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Bug#975075: tech-ctte: Should maintainers be able to block init compatibility changes?

On Thu, Nov 19, 2020 at 09:04:00PM -0800, Elana Hashman wrote:
> I caution folks from speculating too much on the maintainer's
> motivations and reasoning while they haven't yet had a chance to share
> their perspective on the bug. :)
> From what I can see reading through both #964139 and #960780, no
> technical rationale has been given for why the script was removed, only
> a statement that the removal was intentional.[0]
> It would be much appreciated if Michael Biebl or another maintainer from
> the Utopia team could add some context here.
> [0]: https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=964139#62

The maintainer, Michael Biebl, reached out to the tech-ctte privately. I
have summarized his reasoning for why he dropped support for elogind and
the init script that prompted this bug:

Less than 1% of users are installing sysvinit-core, with a steady
downward trend.[1]

If we require packages to maintain sysvinit support, then this cements
sysvinit/sysv-rc as the least common denominator for packages and blocks
the use of many of systemd's features, such as timers. This results in
an OS that is less integrated than it could be, which hurts the vast
majority of users who do not use sysvinit.

Trying to support multiple init systems generates a lot of additional
work for maintainers, who are already stretched thin. Time and energy
are limited resources, and triaging and root-causing bugs from
supporting multiple init systems take a lot of time; maintaining an init
script comprises only a small part of the support burden.

elogind is very difficult to support in its current state (see the
following bugs: [2] [3] [4] [5]), which is why Michael does not want to
maintain support for it.

[1] https://qa.debian.org/popcon.php?package=sysvinit
[2] https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=934491
[3] https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=923244
[4] https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=968379
[5] https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=959920

Feel free to direct any questions to me.

- e

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