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Re: Proposal: Focus on systemd


On Fri, Nov 29, 2019 at 10:16:10PM +0200, Martin Michlmayr wrote:

> I'd like submit the following proposal:

I guess my second is not really needed anymore for this, but it's good to
have it on the ballot.

> Proposal: Focus on systemd to promote standardization and cross-distribution cooperation

Standardization and cross-distribution cooperation are kind of conflicting
goals, because the only distributions you can effectively cooperate with
are the ones following the same standards, so this narrows down the options
for cross-distribution cooperation rather than opening them up.

So this is effectively a decision to join a crowded bubble, and when Debian
does so, we also need a clear picture of what makes us unique or
interesting inside that bubble, so we can continue to attract volunteers.

 - What differentiates us from Ubuntu?

Ubuntu took that leap a few years ago, and they have a reputation of being
a strong desktop distribution, some people seem to be using them for
servers as well, and they are virtually nonexistant outside of that. Can we
provide equally strong support to desktop users, and can we keep those
users whose use cases we demote in priority?

 - What are the skills we require from maintainers?

Do we still require maintainers to be proficient in shell scripting, in
addition to systemd incantations, or should we take advantage of the
"flattened" learning curve?

> Cross-distribution standards and cooperation are important factors in
> the choice of core Debian technologies.  It is important to recognize
> that the Linux ecosystem has widely adopted systemd and that the level
> of integration of systemd technologies in Linux systems will increase
> with time.

I share this observation, and this puts Debian with its long release cycle
into an awkward position, as we need to find a balance between a stable
core system and providing the necessary capabilities for add-on software.

Of course that happens however we decide on this GR, but the next question,
should this option win, would be a backports policy: do we want to
encourage writing compatibility code for systemd features not yet in a
stable release, or do we want users to upgrade systemd instead, and if the
former, can this be coordinated with distributions that have the same


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