[svlug] Devuan

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Mon Jul 11 14:32:37 PDT 2016

Quoting Ivan Sergio Borgonovo (mail at webthatworks.it):

> If there is any chance that the effort put into making Debian support 
> more than one init as smoothly as possible the prerequisite is 
> developers start to respect each other work.

There are some subtleties, here.

First, anyone who's been anywhere near IT over the last fifty years and
speaks the English language knows that the word 'support' is a political
football.  Inside the institutional politics of the Debian Project in
recent context it was a squabble over efforts to bludgeon developers with 
any of several alternative sets of proposed bureaucratic decrees that
would (variously) either require integration for particular init systems
or not require it.  (I will elaborate.)

Debian _does_ package several init systems, they all work fine, and
there's no rational reason to suppose they won't continue working fine.
If occasionally a system daemon package ships without glue for some init
system that someone's in love with, that's about the easiest system
glitch to solve that I can think of.  That's not a senior sysadmin
problem, and I'm not sure it requires a PFY, either:  I think it could
be offloaded to the NOC tapemonkey.  It's like:  Oh, look on the
Internet, get a likely-looking init-script fragment, test it, add it to
configuration management and publish it in a public repo pro bono

The political fighting within the Project, most particularly Ian
Jackson's much-resented General Resolution, concerned efforts to decree
from the top that everyone march to one tune or another.  The majority
of Debian developers looked at the proposed four alternatives, and opted
for the one that equated to 'No, go away, Ian, we're busy getting actual
work done.'

IMO, completely wrong battle, and they made an omnishambles out of it.

IMO, the lot of them should have said 'Well, GNOME is certainly setting
off a lot of time-wasting sturm und drang by decreeing that they cannot
do without "multiseat" API support and finding that ConsoleKit being
EOLed meant that they "had to" start requiring systemd-logind, which
means everyone on GNOME with "multiseat" would need substantively the
entire systemd suite and flamewars then followed tout suite.  I know,
here's an idea:  Let's dump GNOME.' 

IMO, that would have been the most parsimonious and intelligent solution
to the problem GNOME dumped in their laps -- but the political mechanism
once set in motion by Paul Tagliamonte's tech-ctte bug and Ian Jackson's
General Resolution had a momentum of their own, and nobody had the time
and leisure to stop and think 'Wait, this is not even the right issue.'

So, a lot of people got angry over a dumb discussion, people resigned
from various positions en-masse, and pretty much the only intelligent
action that occurred was the voters telling Ian Jackson 'No, go away.'

Disclaimer:  I have no connection to the Debian Project; I just use some
of the software.  Above is just how things look from here.

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