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Re: Please assume good faith

On Fri, Oct 25, 2013 at 11:31 PM, Nikolaus Rath <Nikolaus@rath.org> wrote:
> Thorsten Glaser <tg@mirbsd.de> writes:
>> Lars Wirzenius <liw <at> liw.fi> writes:
>>> I write a backup program. It uses its own storage format, and people
>>> sometimes ask if they could use tar files instead. But I am evil
>>> incarnate and FORCE them to use my own storage format instead. Should
>> […]
>>> can be, and I think that the storage format I've developed is better
>>> than storing backups in tar files. I truly, deeply feel that using my
>>> format makes the program better, and that offering tar as a choice
>>> would be pretty much disastrous, because almost all of the features I
>> This *is* bad because if there is an existing userbase with tar (which
>> isn’t true in the obnam case, sure, but would be true if you were to
>> try forbidding all other backup programs in Debian) this will break
>> their use cases, and *that* is what the systemd situation is all
>> about.
> I don't understand this point of view. Even if there is an existing
> userbase, I don't think that would obligate me (as the author) in any
> way to support them in the future. […]

You are not forced of course, but if you have (or aim to have) a userbase
consisting of more than just a few people you might want to consider to not
alienate them because you are a nice fellow (or aim to be one).

A considerable amount of my volunteer work here in Debian is spent on
keeping APT working even in the strangest usecases. I e.g. had quiet a few
sleepless nights while trying to find a way to massage MultiArch into it
without breaking too much. Others did similar things in other areas.
If anyone involved would have a "I don't care about users" attitude we
would probably still use ia32libs.

And based on that we don't have enough people to maintain one APT¹, I doubt
you find enough for two, so a "just fork it" sounds nice in theory, but
just because you have a million users doesn't mean you have a million
developers willing to work on it…

That isn't meant to be advocating to never change anything, but you better
have really really really good reasons to do it OR you accept that people
start to distrust you and avoid you like the plague even if you have
invented the cure for the common cold this time.

You can think what you want about how Linus is communicating his points,
but he earned quiet some credit with "we don't break userspace - EVER".

And while we are at trust and communicating: We might want to consider
admitting that "systemd" isn't an init system.
'Normal' programs like GNOME do not depend on an init system as much as
they don't depend on a package manager. They depend on a certain userland,
like GNU, BSD, Plan9, busybox or … yes, or systemd. It just happens to be
that this userland contains also a binary which provides PID1.
I think busybox has one, too. (And it also namespaces everything.)

Best regards

David Kalnischkies

¹ It's the only team I have personal experience with, but I guess you can
pick any random Debian core/native-devel team and the sentence is
still valid.

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