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Re: Proposal: let’s have a GR about the init system

On Sat, Oct 26, 2013 at 12:36:15AM +0300, Uoti Urpala wrote:
> I don't think the technical experience would be that much of an issue,
> but I do see being employed by Canonical as a very substantial conflict
> of interest. IIRC Canonical has made an official statement that they
> will keep supporting Upstart and believe in it. This is a fairly visible
> company choice. Your work environment has at least at some level an
> official policy that Upstart should be considered better than systemd.
> Ubuntu still wants to keep using Upstart, but if Debian chooses systemd,
> Ubuntu will likely also need to admit that Upstart failed and plan for a
> switch.

Possibly.  It would certainly impose a cost on Canonical.  Like any such
cost, though, you should expect companies to look at both sides; the
counterweight would be that Canonical has built a lot of technology and
expertise around Upstart, and switching would carry its own significant

One thing to point out is that Ubuntu has come this far without Upstart
being the default init system in Debian, and the initial deployment
didn't *require* it to be in Debian at all; it's certainly both in the
interests of Canonical economically and in the personal interests of
those of us who are both Debian and Ubuntu developers to merge back as
much as possible, but the relevant stack of patches to add Upstart jobs
isn't actually a particularly horrible patch set to have to carry.
Sure, there are things like logind integration, but they're not really
that big a deal in the grand scheme of things.  My personal opinion is
that you'd have to look at rather a long time interval to reach the
point where the effort of leaving things be exceeded the effort of

> If your vote decides that Debian will choose systemd, and as a result
> upstreams conclusively drop any support for Upstart while Ubuntu still
> wants to keep using it, do you believe this will not have any negative
> consequences for your career at Canonical?

Firstly, many Upstart jobs are carried in packaging, just as many init
scripts are.  I don't know how much of a dent Debian's decision would
make for upstreams, and furthermore I don't know offhand what percentage
of packages it would affect even if all upstreams immediately deleted
all Upstart support.  So this is really a worst-case scenario rather
beyond what I would expect.

Secondly, I've been at Canonical for a long time and (setting aside
false modesty) I believe I have an excellent record in performance
reviews and the like.  I'd expect to be asked to justify myself if I
came to the conclusion that a systemd default was the best thing for
Debian, but I'm not afraid for my job.


Colin Watson                                       [cjwatson@debian.org]

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