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Re: A concerned user -- debian Guidelines

On Mon, Nov 10, 2014 at 02:34:33PM +0100, Matthias Urlichs wrote:
> The Wanderer:
> > Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, no one seems to be remotely
> > interested in trying to address or discuss that disagreement directly...
> The problem is that, apparently, any 'support' short of "remove systemd
> from Debian NOW" will not shut up the most vocal detractors.

There will always be some vocal detractors, and yes, there will be
absolutely no way to make the most radical people shut up.

Part of the problem is that there are people who are working on making
things less painful for those people who don't want to support
systemd, and even for people like my self who have resigned myself (or
at least am willing to use systemd on my laptop for now), but which
under no circumstances are willing to use GNOME[1].  However, these
efforts are on a best efforts basis, and no one is willing to make any
public commitment about what will and won't work in Jessie or
post-Jessie --- which is fair enough, because because this is a
volunteer project, and so it's not like any promise we could really
make anyway --- and if the GNOME folks yolk themselves even more
firmly to some new systemd extensions (for example, perhaps a future
version of network manager will blow up unless you use the systemd
replacement for cron or syslog), that's an upstream change, and we
can't rewrite all of upstream.

However, at this point, given that Jessie is frozen, I think it will
be possible soon to be able to make some statements about what will
and won't work with Jessie, vis-a-vis using either systemd or any
alternative init system, and even give instructions if someone wants
to install Jessie and then switch to an alternative init system.  And
I suspect even more importantly for many people, which alternative
desktops will work with systemd, and how to work around various
breakages that the switch to systemd might have engendered.  If we can
tell people that it's OK, Jessie isn't going to force you to switch to
GNOME 3, and if you want your text log files, you can keep your text
log files, etc., I think there will be a people (not the most vocal
detractors, admittedly) that will probably be reassured and less
fearful about what the New Systemd World Order will bring.

It may be that the release notes would be a very fine place for some
of this information, and it might be useful for dispelling many of the
myths that people who might not be using testing, and who know that
while things did get rocky for a bit, XFCE and other alternative
desktops work very well, thank you very much, will hopefully feel much
more reassured.

At that point, I suspect the remaining fears about what may break post
Jessie, as sytemd starts taking over even more low-level system
components, and perhaps all we can do there is some maintainers can
make declarations about what they are and aren't willing to do with
their volunteer time.  The future is always uncertain, and but I think
if we assume that people are fundamentally trying to trying to do the
right thing, and there will be people working to make most use cases
work at least as well --- and hopefully even better --- again, that
will hopefully reassure many people that Debian is really striving to
be a Universal OS, and not just a GNOME/Core OS, and that while some
things may break for a while, as long as their are volunteers
interested in fixing things --- and if not at Debian, where else? ---
in the long run All Will Be Well.


						- Ted

[1] Well, I'd be willing to invest time to try GNOME again when 2-D
workspaces are supported as a first class feature (i.e., is something
where developers will try to avoid randomly breaking this feature on
every new GNOME release --- and indeed, the extensions which provided
for a 2-D workspace broke *again* with the most recent GNOME release,
and last I checked, were still not fixed.)  That's actually the
primary reason why I'm sticking with XFCE, BTW.  If I were reasonably
assured that GNOME wouldn't break my workfow on every release, I'd
certainly consider switching back.

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