On the init system debate

The decision on which init system to use has plagued Debian for a fairly long time now. We've had people talking about it as early as debconf11 in Banja Luka, and we still haven't got a decision. Instead, the decision has been going round in circles, in a typical bikeshed fashion.

Originally, my opinion on the subject was "sysv-rc is good enough for everyone, and it's portable, which other alternatives aren't". By now, however, I've become convinced that the first part of that statement isn't true, and that as a result a switch of a default init system is indeed appropriate; that we should indeed switch to "something else", at least for our Linux ports.

Once I came to that conclusion, my opinion on what, exactly, we should use turned out to be nonexistent. That is, I don't care. Anything will be fine.

What is bothering me, though, is that things keep dragging on and on and on and on and on and on and on, ad infinitum.

We should just pick one and be done with it, dammit. The fact that sysv-rc is replaced by "something else" does not mean people must stop using sysv init scripts. Even if the maintainer of some random package "foo" refuses to accept patches to support sysv-rc for his package, there's nothing stopping anyone from providing a package "sysv-support" containing init scripts (and nothing else) for sysv-rc.

The same goes for a hypothetical upstart-support or systemd-support package, of course: if you want to continue living in the stone age and keep using sysv-rc forever, then there is nothing stopping you. Even if we decide to use something else for our Linux ports.

Ideally the non-Linux ports would move to something more modern too; but there really really really isn't any reason why it would be a problem if they didn't.

Can we stop painting the bikeshed now? If we don't, soon we'll have to call it "hunk of paint with some bikes inside" rather than "bikeshed".