On 4 September 2014 10:13, Kevin Fenzi <kevin@scrye.com> wrote:
On Fri, 29 Aug 2014 16:08:34 -0600
Stephen John Smoogen <smooge@gmail.com> wrote:

> So in todays (2014-08-29) meeting, we wanted to move the various
> policy discussions to email so that people could take their time to
> reply and also to allow for people who could not attend time to
> respond.


> Going from the web-page
> https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/EPEL-faster-repo-ideas the following
> items are listed (with additions I added while writing this email.)
> I would like to start with the EpSCO governance to just get that out
> of the way and then move to current rules as we see them. I can act
> as secretary to make sure that changes discussed here are put in
> place on the wiki or other places.
> Policy questions
>    - EpSCO governance.
>       - Lifetime of initial committee (9 months?)
>       - Replacement of any exiting members (replacement by formal
> vote, etc).
>       - Size of committee (4 members? 5 members?)
>       - Meeting rules (follow
>       https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Fedora_Engineering_Steering_Committee
>       )

I'm happy with whatever other people want. I think making things super
formal just causes more problems. I think we agreed on 4 members for
now, we can add by vote of those folks, we should try and meet weekly.

>    - How many repos? (examples below)
>       - epel,
>          - epel-test
>       - epel-rolling
>          - epel-rolling-test ?
>       - epel-edge ?
>          - epel-edge-test ?

There's some thought from folks about doing a per point release repos.
I added some comments asking for more details on that idea.

If repos we add as fast moving/whatever they may not need/want testing

So this is my general proposal for per point release.

Problem trying to be solved: 

EPEL's original goal around a 5-7 year product has run into issues where various packages end up having shorter lifetimes than can be maintained in that period. What happens is that the upstream is changing the code too massively for any sort of 'back-port' to be possible. Some software can be 'patched' around by making it parallel installable but others (say puppet) only work if there is only one version not just on the system but throughout an entire ecosystem of systems (thus if you update one, they all have to be updated to the same version.) While EPEL has a process of saying you can announce a major change it is severely frowned on and usually ends up with various users asking 'can you just keep the older version around a bit longer...' ad infinitum. Another problem is that it isn't clear how much notice is needed for a change to be made or what changes are being made so that users and package owners end up confused and upset with each other.

Possible solution:

Make it so that updates to these sorts of packages occur at regular intervals. There are three cycles these could occur: regular date driven (July 1st of every year for example), the Fedora release cycle (Fedora 22 has been released, you can update now), and the Red Hat Enterprise release cycle (RHEL-6.6 is out, you can release now). Each of these cycles has their bonuses and minuses but I think that connecting to the RHEL cycle will be more in line with what downstream users of EPEL are going to be more in sync with. 

Proposed implementation:

Every Red Hat Enterprise Dot Release has a beta period and then a release period. After the release period there is a couple of weeks until a CentOS release is available. Since only the betas and CentOS release are generally available to any person off the street I am looking at those being 'action points' where the dot release period would be done. When a RHEL beta dot release (example RHEL-6.6 beta) is announced, EPEL.dot would say that packages to be updated in the next release are going to be accepted into EPEL-dot-testing. Package owners who are needing or wanting to make major changes in their EPEL package sets would target builds to that channel. People can test as needed or at least be aware where they could have tested. Sometime after the next dot release, CentOS releases their latest 'this is the state of CentOS build' which anyone needing to test latest builds can get. This acts as a marker for when EPEL.dot will 'release' its next tree which would be 1 month after the CentOS GA. During that time, everything is rebuilt against the latest RHEL (to find any FTBS or ooops they dropped libmuffin and I needed it) and at the end of the month EPEL-6.7 is put out and EPEL-6.6 is set to be sent to archives after an appropriate time. Like CentOS, EPEL-6 -> EPEL-6.6 and then EPEL-6.7. 

In the case of last planned release (RHEL-5.12?), a different mechanism could be used for when updates occur if there is enough people willing to do the work. Otherwise packages go into that tree until EPEL ends building for it.

Note only one tree is being built against. If someone wants to 'keep' EPEL-6.5 running, they can grab the src.rpms from archives and do it themselves on their own hardware.. EPEL only deals with RHEL current.

Have I made this clearer or muddier?

Stephen J Smoogen.