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Re: Bug#727708: tech-ctte: Decide which init system to default to in Debian.

On Sat, 26 Oct 2013 11:07:36 +0200
Lucas Nussbaum <leader@debian.org> wrote:

> I think that it would be a failure of the Debian project if we had to have a GR
> about such a technical decision. I think that we need to trust that the
> Technical Committee will make the right decision. A GR about this will likely
> result in splitting and hurting the project even more.

This is not at all merely a technical decision. 

First of all, I do not agree Debian community is hurt because of split about init system, nor that some problems would be solved by Tech Committee rules about default init system. Init system is an essential part of any UNIX-like system. If anything can undermine an OS, it is init system. Big companies all over and over again show they care much more about their economic interests than about interests of free software community. As of my understanding, Debian should be an independent project, devoted to interest of its community (users), and not the interests of any companies. However, it is obvious companies push their software because they control their development, but then if such software becomes essential for Debian, they control Debian. If you read free software principles elaborated by Richard M. Stallman and FSF, it is clear that the point is exactly in having control over your life, i.e. being independent (or in other words not under control) of any companies.

Even if such projects are forked, it is not a good outcome, since they are to (and unnecessarily) complex and community will have much problems in adding any additional features or other modifications, while companies can do it because they pay full time developers and they have both psychological interest to impress their users and to control direction of free software development. If anything looks like a Trojan horse, it's an init system controlled by a big company.

If someone is rushing this decision, it may be only in interest of companies that want by the (false) argument of urgency use Tech Committee to make such decision without taking into consideration neither interests nor attitude of whole Debian community.

We don't want free software becomes just a marionette of big business.

If a software insists on depending on any particular init system for some only to them knows reason, then it cannot be default or we are becoming hostages of such software.

Users who want to use it should take care on their own about installing needed dependencies.

Gnome all the time keeps making us unpleasant surprises. Gnome is bloated, depend on to many software, and now even on specific init system. Its configuration system is surely not to much like Windows registry as it looks based on gconftool, but it is obviously to complex and far away from UNIX philosophy. When GDM3 appeared, I couldn't change theme, most options were missing. The picture was hardcoded in exe. Since then I don't use GDM anymore. And now Gnome depend on systemd. If systemd one day puts us in similar situation, will it be possible to remove it? What will systemd depend on a few years later?

And SysVInit just works well and it is simply enough. It has much less dependencies than systemd. Do not make unneeded weight on people to learn systemd in addition to shell scripts, if systemd is powerful that also means there is a lot to learn. I really doubt non-standards task can be solved with systemd without shell scripts (or similar), and every serious UNIX admin must know shell programming anyway.

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