Systemd needs sensible, non-truncated output
If you run '
systemctl status <service>', you get (among other things)
some recent log messages from the service in question. Well, in theory
you get that. In practice, well, here is part of what one of my machines
Jul 15 17:18:20 mumble123.cs.toronto.edu unbound: [31622:0] notice: in...
What's Unbound trying to tell me? I have no idea because systemd has
truncated the output in a useless way. I don't believe in truncating
output by default to start with but if systemd is going to do it
it should do it intelligently. Almost all of this line is useless.
Especially useless is the huge hostname, because by definition
systemctl is reporting on things from the local machine.
Of course, you may say, systemd is really just reporting some lines from syslog and chopping them off at 77 characters and thus the formatting is not its fault. Well, actually, it is. If systemd is going to truncate the output at all, it has to take responsibility for the formatting of the whole thing; effectively the rule is 'you break it, you own it'. Truncating the output is breaking it, so it becomes systemd's job to make it useful again.
Unfortunately this isn't a small issue. If you have a service
that doesn't start, these very log messages may contain important
information, information that systemd by default won't show you.
You can make systemd show you in various ways (piping the output to
something, remembering the
--full argument, and probably others), but
speaking as a sysadmin, you shouldn't have to remember any of this.
Systemd should do the right thing by default because sysadmins already
have enough to keep track of and truncating the output (especially in
useless ways) is almost never what we want.