criminals can state that the sky is blue and every villain is a hero in his own mind because we are all heroes in our own minds anyway.)
    Well, as I already said, I think you are bringing that upon yourself. Sure the person who initiated your reaction was a troll but you left a trail of smelly sophistry behind you in response. I know for a fact that a part (all?) of this discussion is reported on a systemd related thread on 8chan. They don’t even need to make up shit now. They just post what you said. You gave people, and not just people from 8chan, everybody, good reasons to call you on things you did. Congratulation.

  • Observer

    >But hey, I also support the development of infinitychan (the most misogynistic jumble of php you could think of) and the way in which 8chan is operated, so I guess you can just go ahead and dismiss my opinion simply because I believe that free speech has value. You may not like some of the things people on 8chan believe or say but to quote Noam Chomsky “If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.”

    The Devuan admins constantly delete emails from their mailing list archive with which they disagree.
    They are way worse than Debian in this.

    Don’t believe me. Someone posted Russel’s article and comments to the Devuan mailing list. The Devuan head, Jaromil, assumed the poster _WAS_ Russel. Jaromil banned the poster and then deleted the email and 4 response emails from the list.

    See it here: https://lists.dyne.org/lurker/thread/20150504.075243.a038b12e.en.html
    (Deleted, Deleted, Deleted, Deleted, Deleted)

    If you like free speech there is no reason to support these guys.
    If you dislike systemd but like debian, they’re the only game in town, however.

    Meet the new boss: 2x worse than the old boss.
    But atleast the coffee has been replaced with plastic bottles filled with air.
    (you’ll need it because all of the p_t smoke)

    Russel: could you weigh in on this?

  • nicolas: The “don’t feel the trolls” thing never works, this is well known.

    The “genetic” fallacy is based on the origin of an idea, I have never suggested that 8chan originated the anti-systemd idea. What I have pointed out is that they seem to agree with it.

    Why is this the only post on my blog which got the attention of the 8chan people?

    Observer: I expected the Devuan people to delete messages from their lists. There are good reasons for deleting things and bad reasons. But even when they delete messages for bad reasons that doesn’t count as an infringement of free speech IMHO as there’s an Internet full of places where people can comment. A right to free speech (which you have in the US but not in Australia, the UK, and many other countries) does not include a right to post to Devuan lists.

    I don’t know whether the deleted messages you cite were deleted for good reasons or bad, and I really I don’t care. I’m happy for them to do whatever they want with their own sites.

    Sorry for the delay in replying, I haven’t checked my blog for a while.

  • Vince

    etbe: So you support censorship. The time that you people will hang will eventually come.

  • weher

    “But there is a big difference between volunteers debating about their work and ****external people who don’t contribute but believe that they are entitled to tell us what to do.****”

    Meanwhile, in Social Contract: “We will be guided by the ****needs of our users and the free software community****. We will place ****their interests first**** in our priorities. We will support the needs of our users for operation in many different kinds of computing environments.”

    Empty words, sadly. I was near debian project, probably s paillard can find me some years ago.

    Darwin thought about evolution or extinction. You win.