[Arm-netbook] new development laptop needed, looking at dell xps 13 9350

Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton lkcl at lkcl.net
Wed Dec 7 11:56:06 GMT 2016

On 12/7/16, Philip Hands <phil at hands.com> wrote:
> Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton <lkcl at lkcl.net> writes:
>> On 12/5/16, Julie Marchant <onpon4 at riseup.net> wrote:
>>>>  by contrast: fvwm2 is an 8 *megabyte* install size.  gnome is...
>>>> what... several hundred megabytes?  latest versions force you to use
>>>> wayland?  and systemd?? fuck that!!  absolutely no way i'm tolerating
>>>> that.
>>> GNOME does not force you to use Wayland. I don't know where you got this
>>> idea from. Wayland is still supported experimentally (X is used by
>>> default, Wayland support is quite buggy) last time I checked. As for
>>> systemd, GNOME requires logind, but not the entire systemd package.
>>  that requires libsystemd, which i refuse to have on any machine that
>> i am managing.
> I really think that you should draw a line between libsystemd0 and
> systemd itself (whether running as init or not).

> One of the functions that libsystemd provides is the ability to check
> whether systemd is available, so if you want there to be a vibrant
> ecosystem of packages that do not require systemd, then it's probably
> worth encouraging people to write programs that check if systemd is
> available, and then behave sensibly if it is not.
> The alternative forces the systemd refuseniks to fork every package that
> might find any (even optional) use for systemd services, which a) there
> is not sufficient manpower for, and b) removes any pressure for the
> upstream to put effort into accommodating your needs, so they don't
> bother to maintain/add the conditional code.

 not sure i fully understand what you're saying, but i'm aware that
devuan is supporting a huge alternative range of init systems: the
only one they *don't* support is... systemd!

 now, it may surprise you to learn that i've spoken to them and
pointed out to them that if they want to not appear to be hypocritical
(i.e. directly at odds with their stated goal of being "inclusive"),
they really, *really* need to include systemd as one of the options.

 however, because they've gone the "reacting against" polarisation
route, which is just as equally bad as the forced-adoption route done
by pretty much everyone else, there's still a lot of bad blood that
needs to be healed first before anything like that can even *remotely*
be considered.

> That said, I don't have a lot of time for Gnome either, but that might
> be because a) I prefer Xmonad so I'm not their target audience,

 i love the description you gave me a few years ago of what xmonad is
capable of in such a ridiculously small amount of code... :)

> and b) I
> run Debian, and we're making life difficult for Gnome maintainers by
> continuing to ensure that using systemd as init is optional (unlike most
> other distros),

 good!  about time someone stood up to the railroading but without the
polarising perspective taken by devuan and other non-systemd distros!

> and also constraining systemd when it is running as init
> to be backwards compatible with sysvinit in various ways, which means
> that there are things that Gnome can safely assume on the likes of
> Fedora which might not be true on a particular Debian install, so I
> guess Gnome on Debian has interesting little bugs that don't appear
> elsewhere.

 well, that's actually really really good, because it means that the
*BSDs don't get railroaded (through the unbelievably arrogant
expectation of the systemd team that the *BSDs, *particularly* the
high security-conscious ones, will simply roll over, take it up the
backside and do the systemd team's bidding by adopting systemd or its
interfaces or libraries).

> If everyone that doesn't like systemd runs screaming away from Debian,
> shouting about libsystemd0, and doesn't bother to report bugs where our
> ambition to support other inits falls short, then they just ensure that
> the future they fear comes to pass.

 y'know... the current hypothesis i'm floating in my head is that the
full-time paid-up software libre projects are running at such a faster
pace than the volunteer-driven ones that the full-time paid-up
developers completely swamp and overwhelm the volunteer-driven ones.

 also because they're on a different kind of motivation ("must get
results otherwise my boss will fire me or not give me a good
performance review") they feel *obliged* to not interact with the
volunteer-driven teams.

 how can i propose this hypothesis? well... over many many years, all
of the projects that people have had real problems / issues with in
the wider software libre community have been ones that are full-time

 so the key problem is that there's no real respect or inter-project
communication... and, crucially, *no real reason for them to*.  each
project is "head-down getting on with it".  as in: the actual task of
developing *code* doesn't actually *need* inter-project communication
or coordination.  each project is doing their own thing, and doing it

 still thinking about this and keeping an eye on it... but gotta go.

 thank you for your insights, phil.  really appreciated.


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