Warning - FreeBSD (*BSD) entanglement in Linux ecosystem

Michael Powell nightrecon at hotmail.com
Mon Aug 20 17:41:29 UTC 2012

Mark Felder wrote:

> Those in on the core teams here are very well aware. Did you notice we've
> survived this long without ALSA? :-) However, this is very good reading
> for anyone who hasn't looked at Linux lately, and it's worth mentioning
> that this is snowballing quickly. I used to really like some Linux
> distros. I've been working closely with FreeBSD for 3 years now and after
> watching Linux change in those 3 years from this distance I'm not sure I
> want to go back. Everything that originally excited me about *nix
> operating systems is gone; it's a big convoluted mess now. This isn't a
> good sign and I hope someone has the sense enough to stand their ground
> and tell RedHat/Poettering "NO".

You hit the nail on the head for me. For quite a few years I have tried 
Skype on various flavors of Linux machines all with the same end result: in 
order to use the microphone Pulseaudio had to be disabled. It's as if the 
guy that started it (Poettering) never conceived needing to use a microphone 
with a sound server and never tried it. So, in my opinion Pulseaudio is 
software left unfinished. 

Never mind such unfinished and untested as it was, it was mind-numbing to 
see all the 'distros' incorporate it as a default. Then Poettering moved on 
to systemd. My reservations are several. Developeritus notwithstanding, I am 
left to wonder whether he will 'finish' systemd or walk away from it when he 
gets bored with it, leaving it in the same kind of mess he left Pulseaudio. 

Now I truly like the idea and concept of Pulseaudio - it would just be nice 
if the author and project made it work the way an end-user sitting in front 
of his computer expects it to work. So called 'developeritus' is a 
fundamental disconnect between coders who code to please themselves and pat 
themselves on the back for adding 'features' and end-users who utilize 
computers to do other work. 

Anyway, enough rant from the my $.02 dept. I perceive the 'developeritus' 
affliction as a huge elephant in the open source software room that no one 
wants to talk about. I am definitely NOT against technological advances in 
software and the state of the art moving forward; indeed I welcome it. But, 
if it's broken like Pulseaudio I don't want to have anything to do with it. 
If it means using it requires me to spend countless hours trying to make it 
work instead of putting the time towards paying work then I do not need it 
getting in my way. Devs who code for ego gratification among their peers 
instead of trying to produce something a computer user might need should 
attempt to connect to this concept. And I see somewhat more "connect" in the 
FreeBSD community, which is a line-item on my list of what attracts me to 
continue using it. 


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