Re: [wmii] sh flame with Uriel

From: Uriel <>
Date: Tue, 28 Feb 2006 13:45:44 +0100

I don't have time to argue every time you decide to change tons of
stuff for no reason, just to have to change it back again a few days,
weeks, months later.

You are completely ignoring the main reason for 9base, which certainly
had nothing to do with performance or even sanity: portability.

Before gratuitously changing everything back and forth every dot
release or snap, you could at least make some effort to remember why
it was that way in the first place. It isn't like the first, second,
third, fourth, over even one hundredth time we go over the same
process of changing things back and forth because you prefer to keep
changing crap that at least already worked half properly instead of
fixing really important stuff like focus or full screen.


P.S.: Obviously maintaining two separated sets of scripts is totally
unacceptable, most people are a bit surprised at first by the rc
system, but once the learn and understand it, they appreciate to have
a sane system that works the same _everywhere_, hell that is the
_only_ reason various stuff like awk is in 9base. The keyword is
_consistency_. The main reason to move to mk eventually was the same.
Also note that if/once mk is properly packaged, depending on it is no
different from depending on make, which is not included by default on
many systems anyway.


On 2/28/06, Anselm R. Garbe <> wrote:
> Uriel,
> if you got any problems with others, please differentiate
> between me and those others. I had no influence if something
> went wrong at FOSDEM. I have much respect that you gave a talk
> about Plan 9. It will improve your experience and presentation
> skills, regardless how well it went.
> To the sh-flame in the morning, I have to clarify my standpoints
> and to ask you several questions, that is why I CC this mail to
> as well.
> Background for non-IRC readers: Uriel offended me that I decided
> to abandon 9base, especially the switch back to sh.
> Because it ended as flame, there weren't much arguments,
> that's why I write this mail.
> Referring to wc we have 284 lines of sh-code (and
> 296 lines rc-code in extra/p9p). I don't expect that the amount
> of lines will change drastically in the future.
> 1. So, do you think that 300 lines of shell script code justifies
> at least ~40kSLOC of additional dependencies by _default_? (With
> a 9base merged into p9p I expect ~60kSLOC at least.)
> 2. Is the maintenance effort of 9base(p9p merge) worth the
> prize, if we only got 300 LOC of rc code not expecting more?
> 3. With respect to that, isn't it a fair deal if someone
> wants to use rc, that he should install plan9port (instead of
> abandoned 9base)?
> (Plan 9 lovers have installed plan9port already, so they can
> just use the rc flavor scripts, even if they won't be officially
> maintained.)
> 4. If you don't like sh, then can you explain us the reasons
> which justify to depend on plan9port[-base] for 300 LOC rc code?
> Please provide technical reasons.
> 5. Do you expect that maintaining a merge-in of 9base into
> plan9port is lesser effort than maintaining the extra/p9p
> scripts to be used in conjunction with plan9port, maybe even
> plumber based?
> 6. What have been the problems with wmii-2 rc subsystem? Do you
> think it sucks because of GNU+/bin/sh software usage or because
> of architectural reasons (remember rc reload foo abominations)?
> With respect to 6. I have to claim that the current wmiirc rc
> subsystem is a totally different architecture, regardless if sh
> is used or not.
> 7. Do you request, that I shall do the merge of 9base into
> plan9port (9base already works fairly well), that you feel
> better because of rc scripts as default and all others are
> forced to install plan9port[-base]?
> 8. If you agree to 7. then I ask, what is your justification
> that you request it and what is wrong requesting that you
> maintain the rc scripts using rc shell instead for plan9port?
> 9. Which effort might be lesser expensive, maintaining the rc
> scripts, because you can't live with /bin/sh, or maintaining
> plan9port-base?
> 10. Is it simplicity to have two different userlands on a legacy
> Unix box?
> I had good reasons to use 9base in the 2.5.x series, because it
> contained architecture-related bottlenecks (through the heavy
> IPC modularization and spawn-based event handling *crap*) and
> 9base worked around these bottlenecks, because it performed
> around 500% faster than the dynamic linked default userland.
> Anyway, these architecture-related bottlenecks do not exist
> anymore in current, thus there are no performance issues.
> Other good reasons have been a nicer shell syntax (subjective)
> of rc and much simplier/saner userland tools which don't consist
> of GNU bloat.
> 11. But does this really justifies making 300 LOC dependent from
> 40kSLOC at least?
> 12. Won't it be much better to concentrate the efforts onto
> plan9port to package/port it for various distributions/BSDs?
> I also abandon the mk-switch, because referring to wc, we
> got 219 lines of make-related stuff in the complete source tree.
> Like /bin/sh, we use a very portable make-dialect, which works
> with GNU make and BSD make at least (though Sun make is known to
> also work well).
> 13. Is it worth the effort to switch to mk just for 219 lines?
> Forcing people to install mk first, which depends on make as
> well (to build it under Unix)...
> 14. Is this Lunix or Plan 9?
> Now I'm curios, how your answers might sound.
> If wmii would be a bloaty environment like KDE/Gnome, I would
> definately depend on plan9port.
> Regards,
> --
> Anselm R. Garbe ><>< ><>< GPG key: 0D73F361
> _______________________________________________
> mailing list
Received on Tue Feb 28 2006 - 13:45:50 UTC

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