Re: OT: Open letter to the Linux World

From: Gene Heskett
Date: Fri Aug 15 2014 - 10:05:01 EST

On Friday 15 August 2014, Vlad Glagolev wrote:
>This is a problem, which is silently ignored by those who HAS to defend
>OSS' freedom. But politics (related to stuff they get a lot of money
>from) of companies like RedHat isn't that white and fluffy for users,
>because THEY started this chaos of perverting the UNIX philosophy.
>I noticed that when they announced a brand new strategy with obfuscation
>of kernel patches, so it would be damn hard for their opponents (aka
>the rest of the world) to understand what these patches exactly do. [0]
>My road with Linux started in good old 2002-2003 with 3-disc RedHat
>distro. You know why? Because once my irc-friend told me: "Here's a new
>operating system: it's free, open-sourced and primarily -- you can
>redraw everything in it (speaking of UI)". I formatted my HDD with
>win2k that night. Because it was what I had been looking for --
>operating system with a total freedom. And everything you need was only
>time and brains. I tried some binary distros and have discovered
>they're not for me -- not much freedom enough (I needed to keep my
>system clean and small without a ton of dependencies I would never
>use). Source-based distros have saved me. I'm talking about those which
>aren't known to 99% of Linux community (except Gentoo, ofc.) -- Source
>Mage, Lunar, T2. LFS is a bit hard to maintain on >2 machines on a
>yearly basis, you know.
>Now what do we see? Complete degradation of Linux-like ecosystem. I'm
>not talking about Linux kernel itself, because it's going the right way
>(mostly because of its head). But I'm talking about those who made
>Linux what it is now. About initial developers of userland stuff,
>which is (and really was) VERY fragmented. And now we see a couple of
>companies (companies, indeed, not people; because yes, Linux is a
>really gainful thingy, who would have ever thought like that 15 years
>ago?) who wants to defragment it, like what we did with filesystems on
>Windows in good old days to make it work faster. Now someone strives to
>exactly the same aim -- to rake a lot of money faster than it happens
>Have you ever thought what spheres will be affected? Hosting companies,
>corporations migrating to Linux from billion m$ contracts (at least we
>see this tendency here in Russia, in Germany and across the Europe).
>I will quote IgnorantGuru to show you what will happen soon:
>"In open source, you can’t lock people out of the code like you can in
>Windows. But you can make the system so complex that no one can control
>it at a lower level without being a developer with lots of time to
>spare. I think ultimately that’s what this is about. And the systemd
>tool stack will likely eventually be used for DRM and other restrictive
>technologies (just as HAL was)." [1]
>"I think it’s safe to say that any spirit of freedom and diversity
>that once drove Linux is dead. The new people entering the realm of
>development in Linux are just Windows developers looking for a larger
>base and more money, or simply corporate whores tearing it apart for
>short-sighted, malicious goals (which they themselves understand very
>poorly). They care not for any of the principles that made Linux what
>it is, or was.
>So Linux has been lost because the community has failed to protect it
>and help it grow. And this isn’t just about toolkits – the infection
>goes deep into the kernel, udev, the init system, and other areas. In
>the next few years any remaining GNU Linux users who even know what a
>principle is, will need to find a new home." [2]
>exhaustively enough, right?
>Do you think that everyone will happily run to buy yet another
>subscription from RedHat? Then how is it different from Windows?
>Because it's open-sourced? To whom? To RedHat employees? Meh.
>I'm not against RedHat, I'm against politics they follow. And I feel its
>disruptive effect on many people across mailing lists, forums, irc,
>etc. -- everything that links people who created tools for
>essential existence of this company!
>There are a lot of standards that describe UNIX-like arch like POSIX,
>FHS, etc. Where are all those distro-builders who refuse to see them?
>Busy in race adapting yet another systemd version while reading gdbm
>traces of it? Very useful time-spending.
>Thank you, Christopher. At least there are people who see this
>idiocracy under the right angle.
>Because everything depends on human resources, personally I see the only
>one way to keep high-quality and yet easily maintained Linux distros
>afloat: support distros with strict policies and rules preventing
>the worms like systemd from infiltration and gnawing from inside out.
>Linux community needs yet another dot-com boom in Linux distros -- like
>Ubuntu that changed (or helped to change) the world.
>It is time to implement the protocols themselves, not to write a train
>of RFCs for them. Otherwise we would have no choice for VRRP.
>Because the real enemy is close and.. remember, Adam: everybody lies آ©
>your-input/ [2]
>On Tue, 12 Aug 2014 15:38:12 -0400
>Christopher Barry wrote:
>> What is intelligence? Not exactly the spook kind, but rather what is
>> the definition of intelligence in humans? This is pretty good:
>> By most accounts, the self-appointed and arguably too influential
>> creators and thinkers of the day around the 'One Linux' idea fit the
>> definition of intelligent people - at least in the technical realm.
>> And their messages are pretty compelling:
>> * Simplify cross-distro development.
>> * Enable faster boot times.
>> * Enable an on-demand, event driven architecture, similar to 'Modern'
>> Operating Systems.
>> * Bring order and control to subsystems that have had as many
>> different
>> tools as there were distros.
>> All seemingly noble goals. All apparently come from a deep desire to
>> contribute and make things better.
>> Almost anyone could argue that these intelligent people thought hard
>> about these issues, and put an enormous amount of effort into a
>> solution to these problems. Unfortunately, the solution they came up
>> with, as you may have guessed by now, is 'systemd'.
>> While not new, it's grotesque impact has finally reached me and I must
>> speak to it publicly.
>> So, what is systemd? Well, meet your new God. You may have been
>> praying at the alter of simplicity, but your religion is being
>> deprecated. It likely already happened without your knowledge during
>> an upgrade of your Linux box. systemd is the all knowing, all
>> controlling meta-deity that sees all and supervises all. It's the new
>> One Master Process that aspires to control everything it can - and
>> it's already doing a lot. It's what init would look like if it were a
>> transformer on steroids. It's complicated, multi-faceted, opaque, and
>> supremely powerful.
>> I had heard about systemd a few years back, when upstart and some
>> other init replacements I can't remember were showing up on the
>> scene. And while it seemed mildly interesting, I was not in favor of
>> using it, nor any of them for that matter. init was working just fine
>> for me. init was simple and robust. While configuration had it's
>> distro-specific differences, it was often these differences that made
>> one pick the distro to use in the first place, and to stay with that
>> distro. The tools essentially *were* the distro. I just dist-upgraded
>> to Jessie, and voila - PID 1 was suddenly systemd. What a
>> clusterfuck.
>> In a 'One Linux' world, what would distros actually be? Deprecated. No
>> longer relevant. Archaic shells of their once proud individualism.
>> Basically, they're now just a logo and a default desktop background
>> image. Because let's face it, there only needs to be One Modern
>> 'competitor' to the Windows/Mac ownership of personal computing. A
>> unified front to combat the evil empires of Redmond and Cupertino is
>> what's needed. The various differences that made up different
>> 'flavors' of Linux needed to be corralled and brought into compliance
>> for the war to proceed efficiently. Um, what war?
>> For me, Linux had already won that war way back in 1994 when I started
>> using it. It did it without firing a shot or attempting to be just
>> like the other OSes. It won it it by not giving a flying fuck about
>> market share. It won it by being exactly NOT them. It won it by being
>> simple and understandable and configurable to be exactly how *I*
>> wanted it to be. It won it by being a collection of simple modular
>> components that could be plugged together at will to do real work. It
>> won it by adhering to a deeply considered philosophy of the user
>> being in the drivers seat, and being free to run the things she
>> wanted to, without layers and layers of frameworks wrapping their
>> tendrils into all manor of stuff they should not be touching. It won
>> it without the various 'CrapKit' shit that's begun to insinuate
>> itself into the heart of my system of late. It won it without being
>> overly complex and unknowable. That kind of opacity was was the core
>> of Windows and Mac, and that's exactly what I despise about them, and
>> exactly why I chose to use Linux in the first goddamn place. systemd
>> is embracing *all* that I hate about Windows and Mac, and doing so in
>> the name of 'modernity' and
>> 'simplifying' a developer's job.
>> So why would very smart people who love and use Linux want to create
>> or embrace such a creepy 'Master of All' daemon? Ostensibly, it's for
>> the reasons they say, as I mentioned at the top. But partially I
>> think it's from a lack of experience. Not a lack as in programming
>> hours, but a lack as in time on the Planet. Intelligence alone is not
>> a substitute for life experience and, yes I'll say it, wisdom.
>> There's no manual for wisdom. Implementing systemd by distros is not
>> a wise move for them over the long term. It will, in fact, be their
>> ultimate undoing.
>> Partially it's the larger-than-life egos of the people involved. Has
>> anyone actually read what Poettering says about things? Wow. This guy
>> is obviously convinced he has all the answers for everyone.
>> Traditional ideas about simplicity and freedom are quaint, but have
>> no real place in a 'modern' OS. Look, he's just smarter than you, so
>> get over it and move aside. He knows what's best, and he has it under
>> control. How old is this guy anyway? 12 or so? He's a fucking tool
>> (IMHO).
>> Partially it's roiling subsurface commercial interests. Look, We can
>> make more money selling stuff to Linux users if there were a simpler
>> distro agnostic way to do that. Fuck choice, they'll like what they
>> get.
>> Partially it may well be nefarious and shadowy in nature. With One
>> Ring to rule them all, having access to it sure would be sweet for
>> those hell-bent on total information awareness. Trust is not real
>> high on my list of things to give out these days.
>> Partially it's a belief that the Linux Community must fight against
>> the hegemony of Windows and Mac - as if the existence of Linux
>> depends upon the vanquishing of alternatives. Those who think Linux
>> should cater to idiots and droolers should go back to their Macs and
>> Windoze boxen, and stop trying to 'fix' Linux. It wasn't fucking
>> broken!
>> Partially - and this is what I cannot abide - it is a blatant
>> disregard and disrespect - whether knowingly or not - of the major
>> tenets of *NIX. It's a thoughtless discarding of, and a trampling on
>> the values that I personally hold to be true and just, and I am not
>> alone here. systemd is the exact opposite of what defines *NIX. And
>> I'm not blathering on about POSIX compliance either. It's the
>> Philosophy stupid.
>> systemd is a coup. It is a subversive interloper designed to destroy
>> Linux as we know it, foisted upon us by the snarky
>> we-know-better-than-you CamelCase crowd. They just don't get it down
>> deep where it matters. systemd is not pointing in a direction that we
>> should be going. It does not encourage freedom. It does not encourage
>> choice. It does not display transparency. It does not embrace
>> simplicity. It seizes control and forces you to cede it. It makes
>> applications and major system components depend on it, and they cannot
>> function without it. It's gaining speed by luring naive or lazy or
>> just plain clueless developers into the fold with the promise of
>> making their lives easier. Buying into this way of thinking ignores
>> the greater dangers that systemd represents.
>> Debian has always held the line against this kind of thing in the
>> past, and has always earned my utmost respect and loyalty for their
>> integrity. Debian's decision here was as a hand forced. Debian has
>> made a grave and cowardly mistake here, and they need a course
>> correction immediately. Incorporating systemd was not an intelligent
>> choice, and certainly not one very well considered. Debian must
>> reject systemd and its ilk, and restore itself to the values that got
>> Linux to this point in history, in no small part *led* by Debian.
>> They must loudly and publicly divorce themselves from GNOME, however
>> painful and upsetting that may seem in the sort term, and focus on
>> the core values of simplicity and freedom. Put systemd and it's cabal
>> in non-free where it belongs if you must. Let the user decide if
>> that's what
>> they want. Enlightenment is an excellent choice for a default desktop
>> that does not have the bloated baggage of GNOME. And to the Debian
>> Leaders - after 20 years of my loyalty and evangelism, you really let
>> me and all of us down. You need to grow a fucking pair and do the
>> right thing here and now.
>> Kick these fucking carpetbaggers to the curb!
>> Gnome. The Linux Foundation., and others. These are
>> all groups with agendas. These are not those who believe in freedom.
>> They believe in control and standardization. They believe in
>> sameness. Who are these people anyway? Who are these self-appointed
>> keepers of the Linux flame? (subliminal malware reference intended).
>> What are their true agendas? Who funds these people? Why do they so
>> aggressively want to change the core of Linux away from it's true
>> philosophy? Let them go off and create their own 'competitor' to
>> Windows and Mac. If they did, it would be the same opaque,
>> backdoored, user-tracking bullshit that Windows and Mac have become.
>> They DO NOT speak for me, and you should not passively allow them to
>> speak for you either.
>> systemd is a trojan. systemd is a medusa. systemd is Substance D.
>> systemd is scary - not just because it's tools suck, or because it's
>> a massive fucking hairball - but because architecturally it has way
>> too much concentrated power. We all need to collectively expel it from
>> our midst because it will own Linux, and by extension us and our
>> freedoms. systemd will *be* Linux. Sit idly by and ignore this fact at
>> all of our collective peril.
>> OneLinux == zero-choice
>> --
>> Regards,
>> Christopher Barry
>> Random geeky fortune:
>> BOFH excuse #202:
>> kernel panic: write-only-memory (/dev/wom0) capacity exceeded.
>Vlad Glagolev

I don't normally do much in the me too dept. But these two people have a
valid point, one we ignore at our peril. And I've been a linux user
exclusively since my first red hat 5.0 install days in late '97 or early

Too many people are changing things around JUST TO MAKE THEIR DISTRO
UNIQUE and often grossly slower, not to mention much harder to configure.
And I'm getting damned tired of the slow.

I have, not powered up in years, a 500mhz k6-III powered box under the
next desk over, that in 2002 or 3, with a red hat 7.1 install on it, that
played all the sound & video files then available on the MSM News sites
perfectly. And did it on a net pipe with 5% of the 10 megabit circuit I
have now.

But I needed a faster machine, one that didn't have to use a gigabyte of
swap when I opened a big image in gimp, so I built a phenom based quad
core running at 2.1Ghz on a ASUS motherboard with 8Gb of ram on the board.
It has yet to play a video whose audio was in sync with the video, or that
didn't suffer audio under runs cutting words into fractional syllable bits
at about 4 per second, or video freezes that might last for several 10's
of seconds, then plays catchup at 6000 frames per second.

Currently running a 3.13.6 kernel and its still not usable. Great
uptimes, but not at all pleasant to use.

There is something basically and drastically wrong with this picture. So
I'll be more than happy to add my "me too" to this rant.

Cheers, Gene Heskett
"There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order."
-Ed Howdershelt (Author)
Genes Web page <>
US V Castleman, SCOTUS, Mar 2014 is grounds for Impeaching SCOTUS
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