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Re: [CTTE #746578] libpam-systemd to switch alternate dependency ordering

Steve Langasek wrote:
> On Sun, Nov 16, 2014 at 04:52:37PM +0100, John Paul Adrian Glaubitz wrote:
> > On Sat, Nov 15, 2014 at 04:16:28PM -0800, Don Armstrong wrote:
> > > 5. We therefore overrule the decision of the maintainer of
> > >    libpam-systemd binary package.  The Depends entry
> > >       systemd-sysv | systemd-shim (>= 8-2)
> > >    should be replaced by
> > >       systemd-shim (>= 8-2) | systemd-sysv
> > A decision which lead to another great Debian Developer leave the
> > ship!
> > Great Work!
> This demonization of the Technical Committee for doing their job under the
> constitution needs to stop.  If you don't like the way the TC is structured
> under the constitution, feel free to propose a GR to change that.  But if
> all you (and certain others across various Debian lists) are going to do is
> attack the members of the TC for making a decision they've been asked to in
> the way that they believe is technically correct, then I invite you to be
> the next Debian Developer to leave and I promise you I will not mourn your
> departure.

Questioning the actions of the TC is well within the right of any
developer/contributor.  Or do you believe the TC somehow above any
possible reproach?  The first resort of criticism should not be to
propose a GR to reform the TC, though it may well come to that
eventually.  But I would hope that a first step would be to ask the TC
to consider its actions and its consequences rather more carefully than
it has been before such measures become necessary.

(More constructive criticism would certainly carry more weight, but
given the current two-for-two pattern of decisions to departing
developers, I don't think anyone particularly wants to see the TC go for
the hat trick.)

> It's a shame that Tollef has decided to step down from the systemd
> maintenance team
> (http://lists.alioth.debian.org/pipermail/pkg-systemd-maintainers/2014-November/004563.html,
> which I believe is what you're referring to with your mail).  I have great
> respect for his technical abilities and consider him to have been a key
> voice of sanity throughout this painful process, and I hope that he doesn't
> actually view this TC override as an attack on the systemd maintainers.  I
> would point out that the majority of those who voted in favor of this latest
> resolution also voted for systemd as the default in jessie.  This is not an
> act of systemd haters, this is the TC providing technical guidance when
> asked to do so; and if the TC comes to a different conclusion than a
> maintainer who is acting in good faith, that is not an attack on that
> maintainer.

While it's certainly true that this particular TC decision seemed fairly
reasonable in isolation[1], it's also perfectly understandable that the
background or agreement on this decision would not be obvious to someone
who hasn't necessarily read every mail on -ctte and all the tech-ctte
bug reports.  In the absence of that, it seems quite understandable to
interpret this as yet another attempt by the TC to undermine systemd.

[1] (one of the reasons I took part in refining drafts of it, with
clarifying language explaining precisely why it would not affect the
ongoing transition, though in retrospect that language was clearly

I'd also disagree with "when asked to do so", considering that the asker
was a TC member; in effect, the committee asked itself to decide, and
subsequently answered, just as with 762194.  And whether you consider it
an attack on a maintainer / maintenance team or not, it's unreasonable
to completely ignore the consequences of your decisions.

I share your sadness that this and many other actions has driven Tollef
away from the maintenance of a critical and difficult-to-maintain
package.  I do not, however, share your sanctimony.

- Josh Triplett

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