Response to active removal of initscripts

Martin Steigerwald martin at
Wed Jul 22 19:12:51 BST 2020

Dear Jonathan.

I am putting you on CC, cause you may have some further insight 
meanwhile and I bet it would be better that you directly write it to the 
list instead of… me paraphrasing what you wrote.

Dear everyone!

Please drop the CC on answers in case Jonathan asks us to.

Dear Matthew.

No need to CC me. In my mail setup I see all mailing list mails in one 
folder first before I initiate sorting them to sub folders. I CC you 
cause you CC'd me :)

Matthew Vernon - 22.07.20, 18:21:36 CEST:
> Dear Martin,
> On 08/07/2020 08:41, Martin Steigerwald wrote:
> > Matthew Vernon - 08.07.20, 09:37:14 CEST:
> >> I am inclined to drop Jonathan Carter (DPL) an email to see if he
> >> has
> >> thoughts. It ought to be possible to get on quietly with supporting
> >> alternative inits without people actively getting in the way (and
> >> the
> >> wording of the GR result should allow that)...
> > 
> > I did that more than a week ago already.
> > 
> > Got no reply, so I reminded him. He replied than, telling that he
> > has
> > read the message, meant to reread and reply to it, but then there
> > was
> > something else… he promised to answer today.
> Did you hear anything from Jonathan in the end?


He cited part of the GR last year¹:

The Debian project recognizes that systemd service units are the
preferred configuration for describing how to start a daemon/service.
However, Debian remains an environment where developers and users can
explore and develop alternate init systems and alternatives to systemd
features. Those interested in exploring such alternatives need to
provide the necessary development and packaging resources to do that
work. Technologies such as elogind that facilitate exploring
alternatives while running software that depends on some systemd
interfaces remain important to Debian. It is important that the project
support the efforts of developers working on such technologies where
there is overlap between these technologies and the rest of the project,
for example by reviewing patches and participating in discussions in a
timely manner.

He writes that this explicitly says "Debian should remain an environment 
where developers and users can explore and develop alternate init 
systems, and that patches are reviewed in a timely manner." Timely can 
mean different things he adds and that he is sorry not to have any easy 
answers at the moment. He intended to think a bit more about a possible 

He also wrote: 'some people misunderstood it as "systemd
won, so we can start dropping alternatives" which is clearly incorrect'.

I thought about writing something similar to the bug report, starting 
with "Dear Michael" and doing my best to keep friendly and constructive… 
but I have been postponing this. I have enough conflict in my life right 
now without that already. So if anyone else likes to step up for this, 
be my guest. I certainly do support that.



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