Press "Enter" to skip to content

Ethics, Integrity, and Debian

admin 0

The below post, as well as the one prior, was posted (by me) at the VSIDO forums on a thread there debating the direction Debian should go with a new init system.  (I’ve made that a direct link to the thread in question)  As this vote gets nearer, it is time for some alarm in the Linux community, and everyone should in some way try to make their voice heard.  This is my way.  It isn’t meant to offend anyone, truly.  This is a serious issue that is about to happen and Debian should know how we feel about it.


Wow.  What can I say that statmonkey hasn’t?  Not much if anything at all…

At around the 40 minute mark in the first video posted above, when Steve Langasek starts in with the “what’s up with Debian and licensing”, I definitely threw in the towel on Upstart.  Not that I hadn’t already, but when Canonical starts telling dev’s to send in their work, and don’t bother signing the CLA, and see what happens, that was it for me.  I had read in a couple of different places on the net where some of Ian’s (Ian Jackson, former Canonical/Ubuntu dev) posts sounded like he was going to go for Upstart.  I have to say after watching the above, that I don’t think you can ‘bank’ his vote on Upstart after all.  He got pretty intense the second time around with the microphone.

Quote from: statmonkey

At what price?  At any price?  Just asking.  Having a test version with upstart would be a good thing (if not too much work) but your research has led you to favor systemd.

I’m not sure I would even try Upstart at this point. (it would sure be a hard thing to do)  Steve Langasek so upset me with his cavalier attitude about the licensing issue, that I can’t possibly see any way I would ever use it.  The really, really sad part about that is that I know for a fact that sysVinit will be gone soon.  I think I already posted in this thread somewhere that it was an inevitability.  It just has too many flaws and shortcomings for “today’s Linux”.  Debian has as much as said so.  So, in answer to statmonkey’s question about price, I’m not sure there could be a price placed on it.  Debian has been around for coming up on 21 years.  I believe that with this one vote the Tech Committee has in front of them, they could undo everything Debian has done.

I also watched more than one Lennart Poettering video when I finished the one featured above.  He may not have the best social skills in the world, but compared to the two guys (Steve and James) giving the Upstart pitch, he was far and away more informative.  Also, did anyone count how many times they said Ubuntu in their presentation?  I almost thought it was a commercial for Canonical.  (well I guess it was wasn’t it?)  Anyway, tho I can’t follow all of the technical details they talk about when comparing the two init systems, I know enough to smell a turd on a paper plate, even if it is trying to be hawked as sh%^ on a silver platter.

In reality, by my definition, Upstart really isn’t a complete init system in the first place.  To top that off, listening to them trying to answer the questions about some of the functionality and them saying “well we’ll try to fix that at some point in the future” (I’m paraphrasing here, watch the video) kind of says a lot.  By comparison, systemd seems to me to already be a valid replacement init system.  Would Arch, or RedHat/Fedora, two of the giants in the realm of Linux, have switched to it already?  Of the over 400 dev’s working on systemd, 241 of them came over from udev when they merged them.  Need something patched?  Send it to us!  With Upstart, need something patched?  Sign a copyright agreement and maybe we’ll consider it.  As to dev’s at Upstart, I know they have at least 3, Scot, James, and Steve.  I’ve also heard that Canonical limits the amount of dev’s on their team and, in the end, has total control over it.

As statmonkey stated, once Canonical has copyrighted code running in Debian, it is the beginning of the end for Debian.  No longer will they be adhering to the FSF, FOSS, GNU, OpenSource philosophy they were founded on.  Not only that, but it will allow for a privately held company to suddenly be making decisions for a very large part of Linux’s community.  It will also make it easier over time for them to actually end up “owning” Debian.  So for me this whole thing stinks.  It just does.  I’m actually pretty stunned that Debian has let it get to this point.

I hope Debian is made up of more than just this Tech Committee and has the sense to step back and look at who is voting, and also how they voted.  Freedom right?  I want to know the names of the guys that decided with one vote to destroy what I consider to be the best thing that ever happened to Linux.  (Sorry RMS)  Speaking of him, I can’t even begin to imagine his thought process on this whole debacle.  I suppose we’ll find out soon enough whether or not there are any ethics and integrity left at Debian.

Last, there has to be an init system.  We know it wont be sysV.  OpenRC, from all I’ve read, is not in the running for several good reasons.  Upstart is totally not acceptable as an alternative simply because of the CLA/Copyright issues.  (I don’t care if the Upstart code is handed down from a deity on golden discs of wonder)  That leaves systemd.  I don’t believe, as I once did that this is the lesser of two evils.  I believe it is the only logical choice that a FOSS base could make.  Not just that, but I believe it is the BEST fit and a SOLID choice that will take Debian far into the future.  I also happen to believe that it follows the KISS principle in that it ends up making things simpler in the long run for the folks building distro’s.  When you look at systemd in depth, at what it can do, and what it gives in benefits over sysV, then there really is no choice is there?

Yeah, sorry for the novel length post, but as you can probably tell this is getting under my skin just a little bit…

C'mon, you know you want to...

%d bloggers like this:
Skip to toolbar