smf(5) on /.

smf(5) ended up in two stories on slashdot today. In “Torvalds on Opening Solaris”, elmegil observed

I’m rather amused to see Sun be the first to implement a replacement for the old init and have it done. I can’t say I know who thought it up first, but Solaris 10 SMF is the first working implementation I’m aware of that’s going to get any kind of wide deployment. I saw some linux-head saying this needed to be done a year or more ago, but I can’t even find their website in google now. And obviously if Solaris has it now, the implementation started a while back (probably more than a year)… I suspect elmegil is referring to Seth Nickell‘s System Services work, which ended up being discussed in an article on in October 2003. But there is other work in the parallel startup area that’s been cited on slashdot, and elsewhere.

The second story is “A Diagnosis of Self-Healing Systems”, which is a discussion around Mike Shapiro’s recent overview in ACM Queue of the problems we’re working to solve in the Predictive Self-Healing effort. The comments range across a number of topics in deployment and architecture, but I was interested in the observations that self-healing in a general purpose system is a different proposition than in a limited purpose system. (I probably would also contrast open software systems and closed ones—perhaps a distinction of the past.)