Re: dh, the daemon helper

Discussion in 'C Programming' started by John Kelly, Oct 24, 2009.

  1. John Kelly

    John Kelly Guest

    On Thu, 08 Oct 2009 03:11:33 +0300, Giorgos Keramidas
    <> wrote:

    >There's already daemon(8) in the BSDs and it is a 10 minute task to
    >'port' it to non-BSD systems by wrapping a tiny autoconf script around
    >the daemon(3) function and a local `libcompat/daemon.c' copy.


    >I really don't see why one would like to reinvent the particular wheel


    An artist creates what he wants. Undesirable prior art is irrelevant
    for copyright purposes. I wrote dh from scratch and gave it an Apache
    license.

    Perhaps that disturbs certain GPL adherents. I have observed Debian
    advocates demonstrating fanatical zeal for it.

    Invading the two character namespace with a distro tool like debhelper
    was poor judgement. It should be self evident that distro tools need
    longer names. If Ubuntu uses debhelper, they may rename it for brand
    identity and consistency. Debian is not important. Their mistake does
    not hinder my work.

    The daemon helper. dh is its name. It starts any program or script as
    a daemon. It's not an environment like daemontools or launchd. It's a
    configuration free utility with a short two character name, easy to use
    interactively or in init scripts.

    Be careful though. It has been known to bring demon possessed lunatics
    screaming from their haunt among the tombs.

    ftp://ftp.isp2dial.com/users/jak/src/dh/


    --
    Webmail for Dialup Users
    http://www.isp2dial.com/freeaccounts.html
     
    John Kelly, Oct 24, 2009
    #1
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  2. John Kelly

    Seebs Guest

    Re: dh, the badly-written daemon helper

    On 2009-10-24, John Kelly <> wrote:
    > Perhaps that disturbs certain GPL adherents. I have observed Debian
    > advocates demonstrating fanatical zeal for it.


    No, you haven't. You've noticed people who'd been using a name across
    millions of users for a decade suggesting that maybe your choice was
    poor.

    > Invading the two character namespace with a distro tool like debhelper
    > was poor judgement. It should be self evident that distro tools need
    > longer names.


    Perhaps so... But then idiosyncratic tools for single users need longer
    names if they want anyone else to use them. (I maintain a utility for
    my own use with a single-character name, and one with a two-character
    name, but I don't expect anyone else to adopt them.)

    > If Ubuntu uses debhelper, they may rename it for brand
    > identity and consistency.


    This is a non-sequitur, and in any event, they also may not. Which they
    didn't, because consistency of usage is important.

    > Debian is not important.


    They are more important than you are -- and as long as you have this attitude,
    more important than you could ever possibly be.

    > Their mistake does not hinder my work.


    True that!

    What hinders your work is that you don't understand the problem space,
    you spam, you're narcissistic, you ignore substantive criticism, you've
    reinvented the wheel, poorly, and you have no possible hope of ever
    developing decent software as long as you're committed to reacting to
    substantive criticism with defensiveness.

    > It starts any program or script as a daemon.


    Badly.

    That's sort of the point.

    > It's not an environment like daemontools or launchd.


    Making it less flexible, but...

    > It's a
    > configuration free utility with a short two character name, easy to use
    > interactively or in init scripts.


    And this is where the whole thing breaks down. This task is simply not
    frequent enough to need a short name -- that's why the most popular existing
    program in this field is named 'daemon'. That's a much better name; you
    can tell by seeing the name what the program does, and yet, it's not long
    enough to take noticeable time to type it as often as you're ever going
    to use it.

    > Be careful though. It has been known to bring demon possessed lunatics
    > screaming from their haunt among the tombs.


    More importantly, it's crap. A program of this sort should not have needed
    multiple passes to fix trivial and obvious security flaws, and it's still
    incompatible with basic UNIX idioms. I genuinely doubt that this program
    will ever be of use to any other person.

    It's still spam, too, same as it was the first time you announced it to awk,
    Ruby, and C users. You're not discussing C; you're jacking off publically.
    Knock it off.

    -s
    --
    Copyright 2009, all wrongs reversed. Peter Seebach /
    http://www.seebs.net/log/ <-- lawsuits, religion, and funny pictures
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_Game_(Scientology) <-- get educated!
     
    Seebs, Oct 24, 2009
    #2
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  3. Re: dh, the badly-written daemon helper

    In article <>,
    Seebs <> bloviated:
    ....

    I just have one question for you, Peter Seebach, fairly well recognized
    "name" in these sorts of circles (see below for why I'm weasling a bit
    on this), and that is this: Why do you care? Why are you expending so
    much effort belittling John and his efforts - and making yourself look
    like a lunatic in the process? Again, if John is as inconsequential as
    you'd have us all believe, why bother? Why make yourself look like an
    idiot?

    Note: I had thought, when I first started composing this response in my
    head, that you were a fairly "big" name - that you had published books
    (real books, not the kind of crap such as that with which our friend Dicky
    Heathfield has been associated) and were pretty well known. But
    then I checked your page on "linkedin" and wasn't all that impressed, so
    maybe I shouldn't be all that surpised that you're wasting your time
    here.

    Mind you, you seem to be a bigger man than I (heck, all I ever do is get
    killed every week on South Park), so don't go taking the above as an
    insult. But still, based on your "linkedin" profile, I still gotta
    wonder why you are wasting your time here.
     
    Kenny McCormack, Oct 24, 2009
    #3
  4. Re: dh, the badly-written daemon helper

    On Sat, 24 Oct 2009 16:26:09 +0000 (UTC),
    (Kenny McCormack) wrote:
    > In article <>,
    > Seebs <> bloviated:
    > ...
    > I just have one question for you, Peter Seebach, ...
    > Note: I had thought, when I first started composing this response in
    > my head, that you were a fairly "big" name - that you had published
    > books (real books, not the kind of crap such as that with which our
    > friend Dicky Heathfield has been associated) and were pretty well
    > known. But then I checked your page on "linkedin" and wasn't all that
    > impressed, so maybe I shouldn't be all that surpised that you're
    > wasting your time here.


    You got one thing right: that Mr. Seebach is a fairly big name. He has
    written many tutorials, articles, and other documentation material. He
    worked for two important companies in the UNIX world: BSDi and Wind
    River Systems. His technical experience apparently spans more than 20
    years of UNIX programming, writing and evangelizing. There are not
    _many_ people who have this sort of experience with UNIX and C who still
    find the time and the will to communicate over Usenet with the rest of
    us mere mortals.

    What you got wrong is looking at a single place and generalizing from
    what you found there. It is hardly a good idea to look at a single
    "linkedin profile" and try to extrapolate how good, knowledgeable or
    famous a person is. You could have spent 2 minutes to search in some of
    the search engines we have today, and that would still be a fairly
    inadequate measure of a real person's value. You would still have to
    use some sort of heuristics to guesstimate some of the details. Even
    then, you would know only what search engines can provide and what your
    intuition can surmise from this inherently limited amount of information.

    So limited information, in fact, that it seems --to put it very mildly--
    a bit of a stretch to assume one is "wasting one's time" by posting the
    sort of writings I've seen here from Seebs.
     
    Giorgos Keramidas, Oct 24, 2009
    #4
  5. John Kelly

    Seebs Guest

    Re: dh, the badly-written daemon helper

    On 2009-10-24, Kenny McCormack <> wrote:
    > I just have one question for you, Peter Seebach, fairly well recognized
    > "name" in these sorts of circles (see below for why I'm weasling a bit
    > on this), and that is this: Why do you care?


    Good question!

    A few reasons. One is that I really do care about newsgroup topics; I think
    they make Usenet viable. Another is that, every so often, when you talk to
    someone, they listen. It's *probably* not going to happen, but maybe it
    will.

    > Why are you expending so
    > much effort belittling John and his efforts


    Even if he can't learn, maybe others can. These criticisms get close to
    the heart of what makes the difference between a one-user-only utility and
    something that could potentially be valuable to other people.

    > - and making yourself look like a lunatic in the process?


    If you think I care how I look, you are very much mistaken.

    > Again, if John is as inconsequential as
    > you'd have us all believe, why bother?


    See above.

    > Why make yourself look like an idiot?


    Why not?

    > Note: I had thought, when I first started composing this response in my
    > head, that you were a fairly "big" name - that you had published books
    > (real books, not the kind of crap such as that with which our friend Dicky
    > Heathfield has been associated) and were pretty well known.


    Well, I've published a book that was actually my work (though a great deal
    of the credit has to go to the technical reviewer), but nothing huge.

    But... I think I see the problem. See, you're framing this in terms of
    status. (I wouldn't have known this a couple of weeks ago, but I had some
    really interesting conversations on the topic recently.) I'm not. I don't
    really understand status; I sort of know how to define the term, and sometimes
    I can recognize when people are talking about it, but for the most part, it's
    not real to me and I don't care about it.

    > But then I checked your page on "linkedin" and wasn't all that impressed, so
    > maybe I shouldn't be all that surpised that you're wasting your time
    > here.


    .... And I should care whether you're impressed why, exactly?

    > Mind you, you seem to be a bigger man than I (heck, all I ever do is get
    > killed every week on South Park), so don't go taking the above as an
    > insult. But still, based on your "linkedin" profile, I still gotta
    > wonder why you are wasting your time here.


    Because I enjoy Usenet, and like to post things that I think might help people
    learn stuff. Or which might lead to people helping me learn stuff.

    This is why, for instance, I respond to obvious trolls. You think I have
    problems, look at yourself; you sit around posting blatant trolls, trying
    to pick offensive nicknames for people to get a rise out of them. Why
    bother? What good will it do? There is no possible future in which someone
    reading your posts comes to an insight which makes them better or more
    fulfilled. It's not as though you actually believe this shit.

    At least I'm arguing for positions I think are true. Maybe it makes me look
    good, maybe it makes me look bad. What do I care? The people I'm most
    interested in trying to communicate with -- those who are most likely to
    gain value from reading Usenet -- aren't looking at how things make people
    look, they're reading posts on their own merits, for content.

    You remind me a lot of someone I recently had some fascinating arguments
    with, who was furious and outraged because of status imbalances -- a perceived
    "in-group" getting special treatment. And yet, ultimately, the real problem
    isn't any kind of special treatment; it's that people who are ranting about
    the "in-group" rather than posting substantive, topical, material always
    end up being ignored more often, because no one cares.

    Stop trying to think about status, and start trying to think about the real
    world, and you'll go far.

    -s
    --
    Copyright 2009, all wrongs reversed. Peter Seebach /
    http://www.seebs.net/log/ <-- lawsuits, religion, and funny pictures
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_Game_(Scientology) <-- get educated!
     
    Seebs, Oct 24, 2009
    #5
  6. John Kelly

    John Kelly Guest

    On Sat, 24 Oct 2009 16:26:09 +0000 (UTC),
    (Kenny McCormack) wrote:

    >I just have one question for you, Peter Seebach, fairly well recognized
    >"name" in these sorts of circles (see below for why I'm weasling a bit
    >on this), and that is this: Why do you care? Why are you expending so
    >much effort belittling John and his efforts - and making yourself look
    >like a lunatic in the process? Again, if John is as inconsequential as
    >you'd have us all believe, why bother? Why make yourself look like an
    >idiot?


    I think dh is cool, but whether anyone else likes it or not, I had fun
    writing it. Peter may be smart. But life is too short for me to spend
    time listening to mean people. I don't let them steal my joy.


    --
    Webmail for Dialup Users
    http://www.isp2dial.com/freeaccounts.html
     
    John Kelly, Oct 24, 2009
    #6
  7. Re: dh, the badly-written daemon helper

    In article <>,
    Giorgos Keramidas <> wrote:
    >On Sat, 24 Oct 2009 16:26:09 +0000 (UTC),
    > (Kenny McCormack) wrote:
    >> In article <>,
    >> Seebs <> bloviated:
    >> ...
    >> I just have one question for you, Peter Seebach, ...
    >> Note: I had thought, when I first started composing this response in
    >> my head, that you were a fairly "big" name - that you had published
    >> books (real books, not the kind of crap such as that with which our
    >> friend Dicky Heathfield has been associated) and were pretty well
    >> known. But then I checked your page on "linkedin" and wasn't all that
    >> impressed, so maybe I shouldn't be all that surpised that you're
    >> wasting your time here.

    >
    >You got one thing right: that Mr. Seebach is a fairly big name. He has
    >written many tutorials, articles, and other documentation material. He
    >worked for two important companies in the UNIX world: BSDi and Wind
    >River Systems. His technical experience apparently spans more than 20
    >years of UNIX programming, writing and evangelizing. There are not
    >_many_ people who have this sort of experience with UNIX and C who still
    >find the time and the will to communicate over Usenet with the rest of
    >us mere mortals.


    You do understand, I assume, that you are making my case for me.

    I wasn't quite sure how big of a name PS was, and was trying to give him
    the benefit of the doubt. I.e., the more he's just an insignificant
    schmuck like the rest of us, the more reasonable it is that he posts
    nonsense on Usenet. And particularly on a long-forgotten and meaningless
    group like comp.lang.c. Forgotten, except for the comedic value, of
    course. And you have to be bent a certain way to benefit from that
    comedic content.

    Conversely, the more he is a big name, he more ludicrous it looks to see
    him ranting and raving here.

    P.S. To Peter (responding to his most recent post back to me). Yes, you
    are right. I am framing this in terms of status. Alas, as much as you
    might like to deny it, the world does run on status. That *is* the real
    world.
     
    Kenny McCormack, Oct 24, 2009
    #7
  8. In article <>,
    John Kelly <> wrote:
    >On Sat, 24 Oct 2009 16:26:09 +0000 (UTC),
    >(Kenny McCormack) wrote:
    >
    >>I just have one question for you, Peter Seebach, fairly well recognized
    >>"name" in these sorts of circles (see below for why I'm weasling a bit
    >>on this), and that is this: Why do you care? Why are you expending so
    >>much effort belittling John and his efforts - and making yourself look
    >>like a lunatic in the process? Again, if John is as inconsequential as
    >>you'd have us all believe, why bother? Why make yourself look like an
    >>idiot?

    >
    >I think dh is cool, but whether anyone else likes it or not, I had fun
    >writing it. Peter may be smart. But life is too short for me to spend
    >time listening to mean people. I don't let them steal my joy.


    Agreed. I don't know how old Peter is, but age does figure into it as well.

    The personna that he is projecting (*) would be attractive if he was in
    the 17-24 range. But much beyond that, it just doesn't look right.

    (*) That is, smart (in fact, very smart), but lacking in any kind of
    real-world perspective.
     
    Kenny McCormack, Oct 24, 2009
    #8
  9. John Kelly

    Seebs Guest

    Re: dh, the badly-written daemon helper

    On 2009-10-24, Kenny McCormack <> wrote:
    > P.S. To Peter (responding to his most recent post back to me). Yes, you
    > are right. I am framing this in terms of status.


    Well, there's your problem.

    > Alas, as much as you
    > might like to deny it, the world does run on status. That *is* the real
    > world.


    There, however, you're wrong.

    The world is certainly influenced by status... Because people tend to care
    about it, because they have instincts along those lines.

    That doesn't mean that all perception of status is real, nor does it mean
    that choices motivated by a desire for status are good choices. In fact,
    consistently, it turns out that making decisions based on status is harmful.
    Whether you're mistakenly evaluating things based on perceived status rather
    than their underlying truthfulness, or trying to achieve status rather
    than doing things which are otherwise useful, it's crazy either way.

    You go ahead and worship celebreties while children starve. That can be
    the "real world" to you. Me, I'm going to recognize that the brain is full
    of instincts which are sometimes wrong, and try to do what's most rational
    whether or not it appeals to a forty-thousand-year old set of heuristics.
    (Of course, easy for me to say; I haven't got the instincts in question
    anyway.)

    -s
    --
    Copyright 2009, all wrongs reversed. Peter Seebach /
    http://www.seebs.net/log/ <-- lawsuits, religion, and funny pictures
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_Game_(Scientology) <-- get educated!
     
    Seebs, Oct 24, 2009
    #9
  10. John Kelly

    Seebs Guest

    Re: dh, the half-baked daemon helper whose maintainer has serious narcissism issues

    On 2009-10-24, John Kelly <> wrote:
    > I think my badly-named "daemon helper" is cool, but whether anyone else
    > likes it or not, I had fun writing it.


    Great attitude to have! (No sarcasm there.)

    If you were to approach it from that attitude, rather than pretending that
    it was intended to be of use to other people, that'd be fine, and no one
    would complain.

    The problem is that you spam about your utility, and claim that your
    half-baked reinvention of software we had written properly fifteen years
    ago is more important than a couple of the largest user bases in the
    *nix world. That's where it becomes a problem.

    > Peter may be smart. But life is too short for me to spend
    > time listening to mean people.


    If you think I'm mean, you have missed a key point.

    > I don't let them steal my joy.


    That's great, but when your "joy" comes only from lying to yourself and
    others, you have no joy to steal.

    Try learning things, and thinking about how to interact in a constructive
    manner with other people, and you'll find that there's a lot more joy to
    be had. Any time you have to start handwaving and saying that millions
    of users are unimportant, because if they were important, you'd have to
    give up a half-baked decision you made a couple of months ago, you have
    gone off the rails.

    Reality: The name "dh" is a shitty name for your program, your program
    is in its current form unlikely to be of any use to any person but you,
    and you will not learn the satisfaction of actually contributing to the
    world until you're able to accept this, react appropriately, and move on.

    -s
    --
    Copyright 2009, all wrongs reversed. Peter Seebach /
    http://www.seebs.net/log/ <-- lawsuits, religion, and funny pictures
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_Game_(Scientology) <-- get educated!
     
    Seebs, Oct 24, 2009
    #10
  11. John Kelly

    Seebs Guest

    Re: dh, the ineptly-written and insecure daemon helper

    On 2009-10-24, Kenny McCormack <> wrote:
    > Agreed. I don't know how old Peter is, but age does figure into it as well.


    37. :)

    > The personna that he is projecting (*) would be attractive if he was in
    > the 17-24 range. But much beyond that, it just doesn't look right.


    And again, I don't really care.

    > (*) That is, smart (in fact, very smart), but lacking in any kind of
    > real-world perspective.


    Speaking of perspective:

    You're defending someone who has been spamming unrelated newsgroups to
    promote a program which is a half-baked reinvention of the wheel. His big
    claim to fame is that, when he discovered that his month-old "utility"
    (the term hardly applies to a program so idiosyncratic that no one else would
    be likely to use it) clashed with a name in use by millions of users for
    over a decade, he declared that Debian, Ubuntu, and any derived distributions
    were unimportant, and his utility ought to be standardized because it's so
    standardly standardy and carefully tuned to his personal usage.

    And you're telling *me* that I lack real-world perspective.

    Sorry, but no. It is not a lack of perspective that makes me think your
    status games are bullshit. It's that I don't have that hunk of instinct
    swamping my brain and preventing me from actually evaluating the real-world
    effects of things. Go actually work out the effects sometime; do it on
    paper, show your work, think through the assumptions. You'll find that
    status is generally a barrier to getting things done, and results in a lot
    of senseless deaths. You can't get rid of it, because humans in general
    are wired for it, but you don't have to deify your instincts just because
    they're your instincts, either.

    That, my friend, is "perspective" -- realizing the distinction between your
    own perceptions and the world they reflect.

    -s
    --
    Copyright 2009, all wrongs reversed. Peter Seebach /
    http://www.seebs.net/log/ <-- lawsuits, religion, and funny pictures
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_Game_(Scientology) <-- get educated!
     
    Seebs, Oct 24, 2009
    #11
  12. Re: dh, the badly-written daemon helper

    In article <>,
    Seebs <> wrote:
    >On 2009-10-24, Kenny McCormack <> wrote:
    >> P.S. To Peter (responding to his most recent post back to me). Yes, you
    >> are right. I am framing this in terms of status.

    >
    >Well, there's your problem.
    >
    >> Alas, as much as you
    >> might like to deny it, the world does run on status. That *is* the real
    >> world.

    >
    >There, however, you're wrong.


    ....

    Well, I think we've made our positions clear.

    When I started this, I really wasn't trying to pick a fight; I was (and am)
    genuinely curious as to why you go on so over something so meaningless
    (and beneath you). I now understand - at least to a first level. As
    you mentioned in your previous post, you simply don't care what people
    think. And that is, at some level, admirable.

    Incidentally, although I'm not going to waste the time googling up an
    example, I will point out that threatening people with things like
    "employers do read this board - be careful what you say - what will
    people think?" is a common scare tactic used here (and elsewhere on
    Usenet). Note well that *I* am not taking that tactic, but many of the
    posters here (including the "regs") do so, quite often.
     
    Kenny McCormack, Oct 24, 2009
    #12
  13. Re: dh, the half-baked daemon helper whose maintainer has serious narcissism issues

    In article <>,
    Seebs <> wrote:
    >On 2009-10-24, John Kelly <> wrote:
    >> I think my badly-named "daemon helper" is cool, but whether anyone else
    >> likes it or not, I had fun writing it.

    >
    >Great attitude to have! (No sarcasm there.)
    >
    >If you were to approach it from that attitude, rather than pretending that
    >it was intended to be of use to other people, that'd be fine, and no one
    >would complain.
    >
    >The problem is that you spam about your utility, and claim that your
    >half-baked reinvention of software we had written properly fifteen years
    >ago is more important than a couple of the largest user bases in the
    >*nix world. That's where it becomes a problem.


    I guess you were being honest when you said you don't care that you look
    like a lunatic - and continue to enforce the impression with each and
    every post on this stupid thread.

    Be honest, just for once: Do you think you are helping Mr. Kelly? Do
    you think, in your wildest dreams, that he is ever going to come around
    and post something like: Thank you, Mr. Seebach. I am grateful for your
    help. You have shown me the error of my ways.

    The scary part is, I think you might actually want to answer that
    question in the affirmative. And that, my friends, is scary...
     
    Kenny McCormack, Oct 24, 2009
    #13
  14. John Kelly

    Seebs Guest

    Re: dh, the badly-written daemon helper

    On 2009-10-24, Kenny McCormack <> wrote:
    > Incidentally, although I'm not going to waste the time googling up an
    > example, I will point out that threatening people with things like
    > "employers do read this board - be careful what you say - what will
    > people think?" is a common scare tactic used here (and elsewhere on
    > Usenet). Note well that *I* am not taking that tactic, but many of the
    > posters here (including the "regs") do so, quite often.


    I've seen that, and always thought it was pretty stupid. Except that it
    can be useful advice to people who are genuinely unaware that what they do
    can reflect on them.

    Here's the thing: Yeah, status is real. That doesn't mean it's always
    important, or that any given person's perceptions of status are always
    real. Sometimes, the right thing to do is to ignore the status implications
    and do things based on other goals.

    My employer is well aware of my quirky habits, and I don't think they
    care. I'm still disappointed that one guy with whom I engaged in a long
    and pointless debate never got around to writing in to reveal to them that
    I'm a fraud who doesn't actually know C. :(

    My posts in this thread reflect the following things about me:
    * I don't really care about status.
    * I am firmly convinced that it's important to learn about software design
    at levels beyond the mere question of whether code works.
    * I'm willing to spend some significant time undermining the "benefits" of
    spam.

    I suspect my employer has already figured all of this out.

    -s
    --
    Copyright 2009, all wrongs reversed. Peter Seebach /
    http://www.seebs.net/log/ <-- lawsuits, religion, and funny pictures
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_Game_(Scientology) <-- get educated!
     
    Seebs, Oct 24, 2009
    #14
  15. Re: dh, the ineptly-written and insecure daemon helper

    In article <>,
    Seebs <> wrote:
    ....
    >You're defending someone who has been spamming unrelated newsgroups to
    >promote a program which is a half-baked reinvention of the wheel.


    No. I've said nothing to indicate any sort of position about John as a
    programmer or about his program. That's entirely irrelevant. I've
    never looked at his program and know nothing about it. You could very
    well be right in your criticisms of it. Or you could be wrong. It
    doesn't matter. However, I do think John is getting the same sense of
    you as I am, but that has nothing to do with his skill as a programmer.

    In any case, I'm only concerned about you.
     
    Kenny McCormack, Oct 24, 2009
    #15
  16. John Kelly

    Seebs Guest

    Re: dh, the half-baked daemon helper whose maintainer has serious narcissism issues

    On 2009-10-24, Kenny McCormack <> wrote:
    > I guess you were being honest when you said you don't care that you look
    > like a lunatic - and continue to enforce the impression with each and
    > every post on this stupid thread.


    Pretty much!

    > Be honest, just for once: Do you think you are helping Mr. Kelly?


    Actually, uhm... Just to be picky, I am pretty nearly always honest. (Not
    to say I never lie, but... I think it may be going on a decade since the
    last time I lied about something.)

    > Do you think, in your wildest dreams, that he is ever going to come around
    > and post something like: Thank you, Mr. Seebach. I am grateful for your
    > help. You have shown me the error of my ways.


    Him? No.

    But is he the only person reading these threads?

    > The scary part is, I think you might actually want to answer that
    > question in the affirmative. And that, my friends, is scary...


    Not so much when you realize it's happened before. I once chewed someone
    out (rather more forcefully than I feel I should have, in retrospect), and
    got a very friendly thank-you note for it, because I had caused him to
    realize that he did not know what he was talking about, and to think through
    the question of how to interact with people. (I eventually did get around
    to sending him an apology for my tone, though, some years later.)

    But keep in mind: He's not the only person writing cute little idiosyncratic
    programs. I have a handful of them. I sometimes think about cleaning them
    up a bit more, or making them available. And I'm sure other people do too.

    So highlighting specifically why his particular pile of crap is getting a poor
    reception might help other people make better choices *before* they get so
    ego-invested in their idiocy that they can't ever risk backing down for fear
    of "looking bad".

    Here's a brain-buster for you: It is entirely possible that someone will
    read these posts a hundred years from now. Thanks to long-term archives,
    some of this stuff will be around for a looong time. In all that time, could
    anyone, ever, benefit from these posts enough to justify the few minutes it
    takes me to write them? Sure.

    Part of what makes for effective use of any language, not just C, is learning
    to think about the environment in which your program exists. I'd never write
    a program like dh, because daemon(8) already exists, and if someone wants
    it on a machine that doesn't have it yet, it's easy to grab a copy. (Speaking
    of how posts affect readers and status: As a point of trivia, my current boss
    wrote the original daemon(8) now found in *BSD.) But let's say it's some
    other utility. The question of how you name utilities isn't really specific
    to C, but it's certainly significant to C programmers, and rather more
    topical than the original poster's half-baked daemonizer. Realizing that
    it's important to think about other platforms and utilities you might not
    have personally seen is significant.

    My "sort input by line length" utility (a one-liner in perl) is never going
    to be standardized anywhere, because I named it "sl". It might turn out that
    my "unsort" is viable for standardization, just because I doubt anyone would
    write a program of that name that didn't do the same thing... Maybe. On the
    other hand, I've regularly screwed myself by picking the name "stat" for
    a wrapper on the UNIX stat(2) syscall, which it turns out is a decision also
    made, with different user interfaces, by several systems...

    In short, this is material which is potentially of relevance to many C
    programmers, whether directly or indirectly, and I figure it's a reasonable
    effort at salvaging some kind of discussion of something other than Kelly's
    ego out of this.

    -s
    --
    Copyright 2009, all wrongs reversed. Peter Seebach /
    http://www.seebs.net/log/ <-- lawsuits, religion, and funny pictures
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_Game_(Scientology) <-- get educated!
     
    Seebs, Oct 24, 2009
    #16
  17. John Kelly

    Seebs Guest

    Re: dh, the ineptly-written and insecure daemon helper

    On 2009-10-24, Kenny McCormack <> wrote:
    > No. I've said nothing to indicate any sort of position about John as a
    > programmer or about his program. That's entirely irrelevant. I've
    > never looked at his program and know nothing about it. You could very
    > well be right in your criticisms of it. Or you could be wrong. It
    > doesn't matter. However, I do think John is getting the same sense of
    > you as I am, but that has nothing to do with his skill as a programmer.


    True. You're both thinking in terms of status and face rather than
    engineering. He made an announcement using a name, and now he's afraid
    to back down from that because it would make him not feel like he was the
    triumphant victor; he'd be conceding that other people were important. He
    can't do that. So instead, he has to somehow maintain that his program
    is, while completely specialized for him and useless to everyone else,
    still a contender for being a "core" utility like "sh" or "ls".

    In short, he's behaving in a completely irrational way, because he's thinking
    about status.

    > In any case, I'm only concerned about you.


    Don't be. Being unconcerned about status was sort of a problem for me ten
    years ago, perhaps, but now it's mostly an asset. I'm good enough that
    people put up with a few quirks, so all that's left is the functional impact,
    and that's that I'm much more functional than I would be if I were
    obsessing over status. So I pretty much win. :)

    -s
    --
    Copyright 2009, all wrongs reversed. Peter Seebach /
    http://www.seebs.net/log/ <-- lawsuits, religion, and funny pictures
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_Game_(Scientology) <-- get educated!
     
    Seebs, Oct 24, 2009
    #17
  18. John Kelly

    John Kelly Guest

    On Sat, 24 Oct 2009 19:00:50 +0000 (UTC),
    (Kenny McCormack) wrote:

    >In article <>,
    >Seebs <> wrote:
    >>On 2009-10-24, John Kelly <> wrote:
    >>> I think my badly-named "daemon helper" is cool, but whether anyone else
    >>> likes it or not, I had fun writing it.


    >>If you were to approach it from that attitude, rather than pretending that
    >>it was intended to be of use to other people, that'd be fine, and no one
    >>would complain.


    >Be honest, just for once: Do you think you are helping Mr. Kelly? Do
    >you think, in your wildest dreams, that he is ever going to come around
    >and post something like: Thank you, Mr. Seebach. I am grateful for your
    >help. You have shown me the error of my ways.


    Seems like the Apache license is liberal enough to allow changing the
    name of dh. Using ridiculous names is nothing new for Debian.

    Such angst over a name. Does Ubuntu officially use debhelper? Why
    would they keep that name, since it doesn't fit their brand identity.
    If Ubuntu changes the name of debhelper, what's the problem.

    deh would be a better name for debhelper.


    --
    Webmail for Dialup Users
    http://www.isp2dial.com/freeaccounts.html
     
    John Kelly, Oct 24, 2009
    #18
  19. John Kelly

    Seebs Guest

    Re: ???, the badly-named daemon helper

    On 2009-10-24, John Kelly <> wrote:
    > Seems like the Apache license is liberal enough to allow changing the
    > name of dh. Using ridiculous names is nothing new for Debian.


    Changing the name of a utility creates a fork, and is generally frowned
    upon.

    > Such angst over a name. Does Ubuntu officially use debhelper? Why
    > would they keep that name, since it doesn't fit their brand identity.


    Because, unlike you, they are not obsessive about image and status.

    Brand identity is not particularly important. They also didn't rename
    "dpkg" to "upkg", for instance -- because there's no reason to. They
    are not pretending they aren't a Debian variant.

    > If Ubuntu changes the name of debhelper, what's the problem.


    There are still more Debian users than there are you. Furthermore,
    if they changed their copy of the name, that'd be a gratuitous fork.

    > deh would be a better name for debhelper.


    The time to point that out would have been ten years ago.

    The fact is, if you come later than another utility, you are expected
    not to clash with its name -- especially when you're a single user who
    doesn't understand how to make a program like this that's useful to
    other users, and the existing one is used by millions.

    Changing the name of your utility will affect, in total, one user. Since
    a utility like this is only occasionally invoked, increasing the length
    of its name imposes no hardship. On the other hand, changing the name
    of dh would impact many thousands of active users, plus thousands of
    existing scripts and administrative or development tools.

    They were there first. If you were not painfully narcissistic, you could
    accept this, change the name of your utility to avoid the clash, and move
    on.

    -s
    --
    Copyright 2009, all wrongs reversed. Peter Seebach /
    http://www.seebs.net/log/ <-- lawsuits, religion, and funny pictures
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_Game_(Scientology) <-- get educated!
     
    Seebs, Oct 24, 2009
    #19
  20. John Kelly

    Richard Bos Guest

    Re: dh, the badly-written daemon helper

    (Kenny McCormack) wrote:

    > In article <>,
    > Seebs <> bloviated:
    > ...
    >
    > I just have one question for you, Peter Seebach, fairly well recognized
    > "name" in these sorts of circles (see below for why I'm weasling a bit
    > on this), and that is this: Why do you care?


    Good Cthulhu, stop the presses - Kenny and I agree on something!

    Richard
     
    Richard Bos, Oct 25, 2009
    #20
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