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Re: [draft] Draft text on Init Systems GR


On Mon 18 Nov 2019 at 04:57PM +00, Ian Jackson wrote:

> Russ Allbery writes ("Re: [draft] Draft text on Init Systems GR"):
>> Ian Jackson <ijackson@chiark.greenend.org.uk> writes:
>> >  + (with no substantial effect on systemd installations)
>> Yes, that looks great to me.
> I have folded it in and the result is below.
>> Let me know if it would be helpful for me to propose it.  Happy to do so.
>> I was also unclear on who can accept amendments to unaccepted amendments.
> Please do formally propose it and I will give my formal blessing to
> it.

If needed: my seconding of Ian's proposal continues to apply to the
following revised quoted amendment:

> -8<-
> Title: Support non-systemd systems, without blocking progress
> 1. We wish to continue to support multiple init systems for the
>    foreseeable future.  And we want to improve our systemd support.
>    We are disappointed that this has had to involve another GR.
> 2. It is primarily for the communities in each software ecosystem to
>    maintain and develop their respective software - but with the
>    active support of other maintainers and gatekeepers where needed.
> 3. Ideally, packages should should be fully functional with all init
>    systems.  This means (for example) that daemons should ship
>    traditional init scripts, or use other mechanisms to ensure that
>    they are started without systemd.  It also means that desktop
>    software should be installable, and ideally fully functional,
>    without systemd.
> 4. So failing to support non-systemd systems, where no such support is
>    available, is a bug.  But it is *not* a release-critical bug.
>    Whether the requirement for systemd is recorded as a formal bug in
>    the Debian bug system, when no patches are available, is up to the
>    maintainer.
> 5. When a package has reduced functionality without systemd, this
>    should not generally be documented as a (direct or indirect)
>    Depends or Recommends on systemd-sysv.  This is because with such
>    dependencies, installing such a package can attempt to switch the
>    init system, which is not the what the user wanted.  For example, a
>    daemon with only a systemd unit file script should still be
>    installable on a non-systemd system, since it could be started
>    manually.
>    One consequence of this is that on non-systemd systems it may be
>    possible to install software which will not work, or not work
>    properly, because of an undeclared dependency on systemd.  This is
>    unfortunate but trying to switch the user's init system is worse.
>    We hope that better technical approaches can be developed to
>    address this.
> 6. We recognise that some maintainers find init scripts a burden and
>    we hope that the community is able to find ways to make it easier
>    to add support for non-default init systems.  Discussions about the
>    design of such systems should be friendly and cooperative, and if
>    suitable arrangements are developed they should be supported in the
>    usual ways within Debian.
> 7. Failing to support non-systemd systems when such support is
>    available, or offered in the form of patches (or packages),
>    *should* be treated as a release critical bug.  For example: init
>    scripts *must not* be deleted merely because a systemd unit is
>    provided instead; patches which contribute support for other init
>    systems (with no substantial effect on systemd installations)
>    should be filed as bugs with severity `serious'.
>    This is intended to provide a lightweight but effective path to
>    ensuring that reasonable support can be provided to Debian users,
>    even where the maintainer's priorities lie elsewhere.  (Invoking
>    the Technical Committee about individual patches is not sensible.)
>    If the patches are themselves RC-buggy (in the opinion of,
>    initially, the maintainer, and ultimately the Release Team) then of
>    course the bug report should be downgraded or closed.
> 8. Maintainers of systemd components, or other gatekeepers (including
>    other maintainers and the release team) sometimes have to evaluate
>    technical contributions intended to support non-systemd users.  The
>    acceptability to users of non-default init systems, of quality
>    risks of such contributions, is a matter for the maintainers of
>    non-default init systems and the surrounding community.  But such
>    contributions should not impose nontrivial risks on users of the
>    default configuration (systemd with Recommends installed).
> 9. systemd provides a variety of facilities besides daemon startup.
>    For example, creating system users or temporary directories.
>    Current Debian approaches are often based on debhelper scripts.
>    In general more declarative approaches are better.  Where
>      - systemd provides such facility
>      - a specification of the facility (or suitable subset) exists
>      - the facility is better than the other approaches available
>        in Debian, for example by being more declarative
>      - it is reasonable to expect developers of non-systemd
>        systems including non-Linux systems to implement it
>      - including consideration of the amount of work involved
>    the facility should be documented in Debian Policy (by textual
>    incorporation, not by reference to an external document).  The
>    transition should be smooth for all users.  The non-systemd
>    community should be given at least 6 months, preferably at least 12
>    months, to develop their implementation.  (The same goes for any
>    future enhancements.)
>    If policy consensus cannot be reached on such a facility, the
>    Technical Committee should decide based on the project's wishes as
>    expressed in this GR.
> 10. In general, maintainers of competing software, including
>    maintainers of the various competing init systems, should be
>    accomodating to each others' needs.  This includes the needs and
>    convenience of users of reasonable non-default configurations.
> 11. Negative general comments about software and their communities,
>    including both about systemd itself and about non-systemd init
>    systems, are strongly discouraged.  Neither messages expressing
>    general dislike of systemd, nor predictions of the demise of
>    non-systemd systems, are appropriate for Debian communication fora;
>    likewise references to bugs which are not relevant to the topic at
>    hand.
>    Communications on Debian fora on these matters should all be
>    encouraging and pleasant, even when discussing technical problems.
>    We ask that communication fora owners strictly enforce this.
> 12. We respectfully ask all Debian contributors including maintainers,
>    Policy Editors, the Release Team, the Technical Committee, and the
>    Project Leader, to pursue these goals and principles in their work,
>    and embed them into documents etc. as appropriate.
>    (This resolution is a position statement under s4.1(5).)
> -8<-

Sean Whitton

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