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Re: [Fsuk-manchester] Fedora

From: Simon Ward
Subject: Re: [Fsuk-manchester] Fedora
Date: Wed, 13 Apr 2011 21:29:45 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.20 (2009-06-14)

On Wed, Apr 13, 2011 at 03:07:30PM +0100, Luke Taylor wrote:

> I am unprecedentedly excited about the new Fedora so I thought that
> I'd share my thoughts and gauge other people's opinions. F15 will have
> systemd (fast, aggressively parallel booting)

Not exactly new, parallel init has been around for a while.  Way back in
OpenSUSE 10, you could set a configuration option to enable parallel
booting.  Debian now has a similar parallel init by default.

Ubuntu uses Upstart, which is an event‐driven init system and also runs
scripts in parallel.  It’s actually quite innovative in this respect.
The systems used by OpenSUSE and Debian rely on calculating an order,
and when scripts can be run in parallel, based on dependencies.

It’s worth reading about systemd, because it has advantages compared to
other init systems, and it’s great that Fedora is using it because that
means it gets tested.  When mature, the innovations in systemd will
eventually make their way to stable distributions (it’s already
available in Debian unstable).  I am surprised that a supposedly
bleeding edge test bed of a distribution such as Fedora is only just
jumping on the parallel booting bandwagon though.

> and gnome-shell by default.

Ugh, each to their own.

> So much for Arch and Gentoo being 'bleeding edge' they only
> have systemd in their experimental repos or not at all.

systemd is not the be‐all and end‐all.

> I see that last February's release of Debian have gone for a Windows
> 95 look & feel?
> http://ubuntu4beginners.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/debian-6-0-sqeeze.png

I know what a Windows 95 look and feel, and it’s not that.  That’s also
pretty much GNOME default these days.

> What distros are people looking forward to or find particularly
> interesting at the moment?

I have just upgraded some of my systems to Debian Squeeze.  I get
Prosody without having to use a custom build, stateful IPv6 firewall
supported by Shorewall, and a harsh reminder that mod_python is out and
mod_wsgi is in (my Moin Moin configuration broke, I’ve yet to move Trac
over to using mod_wsgi).

When I’m done, I will be removing one more dependency on Google Talk (or
other XMPP services which I have often found unreliable), and using XMPP
with my own domain name.  I’ll have everything running on IPv6.  Apache
serving HTTPS with Server Name Indication support, and IPsec functioning
at least among systems in my home network and my VMs.  These were not
unachievable before, but made more awkward by lack of consistent support
for the features I wanted.

> JP mentioned that he was using Plan 9, anybody given Inferno a try?

I like Plan 9, as an experimental system, with some elegant ways of
doing things.  I have no plan (9s!) to actually use it in production,
but I did have a VM running it at one point.

> Anybody think that gentoo is worth the compilation hassle? *ducks*

You (used to) get binary packages too, you don’t *have* to compile.
Even if you did compile, a build farm can make the time used negligible.
ebuilds are actually tested, and generally do compile without problems.

However, no, it’s not worth it.  Pre‐compiled binary packages are so
much more predictable and well tested.  I have the same binary, so it
has been made with the same build flags, which can’t be said if you
happen to specify even slightly different use flags in Gentoo.  Then
there’s the obvious: You don’t have to compile it, somebody already did
it for you.  The advantages you might get from optimised builds are most
probably negligible compared to the advantages you get from something
widely tested and stable, unless you have a weird system.

A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a
simple system that works.—John Gall

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