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Re: Init : someone could comment this ?

On Tue, 8 Jan 2008, Les Mikesell wrote:

People running fedora will expect to use sysV style init configuration to control it.

Now, I think Lennart is right in pushing the concept behind Upstart and the new InitKit, both of which break the init config paradigm and its runlevels.

The reason was actually outlined in Miguel de Icaza's "Let's Make Unix Not Suck" a few years back. It outlined some weaknesses of the Unix pipe and filter and signalling system: pipes are unidirectional, data is not typed, signals are crude in essence. Component-based thinking through CORBA led to the invention of Bonobo, then the condensed DCOP and eventually D-Bus which actually does the tricks most sought after: bidirectional messages between processes, typed messages, a strict namespace, broadcast messages.

The SysVInit system currently suffers from not being able to use such a mechanism.

Upstart solved it, basically, but has some design flaws and is used in init-compatibility mode in Ubuntu. So now InitKit is coming along.

It's worth sacrificing runlevels to reach the next step of unsucky Unix.

POSIX does not mandate init and its runlevels, nor does the Single Unix spec. I think there is a good reason for: it was awkward, so it wasn't standardized. If everyone though it was a good idea they would have standardized it back when POSIX was written. (I wasn't a member of the committes tho, so who knows.)


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