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LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 23, 2013
An "enum" for Python 3
An unexpected perf feature
LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 16, 2013
A look at the PyPy 2.0 release
The Journal - a proposed syslog replacement
Posted Nov 18, 2011 17:52 UTC (Fri) by mathstuf (subscriber, #69389)
Posted Nov 18, 2011 18:03 UTC (Fri) by jubal (subscriber, #67202)
Posted Nov 18, 2011 18:25 UTC (Fri) by mathstuf (subscriber, #69389)
The undocumented format is annoying.
Posted Nov 18, 2011 18:38 UTC (Fri) by jake (editor, #205)
My sense is that they are trying not to get trapped into backward compatibility games by having other programs that read/write the data without using the supplied library. I don't think they plan to deliberately obfuscate the format (and they will be providing code to both read and write it), but my guess is that they don't want to get stuck into a particular format forevermore because someone wrote a program that grabbed the 12th byte of every record and decided that some data would always appear there.
It's essentially the ABI problem that the kernel runs into, and that sometimes makes it difficult to change things in the kernel (like tracepoints for example).
Posted Nov 18, 2011 18:47 UTC (Fri) by mathstuf (subscriber, #69389)
Posted Nov 18, 2011 21:29 UTC (Fri) by elanthis (guest, #6227)
Once it's a stable feature, expect the format to be documented. Until then, the documentation is available in the .c files for anyone who has some need to avoid the provided library interface.
Posted Nov 18, 2011 21:57 UTC (Fri) by mathstuf (subscriber, #69389)
This is understandable, even appreciated. Having multiple minor versions of varying usefulness indefinitely supported just because they existed for a commit or two during the inital format designs would be crazy to expect.
> Once it's a stable feature, expect the format to be documented.
> At this point we have no intention to standardize the format
We might document the on-disk format eventually
This is not a strong a guarantee as I'd like for this and certainly not something that would range a high level of expectancy from me. Before it becomes default in a major distribution, I'd like to see a format specification.
Posted Nov 18, 2011 18:32 UTC (Fri) by DiegoCG (subscriber, #9198)
People who hate change and want to keep things like they were several decades ago can always use the BSDs...
Posted Nov 23, 2011 11:28 UTC (Wed) by nye (guest, #51576)
Almost everyone dislikes user-visible change, unless there's a very slow migration path one step at a time (see KDE4, Vista, Gnome 3, etc.). Yes, this community has a larger proportion of heatseekers than the world at large, but even the FOSS world tends not to like huge revolutionary changes in one go.
More transparent changes - by which I mean things that don't change the way the user interacts with the machine on a daily basis - tend to be more welcome as there's less of a downside, so if it improves some functionality in some obvious way then it's an easier sell. For example, systemd has been far more positively received than PulseAudio since it solves real known problems without much of an effect on the end user.
Unfortunately, Lennart has a fairly bad track record. His projects tend to involve a grandiose scheme to replace some way of doing things entirely, which he then gets bored of once they reach the 90% stage.
Presumably some up-and-coming new star will come along again in a few years and decide to rewrite sound systems or init systems or syslog (or display servers, or desktop environments, or...), get them 90% done, and then get bored of them, and the cycle will begin anew.
Unfortunately, the options are either to stick with systems that are permanently 90% done, or be dismissed as a greybearded old has-been who 'hates change'.
Posted Nov 25, 2011 16:26 UTC (Fri) by HelloWorld (guest, #56129)
Posted Nov 19, 2011 8:35 UTC (Sat) by aleXXX (subscriber, #2742)
It seems now that once per 3 months there is an announcement "Lennart replaces another core UNIX utility", so in the not too distant future we would have Linux boxes where I don't know a thing how they work, all the stuff we learnt over years thrown away for Linux, while it still works on other systems (...FreeBSD would be the choice then I guess).
Posted Nov 23, 2011 11:14 UTC (Wed) by nye (guest, #51576)
ITYM 'Lennux boxes'.
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