Stop Using Politics As A Cudgel To Discourage Experimentation

A 2 minute read.

So let's say you get bored one day and you decide you want to do things that god and man have decreed impossible. Let's also say that this exact thing involves a tool that just happens to rustle all of the jimmies (for reasons that are not entirely clear). Then you get it all to a point where you want to submit it upstream so you can get help experimenting with this tool.

So you submit it to upstream in the experimental branch, expecting very little pushback so you can get help tinkering with things. But once you submit it upstream, all hell breaks loose.

Stop using politics as a cudgel to discourage experimentation. Yes it involves systemd. Just because you think that the tool is overcomplicated doesn't mean that other people don't find it useful. Trying to shut down experimentation is how you get people to leave the community or give up participating in open source altogether.

The reactions in that thread are both disappointing and somewhat to be expected. I don't know why people have such a negative reaction to systemd. It's just an init system, not a religion. It wouldn't have become a good choice for so much of the Linux ecosystem without it having solid technical merits. If it is really that bad then the mantle of responsibility is on you for coming up with a better option.

Cadey is coffee
<Cadey> No, OpenRC is not that option. It can be PART OF an option, but it is not a competitor by itself.

I know I said I'd stop ranting on this blog as much, but really this stuff grinds my gears and I feel that I should use my platform for good in this regard. This is inexcusable. I want to reiterate that I have no power in this regard. I am just some random person on a blog that got frustrated at the reactions to this contribution. Some pushback is acceptable. Accusing a contributor of ignorance is inexcusable. Comments like this have no place in open source contributions:

SysTemD is the STD of operating systems. There is no "one little poke", you can't be a little bit pregnant.

Jake, if you're out there reading this: keep doing this thing. It is a fantastic creation that I thought was impossible. You may have to soft-fork the distribution to get this to work reliably, but I really want to see where this rabbit-hole goes.

Keep hacking.


This article was posted on M04 21 2022. Facts and circumstances may have changed since publication. Please contact me before jumping to conclusions if something seems wrong or unclear.

Tags: rant systemd communityhealth

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The art for Mara was drawn by Selicre.

The art for Cadey was drawn by ArtZora Studios.