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Serpent OS Infrastructure & Tooling Almost Completed

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  • Serpent OS Infrastructure & Tooling Almost Completed

    Phoronix: Serpent OS Infrastructure & Tooling Almost Completed

    Back during the summer was news that Ikey Doherty was going to work full-time on Serpent OS, a new Linux distribution he started. Ikey Doherty as a reminder previously created the Solus Linux distribution, worked for Intel on Clear Linux, and has other software accomplishments to his name. It's been a quiet few months for Serpent OS but it turns out they've been busy establishing their build infrastructure and tooling...

    https://www.phoronix.com/news/Serpent-OS-Infrastructure

  • #2
    This seems like an interesting idea, but knowing his track record of starting and leaving projects, idk if I as a user should bet or invest in this.

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    • #3
      Sounds like a really cool distro, I'll have to evaluate it along with NixOS when I'm ready to switch to something more reasonable than what I'm on now.

      ... Wait. Everything is in D. Why D? Literally nobody uses that. Is this a joke? Who is even going to contribute to this besides the leader themselves? Could they have picked a more obscure language? Hey I know how about Pike.
      Last edited by Ironmask; 19 November 2022, 08:20 AM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Ironmask View Post
        Sounds like a really cool distro, I'll have to evaluate it along with NixOS when I'm ready to switch to something more reasonable than what I'm on now.

        ... Wait. Everything is in D. Why D? Literally nobody uses that. Is this a joke? Who is even going to contribute to this besides the leader themselves? Could they have picked a more obscure language? Hey I know how about Pike.
        Re. Dlang, we chose it because it is nice to write in (and easy to pick up) if you have prior experience with either C/C++/Python or Java.

        Its interoperability with C is excellent and strong static typing plus nice coverage in the algorithm and functional programming department is part of the standard library.

        Finally, it's as easy to prototype in as python (since it uses a GC by default), but gets around 10x the performance ootb for the same time spent coding.

        Meanwhile, it is eminently possible to turn off the GC and use compile time template trickery for super performance critical code and upstream is working dilligently on bringing compiler guaranteed memory safety and lifetime analysis (#1, #2) to the nogc scenario via the long awaited DIP1000 functionality (currently available as a compiler preview switch).

        As an extra bonus, it turns out that vibe.d is proving to be a very nice framework for building the services we're currently developing for Serpent OS.
        Last edited by ermo; 19 November 2022, 12:45 PM.

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        • #5
          More diversity on linux landscape, let's gooo...

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          • #6
            Originally posted by ermo View Post

            Re. Dlang, we chose it because it is nice to write in (and easy to pick up) if you have prior experience with either C/C++/Python or Java.

            Its interoperability with C is excellent and strong static typing plus nice coverage in the algorithm and functional programming department is part of the standard library.

            Finally, it's as easy to prototype in as python (since it uses a GC by default), but gets around 10x the performance ootb for the same time spent coding.

            Meanwhile, it is eminently possible to turn off the GC and use compile time template trickery for super performance critical code and upstream is working dilligently on bringing compiler guaranteed memory safety and lifetime analysis (#1, #2) to the nogc scenario via the long awaited DIP1000 functionality (currently available as a compiler preview switch).

            As an extra bonus, it turns out that vibe.d is proving to be a very nice framework for building the services we're currently developing for Serpent OS.
            Your post has sold me on learning about D. If it's as fun as you make it sound, I'll start learning and SerpentOS seems like a great project for contributing once I'm comfortable with the language.

            One question before I start ducking it out (by that I mean searching for D resources to read): how does it fair against Rust in the concurrency department? What you wrote makes me feel like it is trying to make memory access error-free (though since it has a GC version it seems like this is not through borrow/ownership semantics), so I'm curious if it has features to make concurrency less error-prone?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by akarypid View Post

              Your post has sold me on learning about D. If it's as fun as you make it sound, I'll start learning and SerpentOS seems like a great project for contributing once I'm comfortable with the language.

              One question before I start ducking it out (by that I mean searching for D resources to read): how does it fair against Rust in the concurrency department? What you wrote makes me feel like it is trying to make memory access error-free (though since it has a GC version it seems like this is not through borrow/ownership semantics), so I'm curious if it has features to make concurrency less error-prone?
              IME, it has good concurrency support ootb, yes.

              In fact, it has been fairly straightforward for us to rely on both std.concurrency and std.parallelism as appropriate.

              I'm not really qualified to give an opinion on how Dlang fares against Rust in this regard, so you'll have to ask elsewhere or make up your own mind on the subject.

              As far as resources for getting your feet wet goes, The Dlang Tour is IMHO excellent and so is Programming in D.

              Finally, it might pay to read the Dlang vision document, as it accurately and fairly outlines the challenges of bringing an older language (D is around 20 years old now) up to date in a modern world that is increasingly seeing the value of memory safety ootb.

              As a final note, Dlang is not without its warts, but my impression is that this is both well known and well understood and is consequently being addressed carefully and thoughtfully by the current Dlang maintainers on behalf of the Dlang Foundation.
              Last edited by ermo; 19 November 2022, 01:45 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Ironmask View Post
                Sounds like a really cool distro, I'll have to evaluate it along with NixOS when I'm ready to switch to something more reasonable than what I'm on now.

                ... Wait. Everything is in D. Why D? Literally nobody uses that. Is this a joke? Who is even going to contribute to this besides the leader themselves? Could they have picked a more obscure language? Hey I know how about Pike.
                I am curious why you want to evaluate those two. imho they have a completely different scope.
                nixos is (in my opinion) a perfect serveros.
                serpent os seems to by a very good desktop os for modern hardware.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by flower View Post

                  I am curious why you want to evaluate those two. imho they have a completely different scope.
                  nixos is (in my opinion) a perfect serveros.
                  serpent os seems to by a very good desktop os for modern hardware.
                  For the package management system and how they both sound far more robust than the more common ones.
                  NixOS was just what I was originally going to go with because it was the only one I knew of at the time (not interested in Guix), plus it seems to have a ton of packages.
                  I know Nix is a bit complex and more server-oriented but I'm so fed up with mainstream package managers.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by flower View Post

                    I am curious why you want to evaluate those two. imho they have a completely different scope.
                    nixos is (in my opinion) a perfect serveros.
                    serpent os seems to by a very good desktop os for modern hardware.
                    FTR, we plan to dogfood serpent both on desktops and servers (including build servers) -- primarily due to the performance gains this might realise, but also because we've got some pretty cool ideas lined up re. declarative `system-model` "installed set" descriptions.

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