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Date: Tue, 22 May 2012 14:55:57 +0200
From: Christoph Lohmann <>
Subject: Re: Vision for new platform


On Tue, 22 May 2012 14:55:57 +0200 Rich Felker <> wrote:
> > >That's why I think, to be viable and relevant
> > 
> > Yes of course. I couldn't agree more.
> > All i'm trying to do is tell you, is that it's bloody hard. But
> > talking to the guy who had the balls to rebuild a libc from scratch,
> > it's possible you might just be able to pull it of.
> The biggest ingredient in pulling it off is having 1-4 people with the
> determination to do it and a common (this condition is trivially
> satisfied if it's just one) vision for how it should be done. That's
> why I went fishing for people with the vision... :)

Look at for people already trying to change things.

> With that said, in hindsight I think libc is one of the hardest
> possible things I could have set out to replace. Most individual
> components are simple, but absolutely EVERYTHING depends on it, so in
> order for things to work, EVERY detail needs to meet the specification
> exactly (and often, also needs to meet unspecified requirements that
> applications expect).

Building a cargo cult.

> > Just put the bar a bit lower. Targeting existing desktop users isn't
> > all that desirable. They're perfectly happy with the UI's that
> > canonical provides for them. And it's a good thing these people like
> > their universe and everything,
> Are you sure? I guess there are various shades of "desktop". If I used
> a quad-core 3Ghz whatever-the-latest-and-greatest-is desktop machine,
> I'd probably be content with just using GNOME. (At least until I got
> fed up with its treating me like an idiot...) But for laptops and
> especially netbooks, DE bloat leaves your system stuttering, swapping,
> and draining the battery much faster than it should.

People  are not happy using Ubuntu. But there the same schemes from Win‐
dows apply, that changes impose insults upon some people’s egos, because
the button size changed.

> Aside from some interface considerations (mainly screen size and touch
> vs mouse/trackpad) I think a lot of the basic system component
> requirements are the same for "desktop" and "mobile" platforms, and
> anything in between. Especially the stuff handled by "dbus hell" in
> the FDO regime now (network config, removable media, bluetooth, ...).
> On the other hand, things like file managers are more different, and
> might be a case where you should have completely separate applications
> for each type of system. (And if the system stuff is not needlessly
> coupled with this sort of app level stuff, you can mix and match them
> with no problem.)

The  only component that that hasn’t yet been replaced is Bluetooth, but
there are now changes in the kernel that streamline the API a bit, so it
should  be  possible to write a replacement. The current architecture of
bluez is pure SOA and can’t be understood by anyone but its developers.

Some components that are replaced: 

	udev -> nldev + mdev
	removable media -> mdev.conf
	network config -> various scripts
	systemd -> sysvinit, runit, simple scripts (conn)

Gnome  etc.  have  always  been  bloat. So if you complain now that they
somehow changed your ways, well, then use Gnome.

Maybe  instead  of  discussing  a  philosophy that already exists actual
utilities and replacements for core applications should be written.


Christoph Lohmann

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