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Re: Re: dash bug which is affecting release goal

On Sun, 10 Feb 2008 21:40:14 Raphael Geissert wrote:
> I've already changed my /bin/sh and I've found very very few
> broken/missbehaving scripts.
> And as a great pro my boot time is more than 50% faster now, not to mention
> that the overall /bin/sh scripts run faster now.

Debian should ensure that millions of Debian users around
the world who have written and tested millions of tiny shell
scripts with no thought to the possibility that /bin/sh may
one day become not-bash will not suffer millions of hours
of down time (or worse - bad data) due to a Debian change.

I'm an old software engineer whose experience spans toggling
programs into the front-panel of an 18-bit PDP-7 through to
bleeding edge AI research.  Despite years of endeavoring to
design software that is correct, maintainable, reliable, and
secure there is no way I could swear that all the little shell
scripts I've ever generated will work with a shell other than
that they were tested on.

On *production* Debian systems, saving 30 seconds in a boot
which may occur once a year for a kernel security update is
not worth a single broken script, nor a single failed backup,
nor a single lost data bit.

I see no problem in allowing users to knowingly change their
/bin/sh and suffer the consequences of their action if that
be their choice.

Nor do I contest that forcing a change of /bin/sh is legal
within Debian's framework of rules, but I do assert that
hurting millions of Debian users through such a change would
be extremely detrimental to both Debian users and Debian.

I'd much prefer that Debian changed its own scripts to use
#!/bin/sh.minimal without affecting user scripts, where
/bin/sh.minimal could be linked to any shell meeting Debian's
minimal criteria.

--Mike Bird

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