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Re: [alpine-devel] Alpine features and the future

From: Drew DeVault <>
Date: Wed, 6 Dec 2017 09:36:34 -0500

On 2017-12-05 11:32 PM, Laurent Bercot wrote:
> > - execline is stupid
> You don't have to use it if you don't like it. It's used internally
> by s6, but it can remain out of your sight at all times.

That's not how it works. Having it on my system at all bothers me and it
speaks poorly of the design of s6 that it's required. I can choose not
to use it but it still factors into my evalulation of s6.

> > - s6-rc is not very good
> > - anopa is not very good
> > - s6 is too complicated in places, things like "actually down" with
> > daemon-level support are inelegant and bad
> If you have constructive criticism, we'd welcome your input on the
> supervision at mailing-list, or the #s6 channel on
> Freenode (where anopa's author also lurks).

Great, I will send some feedback. I joined #s6 yesterday as well. Do
note, though, that I didn't say "bad" - I said "not very good". "Good"
is not a term I have ever applied to an init, so don't think too much of

> I'm especially interested in what you find "not very good" with
> s6-rc, and how you think it could improve. Aside from a friendlier UI,
> which is something that a lot of people, including Alpine core devs,
> have requested, and that is on the roadmap.

Part of the reason I did not elaborate is that my concerns are pretty
deep and I felt they'd be unlikely to be addressed without causing
issues with backwards compatability. That being said, I simply find
s6-rc too complicated. The database abstraction is not necessary and the
handling of one-shots is not great (but this is more of a problem with
s6 than s6-rc). There are a lot of places like this in s6{,-rc} where
lots of complexity is piled on to solve problems of dubious legitimacy.

I would also comment on the documentation. The website buries the lede
by putting several pages worth of rationale, comparisons to other inits,
and design docs upfront. Those should probably come at the end, after a
brief summary that gets you to grok the init's ideas and a command
reference. Also, there are no man pages, which is a problem that bugs me
for Alpine's apk as well.

Like I said in my first email, overall I do like s6 and I intend to
start working on a system based on it. Don't interpret my
acknowledgement of the drawbacks as a disdain for the software as a

Drew DeVault
Received on Wed Dec 06 2017 - 09:36:34 UTC