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

On Wed, Dec 16, 2020 at 10:28:55AM -0500, Sam Hartman wrote:
> I think that we should either decide that
> 1) NetworkManager should support elogind
> or
> 2) That we haven't seen enough development of alternatives to systemd
> and the project consensus on the GR has changed.

Personally, I think both of these options are terrible and will fail to
fix the situation long term.

There are people in Debian who would rather not see that they have to
carry init scripts in their packages. For better or for worse, these
init scripts are a relic of the past for such people, and they do not
want to have to work on them. And while Debian does have some ways of
collaborating across package boundaries, it's not really something we
are very good at, culturally. Given that the GR has given init scripts
lower priority nowadays, dropping the init script is not an RC bug
anymore, and therefore people in this group feel that it's just fine to
drop their init scripts and let people who care about alternatives deal
with the fallout of that.

At the same time, there are people in Debian who would rather not run
systemd on their systems, and who want to put in the work to make sure
that some alternative (of whatever form they prefer) is usable and
available in Debian. These developers seem willing to fix bugs when they
appear, but for reasons they've explained elsewhere in the thread are
unwilling to group all the sysvinit-specific stuff in a single package
and deal with it that way.

It feels to me that any solution that prescribes that people in the
first group need to do something which means they can't actually drop
the init scripts, or alternatively any solution which does not provide a
clear way forward for people in the second group on how they will be
able to do what they would like to achieve, is doomed to failure.

People in the first group are not going to magically change their mind
and want to put in the work. Any solution that prescribes that they have
to will fail the constitutional requirement that nobody can be forced to
do anything they do not want.

People in the second group are not going to magically change their mind
and want to stop using something not systemd. Any solution that
prescribes that they have to will fail the very same constitutional

I think whatever the TC comes up with will need to incorporate the valid
needs and wants of both groups if it is going to succeed in settling the

Both the solutions which you suggest fail to meet this bar, from where
I'm standing.

To the thief who stole my anti-depressants: I hope you're happy

  -- seen somewhere on the Internet on a photo of a billboard

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