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Proposal - preserve freedom of choice of init systems

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I wish to propose the following general resolution, and hereby call
for seconds. I don't think further lengthy discussion of the issues is
likely to be productive, and therefore hope we can bring this swiftly
to a vote so that the project can state its mind on this important
issue. The substantive text is that which was drafted for the purposes
of the technical committee's vote (where they decided not to pass a
resolution on the subject).



** Begin Proposal **

0. Rationale

  Debian has decided (via the technical committee) to change its
  default init system for the next release. The technical committee
  decided not to decide about the question of "coupling" i.e. whether
  other packages in Debian may depend on a particular init system.

  This GR seeks to preserve the freedom of our users now to select an
  init system of their choice, and the project's freedom to select a
  different init system in the future. It will avoid Debian becoming
  accidentally locked in to a particular init system (for example,
  because so much unrelated software has ended up depending on a
  particular init system that the burden of effort required to change
  init system becomes too great). A number of init systems exist, and
  it is clear that there is not yet broad consensus as to what the
  best init system might look like.

  This GR does not make any comment on the relative merits of
  different init systems; the technical committee has decided upon the
  default init system for Linux for jessie.

1. Exercise of the TC's power to set policy

  For jessie and later releases, the TC's power to set technical
  policy (Constitution 6.1.1) is exercised as follows:

2. Loose coupling of init systems

  In general, software may not require a specific init system to be
  pid 1.  The exceptions to this are as follows:

   * alternative init system implementations
   * special-use packages such as managers for init systems
   * cooperating groups of packages intended for use with specific init

  provided that these are not themselves required by other software
  whose main purpose is not the operation of a specific init system.

  Degraded operation with some init systems is tolerable, so long as
  the degradation is no worse than what the Debian project would
  consider a tolerable (non-RC) bug even if it were affecting all
  users.  So the lack of support for a particular init system does not
  excuse a bug nor reduce its severity; but conversely, nor is a bug
  more serious simply because it is an incompatibility of some software
  with some init system(s).

  Maintainers are encouraged to accept technically sound patches
  to enable improved interoperation with various init systems.

3. Notes and rubric

  This resolution is a Position Statement about Issues of the Day
  (Constitution 4.1.5), triggering the General Resolution override
  clause in the TC's resolution of the 11th of February.

  The TC's decision on the default init system for Linux in jessie
  stands undisturbed.

  However, the TC resolution is altered to add the additional text
  in sections (1) and (2) above.

** End Proposal **
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