A Debian Developer's Lament: The Devil is in the Details

Debian migration to 'Jessie' with systemd:  The Devil is in the details.

I have been warning users of Debian that this scenario would happen.

It's now incumbent on the Debian Community to fulfill their next major revision, 'Jessie' and the foregone decision was made to merge systemd despite admonitions to do otherwise.

I maintain that systemd operability is going quite well elsewhere with the majority of Distros which have long since become compliant.  Debian, being what it is, a virtual speed bump on the road to innovation, chose to delay making their decision as to whether Upstart or systemd should be used in Jessie.

And I maintain that the amount of work to migrate packages in the 40,000+ repository is daunting at best.

My prediction has been that Debian will become another casualty and will pay for their lack of timeliness and decision to remain on an 18 month release management schedule.

What will happen?  If the below diatribe from a friend of mine is any indication, Debian will take a hit in stability and its popularity will suffer greatly, particularly because of the breadth of work to fulfill might take 'years'.

Had they bitten the bullet, they could have undertaken work to merge systemd two years ago.  

Be that as it may, the measured and thoughtful opinions set forth below by +Tycho Softworks are those of a truly experienced Debian Developer.  He is just 'one' in perhaps thousands who face their own personal 'hell' in getting their product(s) to function on the platform.

One final point.  It would behoove +Mark Shuttleworth to examine this situation very carefully.  To have hitched Canonical Ltd.'s wagon to Debian is now clearly a major contingent liability.  Debian's foundation may crumble as developer's are quick to recognize the 'writing on the wall'.  It's time Ubuntu had its own independent repository.  And it would be prudent for Canonical Ltd. to make the move now to RPM a Linux Standard Base-compliant package manager.  This move would be a strong signal and help to unify Linux and reduce complexity and common denominators facing today's Linux Developer.  Mark, I hope you are reading this.

Prognosis for Jessie: Terminal.  -- Dietrich

Prognosis on 'Jessie': Terminal

[ Edit: I've appended below some additional thoughts from +Tycho Softworks which reinforce this story's relevance. -- Dietrich ]


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