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

On 2022-04-08 09:36 +0200, Wouter Verhelst wrote:
> 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;

That all sounds reasonable, but there is the long-standing issue that
Guillem has never accepted that the TC has authority over the
project. I forget the details, but given that he does not see it as
valid it's not surprising that he is not engaging with it. 

However he should engage with this dpkg bug. It's an important
one. Guillem, I'm sure you see all this as repeating yourself, but we
cannot either reach a solution, or determine that one is not possible
given current maintainership and TC decisions, without discussing the

Like Wouter, I am inclined to agree with the dpkg maintainer that the
current plan is broken, but I also accept the TC's authority. SFAICT
We've made a right mess of this by not applying our usual technical
rigour (BICBW - I have not followed all the ins and out of this)..

At this point I am more disappointed in the people who keep insisting
that 'it mostly works' is good enough, than I am in the bloody-minded
dpkg-maintainer. Debian is not a 'mostly works' project. We do things
properly - or at least we used to, even if that takes a long time.

Some people have cited the multiarch dpkg changes as an example of
work on dpkg being difficult. I was quite closely involved in all that
and yes it took a long time but it was done right in the end, and it
was the dpkg maintainer who insited on it being done right. Yes there
was an incompatible syntax change but that was due to Ubuntu releasing
with an implementation that was not good enough for upstream. It was
annoying at the time but the pain was fairly short and we ended up in
a better place in the long term. SFAICT the dpkg maintainer is
applying the same rigour here, and the only way to fix this is for
people who want to get usrmerge done to engage, with patches.

If they want to prove that no patches for the current approach will
ever be accepted, that can only be done by engaging further. Yes it
will be hard work, but if it's not done we are just stuck. 

Principal hats:  Debian, Wookware, ARM

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