Stable release updates vision

Kevin Kofler kevin.kofler at
Thu Mar 11 20:37:08 UTC 2010

On Thursday 11 March 2010, Paul W. Frields wrote:
> As noted in our previous minutes[1], the Board was tasked with
> producing a vision statement for updates to Fedora stable releases.
> That vision can be found here:
> This statement is the result of many Board discussions which have
> taken into consideration issues raised recently in numerous other
> venues such as the devel list.  After considering these issues
> carefully, along with other factors such as the broad user base for
> which we should strive[2], the Board feels this vision will best meet
> the needs of our millions of users, including our contributor base.
> The Board would like FESCo to read through this vision statement, and
> use it as a basis for implementing changes that will help achieve this
> vision.  We look forward to working with FESCo and across the whole
> Fedora Project to continue improving the Fedora distribution.

So we're now getting a diktat from the half-unelected Board which appears to 
completely ignore the desires of the majority of our users[1], instead 
repeating already disproven arguments such as the following?

* "End-user satisfaction with our distribution will increase" – wrong, the 
vast majority of our users will be unhappy with this change, see [1].
* "developers will have more time to focus on other areas in Fedora" – it's 
actually MORE work to maintain separate specfiles per release with backported 
security/bug fixes than to just sync the specfile from devel and build it for 
all releases.
* "A six month development cycle for a release allows Fedora to integrate the 
latest and greatest releases from upstream projects into the 'rawhide' 
distribution and have that body of work available to the user base in a 
relatively short amount of time." – 6 months are actually a very long time. 
For example, I and many other users don't want to have to wait 3 months to get 
the current KDE (and yet that's the time between the KDE 4.4.0 release on Feb 
9 and the scheduled F13 release on May 11).
* "More skilled and/or intrepid users are encouraged to use  Rawhide along 
with participating in testing of stable branches during the development and 
pre-release period." – It has been explained many times on the devel mailing 
list why this is not a viable alternative. (Rawhide also does other kind of 
changes which are not acceptable for a production machine, e.g. if I'm running 
KDE 3, I don't want to wake up tomorrow with KDE 3.96.2 (that was a heavily 
unstable prerelease of KDE 4.0.0 which we put into Rawhide so work on 
packaging 4.0.x can start, it would have been impossible to ship F9 with KDE 4 
without that use of Rawhide), nor even with a "known good" KDE 4 such as 
4.3.5. Such transitions are what we have releases for!).
* "Stable releases should provide a consistent user experience throughout the 
lifecycle, and only fix bugs and security issues." – Do you really seriously 
suggest we should have kept F9 on KDE 4.0.x rather than upgrading it to KDE 
4.1.x and later 4.2.x? Those were not bugfix-only releases, but they sure fixed 
MANY bugs, in addition to readding features known from KDE 3 which many users 
were missing. It is Fedora's very nature to often ship emerging technologies 
which take some time to mature, feature upgrades are often essential in those 


(If this doesn't make it through to f-a-b, please feel free to forward it. I'm 
all for transparency!)

        Kevin Kofler

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