Re: Some suggestions about s6 and s6-rc

From: Steve Litt <>
Date: Sun, 20 Sep 2015 03:41:27 -0400

On Sun, 20 Sep 2015 15:15:52 +0800
"Casper Ti. Vector" <> wrote:

> (Accidentally sent to Colin as private mail, reposting verbatim here;
> sorry for the disturbance...)
> Well, this naming issue is all about overloading... To circumvent the
> overloading problem, we can also use some other name pairs like
> `start'/`stop' or `begin'/`end' (Gentoo and LaTeX user here ;). But
> that introduces another problem: more names to remember.

Which in turns calls for much more descriptive names. If I understand
correctly, the current ./up and ./down are used for one-shots only. If
these things are run at boot time and "stopped" at shutdown time, they
could be called onboot and onhalt. Otherwise onrun and onstop. Or
something more descriptive.

> So this is somewhat a dilemma. Different context and developers might
> lead to different decisions; I personally would rather like to support
> overloading the `run'/`finish' name pair, for the similar reason for
> Unix's choice of the `x' permission bit to represent both "executable"
> for files and "enter-able" for directories: they are loosely
> correlated concepts in orthogonal "subspaces".

You know they're orthogonal in the expected use case. I know they're
orthogonal in the expected use case. But the guy just learning this
stuff doesn't know that intuitively, and unless the docs are written
**just right**, it will cause confusion. Needless confusion. Confusion
pushing the prospective user to another init system. Maybe systemd.

I wasn't around when the decisions were made how to use the 'x'
permission, but I do remember that in the early 80's (so certainly when
the 'x' permission was specified), RAM was so dear. I had to write a
report object, in C, because I just couldn't afford an 80x66 array of
char. I have a feeling that RAM scarcity played a part in the duality of
the 'x' permission, and I remember when I was new to Linux that 'x'
permission's duality confused me for a little while.

Overloading filenames for orthogonal uses strikes me as clever, but
unnecessary and a documentation nightmare.


Steve Litt
August 2015 featured book: Troubleshooting: Just the Facts
Received on Sun Sep 20 2015 - 07:41:27 UTC

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