I write this post to comment on the current Init System GR vote in Debian.
I’ll be brief and express my personal opinion on the matter.
Devuan cannot exist without the help of Debian.
When me and Franco Lanza started this project in 2014 it was because of the most painful Init System GR in Debian. Back then, we chose Ian Jackson as the best Debian developer to represent the interest of Debian’s users and to defend the true mission of the Debian project as a universal operating system. While supporting Ian’s proposal we also promised to the world that, if that wouldn’t be the route taken by Debian, we would have not gone gently into that good night.
So we did, and Devuan was born.
Together with a small group of volunteers we dedicated huge amounts of time and resources to Devuan, putting our skills at the service of a very large community of people in need of Init Freedom; a whole chapter of my doctoral thesis is dedicated to this project; our history is well explained here and our community well represented by the first Devuan conference we organised in Amsterdam
For many of us Devuan has been a source of pride, joy and professional relief. It brought together some of the best people, developers and system administrators I could ever hope to meet in my life. We also managed to contribute back solutions and software useful to the Debian project.
Now please let this success be an account of how important is Init Freedom for the large amount of Debian users out there.
Today I write you because there is a reason to be worried that many Debian users will be betrayed once more by its leadership.
And today once again I support the Proposal D by Ian Jackson and urge the elite who has the privilege to steer the future of Debian to pay good attention to this choice, considering Ian’s competent and well informed formulation.
At last, please, do not consider Devuan as an alternative solution which will survive any outcome of this vote.
Because I’m sure Devuan will not survive without Debian’s help.
Devuan is much, much smaller than Debian in resources, people and infrastructure, and despite our efforts were useful to both, the Debian project has done very little to help us so far.
If Debian drops the support for any other init system but systemd, I believe we won’t be able to keep up with the legwork needed to support all other init systems. I say this because we do not have a comparable amount of people and resources to face the huge amount of work Debian will cease to do. Of course quality matters, but not that far.
If the Proposal D by Ian Jackson will not pass, Devuan will die.