More on startup

To go with an earlier post about rc and launchd, Rahul Siddharthan described a similar tool from Ubuntu Linux: Upstart.

Strangely, one of the listed reasons for Upstart is that Apple’s launchd isn’t free enough in GPL terms, but it’d probably be easier (in licensing terms, thanks to the BSD license) to integrate launchd in DragonFly than the ‘more free’ Upstart.

2 Replies to “More on startup”

  1. Nope — the GPL does not apply to “mere aggregation” which is what using a non-free launchd would be. That said, I’m not clear why the linux people reject the APSL v2.0 — the FSF says it is free software: GPL-incompatible admittedly but that’s only a problem if you link it with GPL libraries. Still, apparently their objections were listened to since Apple re-released launchd with the Apache licence…

  2. Having recently had to bang on launchd, it’s a little awkward without the holy-grail of a convenient XML editor as standard as, well, vi.

    (Note that this is made a little more awkward by the way launchd in specific handles the argv array, though I suppose the whole mess could be made sane with the addition of a filter to create XML out of standard command lines and declarations with less tag-soup. Rumors and legends about task scheduling being completely broken at the moment didn’t inspire confidence, either.)

    I can’t really fault XML here, because I like it and it’s being used properly to create structured and readable data, but it’d be cool to have mindless tools to avoid or optimize the mess left over when hand-editing and trying to debug.

    Logically, wouldn’t it be better to extend the concept of fstab and related files to include deferment to/integration with an event handler for devices that need it? Then, eventually, fstab would evolve into nothing but an initialization file for the event handler, but there wouldn’t be competition between two separate-but-sometimes-more-equal-than-others configuration environments as there is now in the gooey tangle of OS X.

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