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Date: Mon, 23 Sep 2013 15:55:58 -0400
From: Rich Felker <>
Subject: Re: GLOB_BRACE

On Mon, Sep 23, 2013 at 12:22:28PM -0500, Rob Landley wrote:
> >It's become arguably irrelevant
> >percentage-wise because the scope of the 'market' has vastly grown,
> >but in terms of absolute numbers it's still there, and it's still
> >critical to most of the content-production that takes place.
> >
> >It's fine if you want to say you don't care about this now-niche
> >market, but that doesn't solve the problem for people who are still
> >dependent on it (which is still a fairly large portion of the
> >computer-using population, even if only a small portion of the number
> >of computers).
> Server systems migrated from glibc to musl but with systemd seems
> like a fairly small niche, but if it interests you...

Well I was thinking of the class "server systems migrated to musl",
without anything about systemd, which is a very interesting class
since musl potentially allows for much smaller (in disk and ram needs)
virtual environments. Think from a standpoint of having 50x as many
geographically-diverse server nodes each using 1/50 the resources, at
the same cost.

> People have been trying to get rid of local storage and have dumb
> terminals for something like 30 years. It's been 5 years away all
> that time.
> *shrug* I often use my android phone for is as a convenient USB
> stick via the charger cable. How this is programmed is still up in
> the air, but the hardware's there.

This is pretty problematic in terms of security with Android, but it
could be made very nice with a proper OS. Think of something like
this: when you plug in the device, a menu pops up on the device giving
you several choices:

- New sandbox virtual disk, initially empty
- Existing sandbox virtual disk, read-only
- Existing sandbox virtual disk, read-write
- Main storage, read-only
- Main storage, read-write

Of course there are a lot more things that could be done to make this
more user-friendly and flexible; it might even make sense to
virtualize the fs image presented on the virtual mass storage device
so as to allow the mobile OS to log/audit the blocks accessed, changes
made, etc. and report suspicious activity to the user.

> >> Android's not far behind. All we have to do is prevent systemd from
> >> being adopted by Android and Lennart's Hairball can get kicked up
> >> into the server space with the previous generation of hardware like
> >> Cobol before it, where we don't have to care unless we want to be
> >> our generation's version of punched card job control wranglers for
> >> the money.
> >
> >The problem is that we do care about server space. The naive version
> >of your analogy with "mainframe -> mini -> ..." breaks down in that
> >this time, it's not really the old technology and problems being
> >pushed up to the servespace. Instead, the serverspace is undergoing
> >its own major change to something new; in buzzword-space, this is
> >called "the cloud".
> I thought "the cloud" was the name of the NSA's server?

It's pretty unclear what it actually means, but the elements I was
thinking of are use of CDN's, distributed virtual servers, and
online/distributed data storage.


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