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Bug#727708: Both T and L are wrong, plea for something simpler (was: Re: Call for votes on init system resolution)

Le vendredi, 7 février 2014, 18.47:51 Kurt Roeckx a écrit :
> > Back then, the gnome maintainers added a dependency on another
> > package, which happened to be providing an /sbin/init. This was
> > allowed by the Debian Policy of the time as well as by the Debian
> > archive. The maintainers of the Policy maintainers haven't tried to
> > rule on this at all since then. How is this matter now magically
> > taken off the Policy maintainers' hands (while it _is_ a matter of
> > Policy) and become a matter for the technical committee?
> Do you agree that the ctte can decide policy?  Under what
> conditions?

For the general question of deciding policy, I think the following 
articles are relevant:

* § 6.1.1 says "In each case the usual maintainer of the relevant (…) 
documentation makes decisions initially"
* § 6.3.6 says "Technical Committee makes decisions only as last resort"

In the specific case of deciding what types of software requirements are 
acceptable in Debian, which I think is of the responsibility of the 
Policy team, then the tech-ctte can decide policy only if the Policy 
team (aka maintainer of the relevant documentation) has made an initial 
decision (6.1.1) or has delegated one of its decisions to the tech-ctte 

Any of the proposed L or S would certainly impose amendments of various 
parts of the Debian Policy (I could think of 2.2.1, 3.5, and certainly 
9.11); that makes them quite clearly of the Debian Policy Team realm. If 
the decision could come in force through another way, that would be 
through amending the definition of bug severities, but that would be 
quite odd.

> I think it all boils down to what "relevant software or
> documentation" means.

Clearly. L and S amend what software requirements are acceptable in 
Debian, for which the only limit we've had until now was the DFSG and 
the Debian Policy.

> > I feel compelled to write that I'm quite concerned to see technical
> > committee members propose to rule on things they see fit, just
> > because it's sufficiently important to their eyes. As I detailed in
> > <1756169.he50hsLr7Y@gyllingar>, I'm quite firmly convinced that any
> > ruling restricting software dependencies fails §6.1.1 (as the powers
> > invoked), §6.3.5 and §6.3.6 at this point in time.
> About detailed design work: You could argue that they proposed the
> alternative solutions and aren't just deciding between them. 

Yes, that's what I'm saying.

> As far as I know those proposols come from the ctte itself, in which
> case it should probably go under 6.1.5 to give advice.

I'd be totally fine with the tech-ctte giving advice under 6.1.5. In 
this case it should only be formulated _as_ an advice, such as:

	"We think that software outside of an init system'simplementation
	 should not require a specific init system to be pid 1, although
	 degraded operation would be tolerable."

That would be clearly non-binding.

> About 6.3.6: I think trying to resolve this via consensus failed.

I agree that attempts at deciding about the default init via consensus 
failed, and I am definitely looking forward to a decision, it's long 

I disagree that attempts at deciding what software requirements with 
regards to init systems are acceptable in Debian have failed: I don't 
think they have started at all in the forum where they should have: the 
Policy Team. (It's probably because in the absence of a decision, 
there's not much to discuss yet!)

Finally, I think that ruling on these specifics now is not 
constitutionally in the hands of the technical committee, terribly 
premature, and assumes bad faith from a quite wide set of Debian package 
maintainers and upstream authors. The latter is what puzzles me most.



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