Sunday, 09 November 2014 10:20

Systemd fallout: Joey Hess quits Debian project Featured

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The ruckus over the adoption of systemd as the default init system for Debian appears to have claimed a victim, with veteran developer Joey Hess announcing that he is leaving the project.

Hess (seen above in a picture used courtesy of his own website) is one of the better-known developers, and, apart from his contributions on the software side, has also done numerous interviews with his fellow developers.

The Debian GNU/Linux project chose systemd, the brainchild of Red Hat's Lennart Poettering, as its default init system in February, to replace SysV. The decision came through a casting vote by Bdale Garbee who is head of the technical committee which had been tasked with making the choice.

It came after months of discussion among developers; there was also discussion on many other forums about this as Debian is seen as a barometer of the health of the GNU/Linux community.

Lately, there has been another push for reconsideration and general resolution is being voted on at the moment by the Debian project members. The voting ends on November 18.

In his farewell post on the Debian developers' mailing list, Hess wrote that it had become clear to the him that Debian was no longer the project that he had joined in 1996.

"We've made some good things, and I wish everyone well, but I'm out," Hess wrote. "Note that this also constitutes an orphaning as upstream of debhelper, alien, dpkg-repack, and debmirror."

He said he would be making final orphaning uploads of other packages that were not team maintained, over the next couple of days, as bandwidth allows.

"If I have one regret from my 18 years in Debian, it's that when the Debian constitution was originally proposed, despite seeing it as dubious, I neglected to speak out against it. It's clear to me now that it's a toxic document, that has slowly but surely led Debian in very unhealthy directions."

Debian started life in August 1993. It was set up by Ian Murdock and takes its name from the first three letters of Murdoch's wife (Debra) and his name. It has support for the most architectures of any distribution and is generally acknowledged to have the best package management system.

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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