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Re: support for merged /usr in Debian

On Sat, 9 Jan 2016 15:59:33 +0000, Ian Jackson
<ijackson@chiark.greenend.org.uk> wrote:
>But I have had, in general, good support from almost all quarters.
>Almost no-one has tried to discourage me, and there has been no anger,
>derision, or attacks.  The main limiting factor has been my own
>available effort, and the complexity of the task.
>Why do you think I have had such an `easy ride' ?  I doubt it's
>because I'm popular and everyone just naturally wants to help  me.
>It sees to me that it is because:
>* I haven't been giving talks (or writing mailing list messages or
>  manpages) where I attack people's beloved tools, data formats, or
>  source code management practices.  I could certainly give such
>  talks, but it would just serve to make me (more) enemies.
>* The new mechanisms I am developing and implementing are designed, on
>  a technical level, to interoperate with existing systems.
>* Insofar I foresee that anything that currently exists may eventually
>  be obsoleted, I am avoiding talking about it (except perhaps if you
>  catch me in the bar or the pub).  In large part this is because I
>  recognise that existing things should be deliberately removed only
>  when the their users and developers will be happy with the
>  replacement.
>In short, I haven't been throwing my weight around.

I think it is mainly interoperability. dgit can safely be ignored,
everyone can continue as usual and only take a look a dgit when one
feels like it. Also, dgit doesn't make me lose features of my favorite
toolchain that I deem important to me.

Migrations such as systemd and UsrMerge do hit all of us, without us
wanting or not. This is a completely different deal, especially when
one knows that the people behind those migrations are not easy to deal
with. Additionally, beloved and important functionality is lost in
those migrations, and the people behind them saying "everythin you
have done up to now has been wrong for all the time, you're lucky that
it didn't explode before, be happy that we make it deliberately
explode" causes a great deal of distrust.

>I could mention a couple of other projects in Debian that are fairly
>big changes: source-only uploads, and reproducible builds.  It seems
>to me that the folks doing those exciting and worthwhile projects are,
>in general, getting support and encouragement from the project as a

All of them can safely be ignored in daily packaging practice. I don't
mind adding a few patches to help, but I don't need to change my work
so severely as systemd/UsrMerge wants me to do.

I am not saying that source-only uploads and reproducible builds don't
make me lose features. Actually, making one of my packages build
reproducibly forced me to remove a sanity check that alerts a package
builder if some vital part of the documentation changed upstream.

>Even multiarch, which is very complicated and was fiercely contested
>on the technical level, has now made it in and even involved
>relatively low levels of aggro - even though on a technical level we
>are even now still working through some of fallout.

I have never understood why multiarch was so much fought about, the
migration was rather pretty painless and it was not such big change.

>I think that people who want to change Debian should take care to:
>  - Communicate respectfully;
>  - Ensure technical interoperability between different
>     approaches and different tools;
>  - Carefully plan necessary transitions;
>  - Approach change in a consensual manner;
>  - Particularly, avoid hostile acts like publicly declaring
>     other people's code or configurations dead or unsupported.

- don't deliberately break other people's setups just beause you think
the way those setups were made was broken anyhow for years.


>It is not necessary to declare other people's code or configurations
>dead in order to make progress.  New things can sit alongside old
>things.  Eventually the new things will be overwhelmingly popular
>because they are better, and no-one will want to work on the old
>things, which can then wither away.  And if the old things don't
>wither away because a few people still want to maintain them, well,
>fine - that's them exercising their software freedom.


And don't reduce people's freedom from "having the configuration a tad
bit different" to "you're free to use an entirely different software",
especially if that really means going away from Debian.

-------------------------------------- !! No courtesy copies, please !! -----
Marc Haber         |   " Questions are the         | Mailadresse im Header
Mannheim, Germany  |     Beginning of Wisdom "     | http://www.zugschlus.de/
Nordisch by Nature | Lt. Worf, TNG "Rightful Heir" | Fon: *49 621 72739834

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