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Re: sysvinit-utils essentialness

On Tue, 09 Jan 2018 at 04:04:39 +0100, Andreas Henriksson wrote:
> Using the pidof implementation provided by procps (upstream) would
> mean we atleast use the same implementation as other distros, but
> wouldn't gain us much else and could even give us new problems.

The other gain would be that one more binary in the Essential set comes
from a source package with an active maintainer, and that the maintainers
of src:sysvinit (who appear to be too busy with other things to be unable
to respond to RC bugs at the moment[0]) can concentrate on supporting
systems that boot using the sysvinit/sysv-rc/initscripts cluster of
packages, while able to ignore all systems that boot using systemd
(and chroots/containers that don't really "boot" at all) as outside
their scope. Ian Jackson was positive about that approach in [1].

[0] https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=811377#104
    (I'm not saying that #872039 *should* necessarily be RC, but it's
    been 4½ months without a maintainer response or a downgrade.)
[1] https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=851747#56

> The most practical thing to do at this point seems to be to just wait
> until sysvinit is eventually removed from Debian

There's a circular dependency here: that can't happen, regardless of
the quality or maintenance status of sysv-rc/initscripts, as long as
sysvinit-utils is Essential. If there was consensus that booting with
sysv-rc/initscripts was no longer something the project had any interest
in, then a more likely implementation would be to simplify src:sysvinit
by removing all binary packages except sysvinit-utils, which is what's
happened in derivatives that require/assume systemd, like Ubuntu (and
if Debian was as hostile to non-systemd init systems as some people
apparently believe it is, then the same would presumably have happened
in Debian).

I agree that, if sysvinit *was* ever removed from Debian, that would be
a great time to reassess whether pidof needs to be Essential.