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Re: /bin/sh (was Re: jessie release goals)

On Sat, May 11, 2013 at 11:22:10AM +0200, Goswin von Brederlow wrote:
> On Tue, May 07, 2013 at 07:46:43PM +0200, Marc Haber wrote:
> > On Tue, 7 May 2013 16:46:46 +0200, md@Linux.IT (Marco d'Itri) wrote:
> > >On May 07, Thorsten Glaser <tg@debian.org> wrote:
> > >> My stated goal here is, indeed, to be able to run at least some useful
> > >> configurations of a Debian installation without *both* bash and dash
> > >> installed.
> > >What is the point?

> > A smaller footprint of the intalled system? This may be interesting
> > for embedded things.

> While that might be of some interest the real goal of the change was
> to be able to have more than *2* packages provide /bin/sh.

> Currently, due to the totaly screwed up way this is done, only dash or
> bash can be /bin/sh.

This is not a sensible goal.  Choice of /bin/sh should *not* be the goal,
the goal should be to get a good, fast, minimal, policy-compliant /bin/sh
for *everyone*.

See also: Linux is not about choice.

All this added complexity to provide users a "choice" about something that
doesn't matter undermines the robustness of the base system.  Please stop.

> Double that for multiarch on amd64/i386 because there is bash:i386 and
> bash:amd64 that both work just fine as /bin/sh. Trying to install a
> foreign bash or dash fails horribly though with the current diversion
> hack.

Yes, the diversion hack should be superseded by a single, static symlink
belonging to the dash package, and the rest of this pointless complexity
should be jettisoned.

> The current implementation of /bin/sh handling simply restricts the
> freedom to choose a /bin/sh. Not because only 2 shells are suitable
> and maintainable but simply because of the way the /bin/sh link is
> managed with diversions. Debian is about freedom and choice, right?

No, it is NOT about choice.  It is about providing a high quality, free
operating system to our users.  This ridiculous complexity in /bin/sh
handling undermines that quality.

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                    http://www.debian.org/
slangasek@ubuntu.com                                     vorlon@debian.org

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