Re: Impact of ConsoleKit deprecation

On Thu, Jan 26, 2012 at 07:36:46PM -0600, Brian Cameron wrote:
> This is regarding the announcement of ConsoleKit deprecation on the
> distributor-list[1].  Looking at the discussion about this announcement
> on the release-team mailing list[2], it seems that Lennart and others
> said there is value in having systemd and ConsoleKit co-exist.  For
> example, Lennart said in the release-team thread, "I figure that means
> that we probably have to keep code for CK compat in GNOME, if CK
> matters."

There are 2 things:
1. ConsoleKit support within GNOME projects
2. ConsoleKit the project

The issue is with #2. The upstream project has deprecated itself. Itt
doesn't matter if we keep the ConsoleKit code in GDM and others or not.
If ConsoleKit is not maintained anymore, it will result in problems.

The goal of my message is simply:
 - Say that upstream ConsoleKit is going away
 - To announce this to the affected parties (everyone)

Now, as you said, you say that Solaris will be involved in ConsoleKit
maintainership. This is good to hear. However, that only means my
message succeeded.

> How was the decision made that CK does not matter and needs to be
> deprecated?  It seems odd to deprecate an interface that your
> announcement says only 1 distro (Fedora) has concrete plans to move
> away from.  The announcement says Mageia and openSuse will "likely"
> follow, but this hardly sounds definite.

Upstream made that decision.

> The topic of ConsoleKit deprecation was last discussed on the
> ConsoleKit forum last May[3].  At that time, I asked questions and
> highlighted the importance to to have ongoing ConsoleKit support in GDM
> on Solaris.  Nobody seemed to make a real effort to respond to me, and
> it does not seem that my comments were taken much into consideration as
> decisions were made.  Really, it does not seem there was really much
> public or transparent community discussion about this, or did I miss it?

If the maintainers decide to stop maintaining, I don't see why there
should be any discussion. I know ConsoleKit is important to Solaris, you
told me. That is exactly why I expect Solaris to takeover
maintainership together with any other interested party.

Note that I don't know much about the technology (ConsoleKit or others).
My goal was to communicate whereever we stood. I do that my making stuff
up and asking for review. If the things I made up are completely off,
it'll trigger responses. So read the release-team archives with that in

> >This means concrete action is needed if this
> >functionality is wanted within your distribution or OS. To make things
> >absolutely clear: ConsoleKit is a project and the
> >maintainers have deprecated it.
> While I may not have been the most active GDM maintainer lately, nobody
> bothered to ask me or even inform me that I participated in making a
> decision to deprecate GDM's use of ConsoleKit.  Until I got your
> announcement, anyway.

The message is about ConsoleKit upstream deprecation. If it remains to
be unmaintained, it will result in problems. It doesn't matter if GDM
has support for ConsoleKit if ConsoleKit itself is dead/broken.

The background story is to improve the communication. I see this
happening, but not everyone might notice or be aware. It might all work
out in the end, but it might not. I want to avoid the "might not" case.

> Although D-Bus, ConsoleKit, and systemd may all be FreeDesktop
> specifications, is there harmony between various popular display
> managers, how they work, and what standard interfaces they plan to
> support?  Do we know of plans for display managers like GDM, KDM or
> LightDM to standardize on common interfaces?  Can you
> point to  serious discussion amongst the maintainers of free display
> managers about these topics?  Or is everybody doing their own display
> manager thing under different "FreeDesktop" projects?

No idea.

> >Now, one distribution expressed interested in maintaining ConsoleKit,
> >but under a different name. It will still use the same API (dbus name,
> >etc). However, their interest is likely solely focussed around their
> >distribution and not anything else.
> Solaris has delivered GNOME 2.30 on Solaris 11 with ConsoleKit, and
> will likely be supporting this for years to come.  Is Solaris the "one
> distribution" you refer to, or are there others?  If there are more
> than one distro planning to continue using GDM with ConsoleKit, then
> there may be opportunities for us to work together.

The likely should be stepped up. Upstream won't be maintained, so
someone should maintain it otherwise you'll have problems.

I know that if you read my initial announcement in the r-t archives,
that I said ConsoleKit would be removed from GNOME. I made that up. Why?
Because I was guessing this was going to happen because upstream
ConsoleKit quit.

> The Solaris distribution delivers some enhancements that makes
> GDM & ConsoleKit support MultiSeat features that is similar to what
> systemd provides (but less automagical).  It works pretty well, but
> perhaps more like the way MultiSeat worked in GDM before version 2.21.
> These changes are in the wip/multi-seat branch of ConsoleKit and GDM.
> Do any other distros have any interest in working together to support
> ongoing MultiSeat support with ConsoleKit/GDM?

I think this is for other distributions to answer. My message is to get
that feedback. I did some minimal investigation @ openSUSE, Fedora and
Mageia, but the way to communicate is distributor-list.


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