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

On Tue, 5 Nov 2013, Paul Tagliamonte wrote:

> > First of all, I do not agree Debian community is hurt because of
> > split about init system,
> I disagree strongly. Please read through every flame thread over the
> last 4 years and try to say this with a straight face.

That’s why I say let’s just support them all.

> > 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.
> No, that's not what RMS and the FSF means. They claim, by ensuring
> software you use is free, you can ensure that you retain your rights
> when using your computer by granting you basic freedoms (the four
> freedoms).

That’s the general idea, yes. But there are, of course, new developments
that make the “ensuring X” no longer be enough.

Do remember that this is not about the (freeness of the) software but
of the users.


Hence why I insist on freedom of choice, even though I’d never choose
systemd for myself, since I see that others would want it.

> One of those freedoms is to use the software commercially, just FYI.

I think that’s not his point. I read Marko’s mail as an argument against
vendor lock-in, and, let’s face it, systemd is company-backed (RedHat,
mostly), as is Upstart (Canonical, mostly). But, IMHO now, even if this
were not so, there’s already way too much vendor lock-in in the (GNU)
world, for example autoconf > 2.62 depending on GNU m4, whereas older
versions worked perfectly fine with BSD m4, and so on. Let’s not add
to it.

> it's urgent, and it *is* causing social problems in Debian.


> > We don't want free software becomes just a marionette of big business.
> The fun thing about F/OSS is free software *can* become a marionette and
> we're still much more free than before (and can still express the same
> rights as if it wasn't a mega-corp).

Yes, but by becoming a marionette of either systemd or upstart (and,
funnily – as my stances towards Canonical/*buntu/Shuttleworth are
known – currently I perceive systemd as a much larger threat) we lose
wrt. the current state of having sysvinit usable.

> We shall not stand in the way of progress. logind, systemd (such as
> socket based activation, dependency booting) in particular, and friends
> are technical wins. We'd be silly to not take them.

NO! We’d be silly to take them, because they lead to vendor lock-in,
and *especially* the systemd side has shown, time and time again, that
they won’t stop there. They intend to wholly change the ecosystem, to
get away from Unix and GNU and towards this thing some people now call
“FLOS” (one ‘s’).

And Debian is, fundamentally, still a Unix of sorts. I believe they
should do their FLOS experiments in a downstream.

> If you want to hold your own system back, there's nothing stoping you

Bad suggestion. I don’t even want to follow this thought.

> This is like saying "A horse drawn carrage works well enough, why do you
> need an airplane".

In some cases, the airplane is too much. Think, to transport one person
a dozen kilometres. Think about costs.

Sometimes, the benefits do *not* outweigh the costs.

But sometimes, they do – an æroplane is the perfect tool to transport
several dozen people from Europe to the Americas, for example (other
than a ship). Which is another reason for us to actively support both
sysvinit and one of the newcomers (such as upstart, since it’s much
less hostile). This way, people (actual users!) can choose. It’s not
necessary to install the whole systemd stack on a small one-purpose
VM, for example. Or on a tightly secured, small VM _host_ (when the
guests have all the power).

> "without deviation from the norm progress is not possible"
>   -- Frank Zappa

Without competition, progress is not possible either. A systemd
monoculture – which clearly is what “the systemd/GNOME crowd” (they
really mesh together) want – will not help anyone.

> I believe this is a purely technical issue

I’m with you on this, but…

>, and one that is near 100%
> invisible to the user.

… most definitely not on this.

Sometimes they [people] care too much: pretty printers [and syntax highligh-
ting, d.A.] mechanically produce pretty output that accentuates irrelevant
detail in the program, which is as sensible as putting all the prepositions
in English text in bold font.	-- Rob Pike in "Notes on Programming in C"

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