upstream vendors and why they can be really harmful

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upstream vendors and why they can be really harmful

Marc Espie-2
Basically, we have a pattern, mostly observed with kde (and a bit with
gnome) which is really harmful for us.

Those vendors say "we're not in the distribution business, distribution
problems will be handled by OS vendors.  We can break compatibility to
advance, and not think about it, this is not a problem."

This is a mindset we need to fight, and this has to be a grass-roots
movement.

The main effect of THAT attitude is to *HURT* the  opensource community,
big time. It's as harmful as the patent portfolio of big business.

Basically, it precludes smaller players from playing on a level field.
As soon as you're different enough (and that's mostly NOT linux these
days), you can't keep up. Those distribution problems are LARGE.

They occupy a few people in our team FULLTIME with respect to gnome, they're
the reason we still DON'T have a full kde4 in our tree (hopefully to be
addressed shortly), and they're the reason why sometimes we do drop old
stuff (like killing gtk+1, and people really wanting to kill some gtk2/qt3
stuff).

It takes a lot of manpower to address complex distribution issues. If you
don't have tens of people, it becomes more and more of a losing battle,
actually...

It's also quickly turning Posix and Unix into a travesty: either you have
the linux goodies, or you don't. And if you don't, you can forget anything
modern...

in some cases, you even have some people, who are PAID by some vendors,
agressively pushing GRATUITOUS, non compatible changes. I won't say names,
but you guys can fill the blanks in.

I'm pretty sure there's a lot of good intention behind the "progress" in
recent desktops. But this is turning the field of OS distributions into
a wasteland. Either you're a modern linux with pulseaudio and pam and
systemd, or you're dying.  So much for the pionneer spirit of opensource,
where you were free to innovate and do cool things, and more or less have
interesting software able to run on your machine...

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Re: upstream vendors and why they can be really harmful

Antoine Jacoutot-7
On Tue, Nov 06, 2012 at 01:38:32PM +0100, Marc Espie wrote:

> Basically, we have a pattern, mostly observed with kde (and a bit with
> gnome) which is really harmful for us.
>
> Those vendors say "we're not in the distribution business, distribution
> problems will be handled by OS vendors.  We can break compatibility to
> advance, and not think about it, this is not a problem."
>
> This is a mindset we need to fight, and this has to be a grass-roots
> movement.
>
> The main effect of THAT attitude is to *HURT* the  opensource community,
> big time. It's as harmful as the patent portfolio of big business.
>
> Basically, it precludes smaller players from playing on a level field.
> As soon as you're different enough (and that's mostly NOT linux these
> days), you can't keep up. Those distribution problems are LARGE.
>
> They occupy a few people in our team FULLTIME with respect to gnome, they're
> the reason we still DON'T have a full kde4 in our tree (hopefully to be
> addressed shortly), and they're the reason why sometimes we do drop old
> stuff (like killing gtk+1, and people really wanting to kill some gtk2/qt3
> stuff).
>
> It takes a lot of manpower to address complex distribution issues. If you
> don't have tens of people, it becomes more and more of a losing battle,
> actually...
>
> It's also quickly turning Posix and Unix into a travesty: either you have
> the linux goodies, or you don't. And if you don't, you can forget anything
> modern...
>
> in some cases, you even have some people, who are PAID by some vendors,
> agressively pushing GRATUITOUS, non compatible changes. I won't say names,
> but you guys can fill the blanks in.
>
> I'm pretty sure there's a lot of good intention behind the "progress" in
> recent desktops. But this is turning the field of OS distributions into
> a wasteland. Either you're a modern linux with pulseaudio and pam and
> systemd, or you're dying.  So much for the pionneer spirit of opensource,
> where you were free to innovate and do cool things, and more or less have
> interesting software able to run on your machine...

One could answer you that the BSD community is not involved enough with upstream. 99% of the development is done on Linux by developers using Linux -- if you want that to change, some !linux people should get involved in outside projects... I'm not saying I agree nor disagree with that statement, I'm just being the devil's advocate.

--
Antoine

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Re: upstream vendors and why they can be really harmful

Kevin Chadwick-2
In reply to this post by Marc Espie-2
Apparently branding as a priority by some devs, is a major reason. I
can't believe a Gnome dev said he hadn't heard of XFCE to a
transmission dev!

http://igurublog.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/gnome-et-al-rotting-in-threes/

> in some cases, you even have some people, who are PAID by some vendors,
> agressively pushing GRATUITOUS, non compatible changes. I won't say names,
> but you guys can fill the blanks in.
>
> I'm pretty sure there's a lot of good intention behind the "progress" in
> recent desktops. But this is turning the field of OS distributions into
> a wasteland. Either you're a modern linux with pulseaudio and pam and
> systemd, or you're dying.  So much for the pionneer spirit of opensource,
> where you were free to innovate and do cool things, and more or less have
> interesting software able to run on your machine...

It could well end up the other way around, with systemd dying. It does
far too much and most of which is pointless in order to gain traction
but also limiting it's scope and so success unless it is forked or
radically changed of course. The amount of code running as root is
rediculous too. Even Redhat devs have said it offers little and it
certainly causes major problems even for Linux.

The Linux communities are still keeping some freedom (Gentoo, Debian).
It's said Debian is just because of HURD but I don't think that's true,
though the argument would be long.

Rather than spending time on these, are trinity and mate etc.. worth
looking at?

--
_______________________________________________________________________

'Write programs that do one thing and do it well. Write programs to work
together. Write programs to handle text streams, because that is a
universal interface'

(Doug McIlroy)
_______________________________________________________________________

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Re: upstream vendors and why they can be really harmful

Arto Jonsson
In reply to this post by Marc Espie-2
On Tue, Nov 06, 2012 at 01:38:32PM +0100, Marc Espie wrote:
> Basically, we have a pattern, mostly observed with kde (and a bit with
> gnome) which is really harmful for us.
>
> ...

Relevant LWN.net article: http://lwn.net/Articles/520892/

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Re: upstream vendors and why they can be really harmful

Marc Espie-2
In reply to this post by Kevin Chadwick-2
On Tue, Nov 06, 2012 at 01:15:04PM +0000, Kevin Chadwick wrote:
>
> Rather than spending time on these, are trinity and mate etc.. worth
> looking at?

I'm pretty sure trinity is worth looking at, haven't had nearly enough time
to do so, especially since it's yet another build system you need to dive
into.

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Re: upstream vendors and why they can be really harmful

Marc Espie-2
In reply to this post by Antoine Jacoutot-7
On Tue, Nov 06, 2012 at 01:43:50PM +0100, Antoine Jacoutot wrote:
> One could answer you that the BSD community is not involved enough with upstream. 99% of the development is done on Linux by developers using Linux -- if you want that to change, some !linux people should get involved in outside projects... I'm not saying I agree nor disagree with that statement, I'm just being the devil's advocate.

Been there, done that... I've spent quite some time trying to work with
the FSF on tools like GCC.

At some point, I've mostly given up, I'm not patient enough. The GCC rules
were as follows:
- all development happens on their -current branch, which was often a few
years from making a release.
- it takes sometimes months until you get an answer on a patch. Very often,
it's about some style nits that they could have given you right away.
(but since you're not a 1st tier, nor 2nd tier platform, be already happy
you got an answer).
- by which time, -current does no longer compile on your platform, due to
some other issue, which obviously doesn't affect linux, but that you have
no way to fix, as it is deep within the compiler. File a bug-report..
- with luck, another 3 months later, somebody fixed -current, and it works
again. By which time your initial patch (which was never committed) no
longer applies at all, and you're stranded, having to do it all over again.
- also, you have an assurance that that work will only show up in released
versions a few years from now, as they never backport anything but very
critical fixes to old versions (and by definition, OpenBSD is never critical).


they also made some technical choice, such as making it impossible to build
gcc without gnu-make, that we never had sufficient clout to battle...


I'm very happy to let pascal@ or kettenis@ deal with them directly. I don't
have the patience to fight that particular fight anymore...

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Re: upstream vendors and why they can be really harmful

Gregory Edigarov-5
On 11/06/2012 03:45 PM, Marc Espie wrote:

> On Tue, Nov 06, 2012 at 01:43:50PM +0100, Antoine Jacoutot wrote:
>> One could answer you that the BSD community is not involved enough with upstream. 99% of the development is done on Linux by developers using Linux -- if you want that to change, some !linux people should get involved in outside projects... I'm not saying I agree nor disagree with that statement, I'm just being the devil's advocate.
> Been there, done that... I've spent quite some time trying to work with
> the FSF on tools like GCC.
>
> At some point, I've mostly given up, I'm not patient enough. The GCC rules
> were as follows:
> - all development happens on their -current branch, which was often a few
> years from making a release.
> - it takes sometimes months until you get an answer on a patch. Very often,
> it's about some style nits that they could have given you right away.
> (but since you're not a 1st tier, nor 2nd tier platform, be already happy
> you got an answer).
> - by which time, -current does no longer compile on your platform, due to
> some other issue, which obviously doesn't affect linux, but that you have
> no way to fix, as it is deep within the compiler. File a bug-report..
> - with luck, another 3 months later, somebody fixed -current, and it works
> again. By which time your initial patch (which was never committed) no
> longer applies at all, and you're stranded, having to do it all over again.
> - also, you have an assurance that that work will only show up in released
> versions a few years from now, as they never backport anything but very
> critical fixes to old versions (and by definition, OpenBSD is never critical).
>
>
> they also made some technical choice, such as making it impossible to build
> gcc without gnu-make, that we never had sufficient clout to battle...
>
>
> I'm very happy to let pascal@ or kettenis@ deal with them directly. I don't
> have the patience to fight that particular fight anymore...
forgive my curiosity, but is pcc anywhere near?

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Re: upstream vendors and why they can be really harmful

Christiano F. Haesbaert
Lets be honest, half the problem goes away if Lennart stops "hacking".

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Re: upstream vendors and why they can be really harmful

Stefan Sperling-8
In reply to this post by Marc Espie-2
On Tue, Nov 06, 2012 at 01:38:32PM +0100, Marc Espie wrote:
> in some cases, you even have some people, who are PAID by some vendors,
> agressively pushing GRATUITOUS, non compatible changes. I won't say names,
> but you guys can fill the blanks in.

I'll fill in redhat, making upstream support even for older ATI
video cards effectively Linux-only by removing all UMS support
from the X driver: http://cgit.freedesktop.org/xorg/driver/xf86-video-ati/commit/?id=50689ec8dbd4a68527b2ac16cecac298b8d441d0
I'm not an X hacker so I might have misunderstood the impact of this but
on the surface it looks like a move that's bad for everyone but Linux.
Couldn't they at least have left the existing and working UMS stuff alone
so others could still easily upgrade the driver to get bug fixes?

On the bright side, somebody seems to have finally figured out the
zaphod mode issue: http://cgit.freedesktop.org/xorg/driver/xf86-video-ati/commit/?id=20bfc652ce40008ea561db2984bccf137409c7fd

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Re: upstream vendors and why they can be really harmful

Lars von den Driesch
In reply to this post by Marc Espie-2
On Tue, Nov 6, 2012 at 1:38 PM, Marc Espie <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> This is a mindset we need to fight, and this has to be a grass-roots
> movement.
>

I agree with most of your statement, but for a grass-root movement you
will need to attract a lot of people. Otherwise you will move exactly
*nothing*. And let's be honest here - some people involved in OpenBSD
are not the most open-minded people in FOSS. They behave so elitist
they scare a lot of folks away and to gain momentum you will need to
deal also with people that are probably not as knowledegable as you
might want. If you want people to gain traction you will need to
reduce some standards...

just my 2 ct

Lars

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Re: upstream vendors and why they can be really harmful

Peter Hessler
On 2012 Nov 06 (Tue) at 16:45:17 +0100 (+0100), Lars von den Driesch wrote:
:If you want people to gain traction you will need to
:reduce some standards...

This is exactly what happened in Linux-land, and brought us to this
place in the first point.....

--
Math is like love -- a simple idea but it can get complicated.
                -- R. Drabek

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Re: upstream vendors and why they can be really harmful

Marc Espie-2
In reply to this post by Lars von den Driesch
On Tue, Nov 06, 2012 at 04:45:17PM +0100, Lars von den Driesch wrote:

> On Tue, Nov 6, 2012 at 1:38 PM, Marc Espie <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> >
> > This is a mindset we need to fight, and this has to be a grass-roots
> > movement.
> >
>
> I agree with most of your statement, but for a grass-root movement you
> will need to attract a lot of people. Otherwise you will move exactly
> *nothing*. And let's be honest here - some people involved in OpenBSD
> are not the most open-minded people in FOSS. They behave so elitist
> they scare a lot of folks away and to gain momentum you will need to
> deal also with people that are probably not as knowledegable as you
> might want. If you want people to gain traction you will need to
> reduce some standards...
>
> just my 2 ct
>
> Lars
Actually, I am just giving "food for thought", it's a long-time issue
I've seen creep up again and again... so I've tried to formalize it up
to some extent. I'm not going to go out and do anything such as organize
such a movement: I already don't have enough time to do everything I wish
to do, and I'm pretty sure my time is much better employed writing code and
fixing issues within OpenBSD, or going to conferences and explaining to people
why what we do is still relevant. Also, my day job involves some teaching (a
lot), so doing more of that is not really fun.

So, hey, do whatever you want with that. Apart from the proverbial curmudgeons,
there are LOTS of nice people in the OpenBSD developer community, who are
fairly open to a lot of stuff...  I wouldn't be there if that weren't the
case.

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Re: upstream vendors and why they can be really harmful

Lars von den Driesch
In reply to this post by Peter Hessler
On Tue, Nov 6, 2012 at 5:10 PM, Peter Hessler <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On 2012 Nov 06 (Tue) at 16:45:17 +0100 (+0100), Lars von den Driesch wrote:

>
> This is exactly what happened in Linux-land, and brought us to this
> place in the first point.....

I know :-) And I understand this - but in this situation I believe you
have to choose between 2 devils. If you stay in your niche you can
just watch the idiocy happening outside, but you will have absolutely
no way of influencing it.

Lars

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Re: upstream vendors and why they can be really harmful

Lars von den Driesch
In reply to this post by Marc Espie-2
Hi Marc

On Tue, Nov 6, 2012 at 5:16 PM, Marc Espie <[hidden email]> wrote:

> So, hey, do whatever you want with that. Apart from the proverbial curmudgeons,
> there are LOTS of nice people in the OpenBSD developer community, who are
> fairly open to a lot of stuff...  I wouldn't be there if that weren't the
> case.

Oh, I didn't want to generalize on the niceness (or lack of) in
OpenBSD - sorry if it sounded like that. As in every group there are
people more friendly than others :-) From your point of view everybody
is nice to you ;-) You are one of the core devs - for people probably
not that knowledgable as you and coming from outside it might leave a
different impression.

Again, I am just saying... ;-)

Lars

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Re: upstream vendors and why they can be really harmful

Miod Vallat
>                                      From your point of view everybody
> is nice to you ;-)

I'm not!

Miod

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Re: upstream vendors and why they can be really harmful

Tomas Bodzar-4
<irony>
Maybe new EU (and other countries) laws will solve that once vendors
will be responsible for flaws caused by software.
</irony>

If they will implement it it will mean end of about 90% (I want to be
nice) of SW vendors :-)

On Tue, Nov 6, 2012 at 6:44 PM, Miod Vallat <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>                                      From your point of view everybody
>> is nice to you ;-)
>
> I'm not!
>
> Miod

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Re: upstream vendors and why they can be really harmful

Tomas Bodzar-4
In reply to this post by Antoine Jacoutot-7
On Tue, Nov 6, 2012 at 1:43 PM, Antoine Jacoutot <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Tue, Nov 06, 2012 at 01:38:32PM +0100, Marc Espie wrote:
>> Basically, we have a pattern, mostly observed with kde (and a bit with
>> gnome) which is really harmful for us.
>>
>> Those vendors say "we're not in the distribution business, distribution
>> problems will be handled by OS vendors.  We can break compatibility to
>> advance, and not think about it, this is not a problem."
>>
>> This is a mindset we need to fight, and this has to be a grass-roots
>> movement.
>>
>> The main effect of THAT attitude is to *HURT* the  opensource community,
>> big time. It's as harmful as the patent portfolio of big business.
>>
>> Basically, it precludes smaller players from playing on a level field.
>> As soon as you're different enough (and that's mostly NOT linux these
>> days), you can't keep up. Those distribution problems are LARGE.
>>
>> They occupy a few people in our team FULLTIME with respect to gnome, they're
>> the reason we still DON'T have a full kde4 in our tree (hopefully to be
>> addressed shortly), and they're the reason why sometimes we do drop old
>> stuff (like killing gtk+1, and people really wanting to kill some gtk2/qt3
>> stuff).
>>
>> It takes a lot of manpower to address complex distribution issues. If you
>> don't have tens of people, it becomes more and more of a losing battle,
>> actually...
>>
>> It's also quickly turning Posix and Unix into a travesty: either you have
>> the linux goodies, or you don't. And if you don't, you can forget anything
>> modern...
>>
>> in some cases, you even have some people, who are PAID by some vendors,
>> agressively pushing GRATUITOUS, non compatible changes. I won't say names,
>> but you guys can fill the blanks in.
>>
>> I'm pretty sure there's a lot of good intention behind the "progress" in
>> recent desktops. But this is turning the field of OS distributions into
>> a wasteland. Either you're a modern linux with pulseaudio and pam and
>> systemd, or you're dying.  So much for the pionneer spirit of opensource,
>> where you were free to innovate and do cool things, and more or less have
>> interesting software able to run on your machine...
>
> One could answer you that the BSD community is not involved enough with upstream. 99% of the development is done on Linux by developers using Linux -- if you want that to change, some !linux people should get involved in outside projects... I'm not saying I agree nor disagree with that statement, I'm just being the devil's advocate.
>
> --
> Antoine
>

I was reading your post to Gnome mailing list and answers from devs
and it's hard to find proper words on their "clever" answers. They are
probably not much aware about your work in M:tier with Gnome, do they?

They don't simply care about "downstream" and they already decided
(most of them). Do you have some escape plan for that like some BSD
licensed window manager as you are tweaking on Gnome desktop for
OpenBSD anyway like WiFi GUI app? I think (can be completely out of
course) that there may be pretty good interest in BSD community for
some desktop like you are doing for implementation at homes, jobs and
so on which is not so different from what people know from other
platforms. Not like getting over 1% of Linux market share, but simply,
clean and stable desktop for corporate world which can help with more
attraction.

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Re: upstream vendors and why they can be really harmful

Jiri B-2
In reply to this post by Kevin Chadwick-2
On Tue, Nov 06, 2012 at 01:15:04PM +0000, Kevin Chadwick wrote:
> It could well end up the other way around, with systemd dying. It does
> far too much and most of which is pointless in order to gain traction
> but also limiting it's scope and so success unless it is forked or
> radically changed of course. The amount of code running as root is
> rediculous too. Even Redhat devs have said it offers little and it
> certainly causes major problems even for Linux.

Some RH guys don't like only from sysadmin or job point of view,
in F19 there should be no /var/log/messages or they are worried about
how to support environments and apps which uses this files to parse it.
This also contains big finantial level but as Fedora is "playground"
nobody cares there much about this topic.

Most Linux distros will move to systemd anyway, even Debian I bet.
They already moved to stupid Upstart (like RHEL 6 IIRC).

jirib

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Re: upstream vendors and why they can be really harmful

TAKRIZ
In reply to this post by Marc Espie-2
I hear you on this, thinking about it I'd like to ask you what would be a
solution to this rather recurrent issue/problem we're facing from the Linux
side of the spectrum? What would be a solution or a framework that could
somehow negate most of the effects of this particular problem?. I grew up
tired as well from this bs that clearly affects OpenBSD appeal to the
masses. But, in life I've learned to make decisions, and no decision is
free and I just pay the bill and live peacefully away from bullshit and bad
software.




On Tue, Nov 6, 2012 at 1:38 PM, Marc Espie <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Basically, we have a pattern, mostly observed with kde (and a bit with
> gnome) which is really harmful for us.
>
> Those vendors say "we're not in the distribution business, distribution
> problems will be handled by OS vendors.  We can break compatibility to
> advance, and not think about it, this is not a problem."
>
> This is a mindset we need to fight, and this has to be a grass-roots
> movement.
>
> The main effect of THAT attitude is to *HURT* the  opensource community,
> big time. It's as harmful as the patent portfolio of big business.
>
> Basically, it precludes smaller players from playing on a level field.
> As soon as you're different enough (and that's mostly NOT linux these
> days), you can't keep up. Those distribution problems are LARGE.
>
> They occupy a few people in our team FULLTIME with respect to gnome,
> they're
> the reason we still DON'T have a full kde4 in our tree (hopefully to be
> addressed shortly), and they're the reason why sometimes we do drop old
> stuff (like killing gtk+1, and people really wanting to kill some gtk2/qt3
> stuff).
>
> It takes a lot of manpower to address complex distribution issues. If you
> don't have tens of people, it becomes more and more of a losing battle,
> actually...
>
> It's also quickly turning Posix and Unix into a travesty: either you have
> the linux goodies, or you don't. And if you don't, you can forget anything
> modern...
>
> in some cases, you even have some people, who are PAID by some vendors,
> agressively pushing GRATUITOUS, non compatible changes. I won't say names,
> but you guys can fill the blanks in.
>
> I'm pretty sure there's a lot of good intention behind the "progress" in
> recent desktops. But this is turning the field of OS distributions into
> a wasteland. Either you're a modern linux with pulseaudio and pam and
> systemd, or you're dying.  So much for the pionneer spirit of opensource,
> where you were free to innovate and do cool things, and more or less have
> interesting software able to run on your machine...

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Re: upstream vendors and why they can be really harmful

Daniel Bolgheroni-6
In reply to this post by Marc Espie-2
On Tue, Nov 06, 2012 at 01:38:32PM +0100, Marc Espie wrote:
>
> It's also quickly turning Posix and Unix into a travesty: either you have
> the linux goodies, or you don't. And if you don't, you can forget anything
> modern...

This IS the main problem.

123