Poettering: The Biggest Myths
Posted Feb 1, 2013 14:29 UTC (Fri) by anselm
In reply to: Poettering: The Biggest Myths
Parent article: Poettering: The Biggest Myths
Monoliths such as BusyBox and systemd can be useful tools but they are evolutionary leaf nodes. The distros which retain their ability to evolve are the future of FLOSS.
Funnily enough, System V init represents exactly this sort of evolutionary dead end. It has seen essentially no change for the last 25 years or so – in spite of its various glaring problems. There isn't really a lot you can do to System V init in an »evolutionary« way to get it near systemd feature parity. People have been piling stuff on top of it over the years (without doing a lot about important problems like the complete lack of service monitoring) but the basic approach, together with its deficiencies, remains the same. Systemd is a paradigm shift for init systems that relates to System V init like, e.g., Postfix relates to Sendmail.
In addition, the situation for improvements to System V init is now a lot worse than it was a few years ago because the state of the art for init-like systems is no longer defined by System V init itself but by systemd. Any new init system (including one based on evolutionary improvement of System V init) must now be at least as good as systemd – and likely considerably better – to entice the big distributions which are now pushing systemd to convert to the new system (again!). Opinions may differ as to whether systemd is »monolithic« or an »evolutionary leaf node« but as long as nothing does a noticeably better job systemd looks as if is going to be the init system of choice for most major Linux distributions.
To see whether you are right we shall simply have to wait for a few years and then check again. I'll venture the prediction that, by that time, Linux distributions that do not support systemd will be few and far between – much like today we find very few (if any) Linux distributions that still come with XFree86 rather than X.org.
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