Overregulation is bad, and the project is suffering from the recent Anti-Systemd hate campaigning.

There is nothing balanced about the original GR proposal. It is bullshit from a policy point of view (it means we must remove software from Debian that would not work with other inits, such as gnome-journal, by policy).At the same time, it uses manipulative language like “freedom to select a different init system” (as if this would otherwise be impossible) and “accidentally locked in”. It is exactly this type of language and behavior which has made Debian quite poisonous the last months.

In fact, the GR pretty much says “I don’t trust my fellow maintainers to do the right thing, therefore I want a new hammer to force my opinion on them”. This is unacceptable in my opinion, and the GR will only demotivate contributors. Every Debian developer (I’m not talking about systemd upstream, but about Debian developers!) I’ve met would accept a patch that adds support for sysvinit to a package that currently doesn’t. The proposed GR will not improve sysvinit support. It is a hammer to kick out software where upstream doesn’t want to support sysvinit, but it won’t magically add sysvinit support anywhere.

What some supporters of the GR may not have realized - it may as well backfire on them. Some packages that don’t yet work with systemd would violate policy then, too… - in my opinion, it is much better to make the support on a “as good as possible, given available upstream support and patches” basis, instead of a “must” basis. The lock-in may come even faster if we make init system support mandatory: it may be more viable to drop software to satisfy the GR than to add support for other inits - and since systemd is the current default, software that doesn’t support systemd are good candidates to be dropped, aren’t they? (Note that I do prefer to keep them, and have a policy that allows keeping them …)

For these reasons I voted:

  1. Choice 4: GR not required
  2. Choice 3: Let maintainers do their work
  3. Choice 2: Recommended, but not mandatory
  4. Choice 5: No decision
  5. Choice 1: Ban packages that don’t work with every init system

Fact is that Debian maintainers have always been trying hard to allow people to choose their favorite software. Until you give me an example where the Debian maintainer (not upstream) has refused to include sysvinit support, I will continue to trust my fellow DDs. I’ve been considering to place Choice 2 below “further discussion”, but essentially this is a no-op GR anyway - in my opinion “should support other init systems” is present in default Debian policy already anyway…

Say no to the haters.

And no, I’m not being unfair. One of the most verbose haters going by various pseudonyms such as Gregory Smith (on Linux Kernel Mailing list), Brad Townshend (LKML) and John Garret (LKML) has come forward with his original alias - it is indeed MikeeUSA, a notorious anti-feminist troll (see his various youtube “songs”, some of them include this pseudonym). It’s easy to verify yourself.

He has not contributed anything to the open source community. His songs and “games” are not worth looking at, and I’m not aware of any project that has accepted any of his “contributions”. Yet, he uses several sock puppets to spread his hate.

The anti-systemd “crowd” (if it acually is more than a few notorious trolls) has lost all its credibility in my opinion. They spread false information, use false names, and focus on hate instead of improving source code. And worse, they tolerate such trolling in their ranks.