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Re: choice in core infrastructure decisions (Re: Bug#684396: ITP: openrc -- alternative boot mechanism)

"Eugene V. Lyubimkin" <jackyf@debian.org> writes:
> On 2012-08-10 09:09, Steve Langasek wrote:

>> No, it really isn't.  It's about creating a technically excellent
>> operating system that meets our users needs.

>> Developers need the freedom to *make* autonomous technical choices as
>> part of the process of making Debian technically excellent; and in some
>> cases the answer for meeting our users needs is "both".  But this
>> latter argument does not apply to core infrastructure decisions, and
>> arguing that Debian is *about* the freedom to choose is missing the
>> point.

> Declaring "one area -- one chosen tool" is declaring the monopoly in the
> area. As with other monopolies, this often leads to "vendor" lock-in,
> stagnation, stopping developing the standards. Have seen examples of all
> that occasionally.

> I believe this hurts Debian (or any other project which chose to
> not accept choices in certain areas) in the long run and don't fit to
> 'making [...] technically excellent' well.

I think Steve's point is that the goal is to make Debian technically
excellent.  Sometimes that means providing choice, and sometimes it
doesn't.  All things being equal, I think a system that's flexible is more
technically excellent than one that isn't, but all things are almost never
equal (in one way or another).

There are choices that we don't support because the process of supporting
that choice would involve far more work than benefit, and the final goal
is excellence, not choice for its own sake.  For example, we don't allow
users to replace the system C library with a different one.  That's
something that we *could* do, but the general consensus of the project is
that investing our effort in that is not the best way to produce

I happen to think that supporting multiple init systems *is* the correct
technical choice to achieve technical excellence, but I agree with Steve
that freedom to choose should not be stated as the end goal.

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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