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Date:      Sat, 23 Jul 2011 15:58:07 -0600
From:      Chad Perrin <>
To:        FreeBSD <>
Subject:   Re: Lennart Poettering: BSD Isn't Relevant Anymore
Message-ID:  <20110723215807.GA78426@guilt.hydra>
In-Reply-To: <20110722110540.6105ccc9@scorpio>
References:  <> <> <> <> <20110718162245.0d426239@scorpio> <20110719032131.GA29635@guilt.hydra> <20110719085529.1671ec7f@scorpio> <> <20110722125826.GA73065@guilt.hydra> <20110722110540.6105ccc9@scorpio>

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On Fri, Jul 22, 2011 at 11:05:40AM -0400, Jerry wrote:
> On Fri, 22 Jul 2011 06:58:26 -0600 Chad Perrin articulated:
> >=20
> > In fact, the NetworkManager set of network management tools has in
> > some ways outdone the stupidities of MS Windows network management.
> > "Hey, this is stupid, but it's not stupid enough.  We can do
> > 'better'."
> >=20
> > This is the kind of crap I do *not* want to see make its way into
> > FreeBSD from the Linux world, and it's why I said I'm okay with tools
> > like NetworkManager being released under restrictive licensing that
> > makes it less likely to be harvested for ideas by OS projects like
> > FreeBSD.  The day some asinine automated network selection line of
> > crap like NetworkManager makes its way into the FreeBSD base system
> > is probably the day I stop using it.
> Stop using what, FreeBSD or NetworkManager?

Seriously?  It should be obvious that the day FreeBSD pushes me to use
NetworkManager is the day I stop using FreeBSD -- because I already try
to avoid NetworkManager at every opportunity.

> You do realize that no one is forcing you to use any networking tool in
> either MS Windows or FreeBSD? By default there is none available in
> FBSD, and the Window's applications can either be configured to your
> own liking (well maybe not you own specifications since you have not
> specified any) or simply deactivated. You could start here:
> <

Do you realize that some Linux distributions have actually gutted the
support for their non-automated network configuration capabilities as the
world moves toward NetworkManager?

Do you realize that MS Windows has nothing equivalent to rc.conf or

I suspect you do not realize this, or you wouldn't have asked me such a
stupid question.

=2E . . and do you realize that I never said automated network management
tools were available on FreeBSD by default at all?  Of course not.  You
are not reading my emails to understand them.  You're skimming them for
excuses to attack straw men that have little or nothing to do with what I
actually said.

Disabling "network discovery" in MS Windows does not disable all the
stupid assumptions the network management system makes about how people
use networking, by the way -- and, as I said in an earlier email,
disabling a poorly designed automated system does not solve the problem
of it being poorly designed.  It just eliminates the supposed benefits of
using systems with poorly designed automated systems along with the

> Chad, I have read through several of your posts and agreeing with some.
> However, I have come to the conclusion that you seem to exhibit a form
> of "Forward Bias" in regards to newer technology. What if, and that is
> a big "IF", a suitable tool and I am not specifying "NetworkManager"
> either were to be written for or ported to FBSD that would make the
> discovery of networks as simple and remove the tedious and often faulty
> process of manually configuring a network? If the tool was not on by
> default as Microsoft's is, how could that possible offend you?

I do not dislike new technology.  I love new technology, when it's
technology that solves a problem and does so without creating additional
problems.  NetworkManager is not such a new technology.  It's basically
just a new, user-obsequious, expert-hostile interface to very old
technology.  I have found myself in the unenviable position of having to
use NetworkManager because the core networking tools of old on a given
Linux-based OS do not work properly any longer, neglected in the wake of
the arrival of NetworkManager as the preferred default network management
toolset.  The problem is that in the past I was able to write a couple of
simple scripts to automate network management in a way that suited my
needs, but now NetworkManager has actually made things much worse.

Now, I have to install special tools that sit on top of NetworkManager to
give me a reasonably scriptable interface to NetworkManager, because I
then have to write much more complex scripts that futz around with
NetworkManager's BS in order to force it to do what I actually want my
network to do -- and the end result is that, for my purposes, it is
*less* automated overall than the simpler scripts I used to use, and
requires a metric tone of extra garbage libraries and applications

A "suitable tool" would be great, but *nobody* is writing suitable tools.
Everyone is writing horribly unsuitable tools, then neglecting or even
deprecating the tools that actually work in a reliable, easily scriptable
manner in favor of these newer, less suitable tools.

The tool may not be on by default, but from what I've seen the tendency
is to make shit simply not work even as well without the stupid-ass tool
as they do *with* it -- which is shockingly poorly.

> By the way, both I and I would believe the named developers would be
> offended by your "Fallacy of sweeping generalization" you choose to
> throw at them. You equate your feelings of hated for automation as
> being shared by all users. Obviously that is grossly inaccurate. You
> are smarter than that, so why make such a sweeping and inaccurate
> remark.

I'm frankly less than impressed with the sensitivities of people whose
work has rendered OSes I used to use quite simply and easily to get real
work done almost unusable in the several years I have not used them
regularly.  Screw them.  If anyone has a right to be offended here, it's
the guy who ended up having to install NetworkManager to get networking
to work worth a damn at all -- and even then, it requires a crapton of
extra work to get limping, and all it does is limp.

I don't hate automation.  I love automation -- as long as it's not the
automation of the Sorcerer's Apprentice (Disney animation, not recent
Nicholas Cage movie), where a bunch of mops start multiplying and
flooding the basement.  Automation, like any other tool, has to be
well-designed to be worth the trouble.  In fact, when it is poorly
designed, automation can multiply the effects of otherwise very minor
negatives, resulting in life getting a lot more difficult.

I love automation.  I loathe *bad* automation that makes my life hell.

=2E . . and I do not equate my feelings with those of all others.
Obviously, if everybody shared my feelings, this shit wouldn't happen.
There are legions of people who don't care if their laptops connect to
MITM networks and hand over the keys to their financial kingdoms as long
as they get connected to Facebook, but that doesn't mean that all the
automation tools in the world should facilitate that stupidity in the
occasional case of someone like me who would like to do things a little

The question is not why I made a sweeping and inaccurate remark about
what all users want.  The question is:

Why do you claim I made such a remark when, in fact, I did not?

> Dinosaurs are dead and the world moves forward. To deny others the
> availability and use of newer methods simply because they frighten you
> is beyond belief.

You are clearly an asshole who has no interest in having a reasonable
discussion.  "Newer methods" do not "frighten" me, you stupid asshole.

Learn to read.

Chad Perrin [ original content licensed OWL: ]

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