Web lists-archives.com

Re: Debian Buster release to partially drop non-systemd support

I intend this to be my last response on that topic here. So even if you 
choose to reply in a way that I feel hurt about, I intend to just let go 
and end the hurting cycle within my heart instead of replying another 

Ansgar Burchardt - 16.10.18, 12:20:
> On Tue, 2018-10-16 at 09:57 +0200, Martin Steigerwald wrote:
> > Ansgar Burchardt - 16.10.18, 08:53:
> > > If some people consistently call others a "cancer", accuse them of
> > > "vandalizing" open source, spread obvious FUD and so on, then I
> > > don't
> > > think they would fit in well in Debian's culture where they would
> > > have to accept that packages such as systemd exist.
> > 
> > I disagree. So far I saw none of the Devuan developers (!) I had
> > contact with doing any of the stuff you accuse them of. I think it
> > is important to see the difference between the comments on random
> > people in some mailing list or IRC channel and *actual* Devuan
> > *developers*.
> Let me see how some actual Devuan developers think about systemd:
> +---
> | I personally find hilarious that most of the people out there are
> | still convinced that the systemd-nonsense is just a replacement for
> | sysv-init, while it should be clear by now that it is already
> | becoming a pervasive cancer...
> +---[ Enzo Nicosia aka KatolaZ in
> 20150330170221.GM22458@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx ]

*sigh* I thought I might provoke such a response actually digging for 
dirt from the past. As such my previous post may not have been helpful.

There are two important things about this:

1) KatolaZ is writing about Systemd as a software or as a project. *Not* 
about a person. This is a *huge* difference.

2) This has been 2015. It was a heated discussion back and there have 
been a lot of heated comments back then. From all sides. As I raised 
concerns of users on systemd-user and then added my own interpretation, 
Lennart Poettering called me "You are just being a dick now."¹ I 
unsubscribed from systemd-devel after that, as I did not tolerate this 
personal attack. I also would not be surprised when some Debian 
developers back then also have posted heated comments. Ian got the 
impression that there has been toxic behavior within the Debian project 
as well. I agree.

[1] [systemd-devel] I wonder… why systemd provokes this amount of 
polarity and resistance

(no message-id as I deleted this message from my mail client back then)

While I personally may not use the word cancer, I also have the 
impression that Systemd meanwhile is almost everywhere. I noticed so as 
I updated my Linux training slides for Systemd. I have it in service 
management chapter, I have it in cron job chapter, I have it in network 
chapter (hostnamectl + service, systemd-networkd at least mentioned), I 
have it in time management and NTP chapter (timedatectl as well as in-
built NTP server mentioned). And then there is systemd-logind and so on…

Seeing that I perfectly see how one can come to the conclusion that 
Systemd is almost everywhere – similar to cancer. I personally would not 
say today that it "infected" these areas of Linux eco system, but 
Systemd is almost everywhere meanwhile and back then I had the 
impression that how Systemd spread was similar to the embrace, extend, 
extinguish pattern seen with Microsoft. This analogy back then triggered 
the personal attack of Lennart. It may have been a quite direct and 
probably not even justified attack at Systemd by me at that time, but it 
was not directed at him personally.

But full stop already: This is about a past discussion. And it is a 
discussion about Systemd, not about a person. I do not see a personal 
attack in any of the posts you cited. Unless Lennart identified himself 
with Systemd, well then he chose to receive such attacks as being 

There are different approaches:

1. Have it all in one larger integrated package.

2. Have one tool for one job and another tool for another job. 
Separately packaged and mixable.

It even is not about which is better. Some believe approach 1 is. Others 
believe approach 2 is.

What this whole thing is about: Can people who believe approach 2 is, 
help Debian with maintaining sysvinit? I am sure they can.

And did some people learn from the past and let go? I am sure they did.

Recycling the past just gives us that: A recycled past.

The same crap that triggered so much hurting on all sides back then.

So now, would it be possible to let the past *be* in the past. And see 
what can be done now?

> +---
> | that's exactly what I referred to when I talked of the
> | systemd-nonsense as a "cancer". The damage is not merely technical
> | and localised to the relatively minor issue of replacing PID 1, as
> | you correctly pointed out, but "systemic" and "social". And that's
> | exactly why we should be more concerned about it.
> +---[ Enzo Nicosia aka KatolaZ in
> 20150331093754.GO22458@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx ]

KatolaZ points out that he sees a social issue. And even today I agree 
with that. I have witnessed the way upstream developers reacted to bug 
reports and feedback.

Maybe it is just that some persons do not get along well with other 
persons and probably vice versa. Maybe it is more. Limiting the 
discussion to just technicalities was not helpful back then. It does not 
matter here, cause this is about maintenance of sysvinit, and not about 

We are all human beings in this software development and packaging game.

I do not like to work together or even be together with every human 
being out there. And Systemd upstream developers may not either. They 
already said that there are not interested in portability for example. 
So I bet they won't be interested to work with people who like to port 
Systemd to other architectures. And I know I am not interested at all to 
work closely with Systemd project. Often I refrain from bug reports 
meanwhile, even if Michael Biebl himself has been helpful and kind. But 
as a package maintainer his influence on upstream project is limited.

So is this world big enough that people who like Systemd can do their 
thing and people who like one tool do a job and different init systems 
and ability to freely mix can do their job? I am sure it is. Probably 
not within the same distribution, but here it is not about unifying 
Debian and Devuan in some way, but about accepting help for maintaining 

I think this decision is up to those who maintained sysvinit in Debian. 
Not up to you, and not up to me. If the people who are doing the work 
agree to work with each other I do not see why anything from the past 
should be given the power to prevent them from doing so – no matter how 
much mud from the past you may manage to come up with. 

I write this having felt quite hurt myself back then. However, what 
Lennart wrote, what anyone else wrote, is in the past. It is gone. It 
does not exist in the now.
> +---
> | What we really need is to build sufficient maintainer capacity and
> +---[ Daniel Reurich in
> https://lists.dyne.org/lurker/message/20180619.232314.a3229d06.html ]

Is Daniel a Devuan developer?

> I'm not alone in seeing this as a problem in the Devuan community.  A
> certain Martin Steigerwald pointed out:
> +---
> | As a honest feedback:
> | 
> | Currently I do not read much of the threads here.
> | 
> | Cause again and again I see language like systemd being like a
> | cancer or infecting people´s systems.
> +---[ Martin Steigerwald in 24625919.fzpRARYAEh@merkaba ]
> Tolerating this *does* reflect back on project leaders, more so if
> some of them also engage in the behavior.

While I still do not agree with the wording "cancer" and "infect" I 
certainly see how one can come to such an conclusion.

And again, what you came up with was not against a person, but about 
software and people's behavior.

> Debian already had a systemd maintainer step back because of abuse
> from a certain group of people[1].  As I would like to see systemd
> still maintained in the future, I don't think it's worth to try to
> integrate the abusers in Debian as package maintainers.

I accept your opinion. And I still disagree. And as written I think it 
is neither my nor your decision anyway.

I have seen KatolaZ's behavior in dng-ml mailing list for quite some 
time and I found nothing abusive with it.

> Given that the systemd maintainers also have to deal with sysvinit,
> maintainership of sysvinit is probably especially problematic.
>   [1]
> https://err.no/personal/blog/tech/debian/2014-11-16-23-55_resigning_f
> rom_pkg-systemd/

I am sad that someone resigned.

The hurting back then was on all sides. I felt hurt too, as many others. 
I even unsubscribed from debian-devel and was just about to cease 
maintaining fio and fsmark.

Now I choose to end the hurting cycle. There is no use to revive it.

So I continue to let go.

> > > And no, it's not just that infobot factoid or just random people
> > > that
> > > are totally unrelated to Devuan.
> > 
> > A claim without facts. So FUD in itself. I let go on spending energy
> > to prove otherwise.
> See above for a few examples.

I see how this triggered your response, digging for mud in the past.

I see how my comment was probably not helpful.

> > So I close with a snippet from the post of KatolaZ mentioned above:
> > 
> > KatolaZ - 16.10.18, 06:23:
> > > Let's try to reduce the useless chit-chat and drama to a minimum,
> > > please (and the minimum is zero, in this case), since that's not
> > > helpful at all, and does not build packages. I subscribed to
> > > debian-devel as well, and will reach out later.
> > 
> > https://lists.dyne.org/lurker/message/20181016.042148.1688fecb.en.ht
> > ml
> > 
> > Drama is not helpful to get anything done. KatolaZ already reached
> > out.
> Ah, one of the people calling systemd a cancer. Great.

Having called systemd a cancer more than 3 years ago.

You obviously do not agree with seeing Systemd this way. KatolaZ may not 
or may still see Systemd this way. But I do not see how this would 
affect package maintenance of sysvinit as long as he is willing to 
cooperate with Systemd maintainers on a case by case base wherever 
Systemd and sysvinit affect each other. Ultimately again, I think this 
is up for (past) sysvinit maintainers in Debian to decide.