from the yet-another-systemd-story dept.
Controversy is nothing new when it comes to systemd. Many people find this new Linux init system to be inherently flawed in most ways, yet it is still gaining traction with major distros like Arch Linux, openSUSE, Fedora, and soon both Ubuntu and Debian GNU/Linux. The adoption of systemd for Debian 8 "Jessie" has been particularly fraught with strife and animosity.
Some have described the systemd adoption process as having been a "coup", while others are vowing to stick with Debian 7 as long as possible before moving to another distro. Others are so upset by what they see as a complete betrayal of the Debian and open source communities that there is serious discussion about forking Debian. Regardless of one's stance toward systemd, it cannot be argued that it has become one of the most divisive and disruptive changes in the long history of the Debian project, threatening to destroy both the project and the community that has built up around it.
Debian Jesse is going to have Gnome3 as the default desktop.
The desktop re-qualification page, used to help choose which desktop will be default, has in the Jesse version a weight for systemd integration, and of course only Gnome3 does it (at least for now). This will surely make the systemd/gnome3 fanbase happy, but possibly will make others unhappy, as it [may] be seen as another step towards mono-culture, until we soon end up with all distros being redhat clones.
A grave bug has been introduced into the "wine" package of Debian Jessie, just days before the November 5th freeze deadline. The /usr/bin/wine launch script fails with an "error: unable to find wine executable. this shouldn't happen." message.
Debian has already suffered much unrest lately over the inclusion of systemd, with threats of a fork being issued, along with the possible cancellation of the GNU/kFreeBSD port and the possible dropping of support for the SPARC architecture. After so much strife and disruption, can Debian afford to have such a serious bug affect such a critical package so soon before such a major freeze?
Longtime Debian contributor Tollef Fog Heen has announced his resignation from the Debian systemd maintainer team. His announcement states that "the load of the continued attacks is just becoming too much."
He has since written a detailed blog article surrounding the circumstances of his resignation. As he puts it,
I've been a DD for almost 14 years, I should be able to weather any storm, shouldn't I? It turns out that no, the mountain does get worn down by the rain. It's not a single hurtful comment here and there. There's a constant drum about this all being some sort of conspiracy and there are sometimes flares where people wish people involved in systemd would be run over by a bus or just accusations of incompetence.
This is yet another dramatic event affecting the Debian project in recent months. The adoption of systemd has been extremely controversial, even going so far as to result in calls for Debian to be forked. There have been other problems as of late, too, ranging from a serious bug breaking Wine just days before the Jessie freeze deadline, to the possibility of Debian GNU/kFreeBSD being dropped from Debian 8. And it was only just over a week ago that Joey Hess — another longtime Debian contributor — left the project, citing the "very unhealthy directions" that Debian has been led in lately.
Is the internal tension and strife caused by systemd about to tear the Debian project apart? Recent events such as the aforementioned have suggested that this is becoming more and more of a possibility. The repercussions of this drama will no doubt be felt wide and far, given Debian's own popularity, as well it forming the basis of other major Linux distros such as Ubuntu and Linux Mint.