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Bug#994388: dpkg currently warning about merged-usr systems


On Tue, Mar 15, 2022 at 03:14:36PM -0700, Josh Triplett wrote:
> It would appear that the situation has deteriorated further. dpkg 1.21.2
> now issues a warning on all merged-usr systems:
> Setting up dpkg (1.21.2) ...
> dpkg: warning: System unsupported due to merged-usr-via-aliased-dirs.
> dpkg: warning: See <https://wiki.debian.org/Teams/Dpkg/FAQ#broken-usrmerge>.
> This escalation seems in direct contradiction to the tech-ctte decision
> in 994388. Moreover, this seems to effectively use package maintainer
> scripts as a means of directing a complaint at Debian users that has not
> gotten traction in other forums, and then directing such users at a wiki
> page that contradicts a prior project decision.
> This does not even seem to be calling for help in any meaningful way.
> For instance, soliciting help updating dpkg to handle such
> configurations might have been more productive; that still wouldn't be
> appropriate in a maintainer script, but it might have been productive in
> a mail to -devel. But this isn't soliciting help, it's just incorrectly
> declaring the user's system broken.
> This seems counterproductive and harmful.

FWIW, I think the TC should punt this bug to a GR.

The dpkg maintainer has chosen not to engage with the TC in #994388, and
now seems to be actively subverting a validly-made TC decision.

I do believe it reasonable to assume the dpkg maintainer has a point if
he believes that the currently-chosen way of moving forward is harmful.
However, the right way for him to make that point would have been to
engage with the TC, the body constitutionally placed to resolve
conflicts of this manner, not ignoring them and then doing whatever he
wants when the decision inevitably doesn't go his way.

I encourage the dpkg maintainer (Cc'd) to engage with the TC in this
matter. It is not yet too late; the TC can always roll back decisions it
made earlier if it believes, in light of new arguments, those decisions
to be wrong. However, if this does not happen, then that does not
inspire me with confidence that whatever the TC decides after weighing
all the arguments available to them, the dpkg maintainer will follow
that ruling. Given that, in case the dpkg maintainer chooses to remain
silent again, I believe the only way forward is for the TC to recommend
a GR under §4.2.1 of the consitution.


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