FESCo wants a more sane updates policy (feedback requested)

Kevin Fenzi kevin at scrye.com
Fri Feb 26 22:54:02 UTC 2010

I'm putting my thoughts here... but this is again one of those threads
that has about 500 forks and people nit picking back and forth, so I am
never sure where to do a general reply. ;) 

First some background: 

a. There is no policy to discuss here, as we don't yet have a proposal. 
I would expect after a draft is constructed it would be posted here for
feedback and more input. 

b. Given a, I would say people should stop posting to this thread. If
you have a better updates policy in mind, perhaps you could draft up a
proposal for what you think it should be? Or wait for a real proposal
to comment on?

My thoughts (not speaking for fesco or anyone else): 

- I think we are breaking our "stable" releases too much, and also
  pushing them too many bits that they don't need/want. I've seen this
  feedback a number of times from the various support channels, (irc,
  forums, mailing list). 

- I think educating our maintainers to be more carefull or get more
  testing feedback has not worked so far, nor is it likely to moving
  forward. We simply seem to lack the communications channel to do so. 

- I think perhaps a more lifecycle like thing could help our users know
  what to expect. Currently, they don't. They could get a major version
  bump at any time, in a older "stable" release. I have talked to users
  who are are f11 still because they think it will be "most stable" but
  then are dismayed with how many updates they get. 

- Perhaps we could look at ways to make rawhide more day to day
  friendly. I think the autoqa stuff might help here. If those people
  that needed the very newest version of everything could use rawhide,
  perhaps we could target the stable releases more to those that want

- From some of the comments here I am getting the idea that people
  would like for us to move to a "2 tree" setup. Ie, "rawhide" and
  "release". Things get tested in a cursory manner in rawhide, then get
  pushed to release? Is that right? Perhaps someone could write up a
  proposal for how such a flow could work? Do you think we would have
  any users left in such a world?

- If stable pushes were more restricted, perhaps that would get us more
  testing? If someone required a newer version and could easier
  install/test from updates-testing and provide feedback, don't we all
  win? Perhaps we could have PackageKit/yum say "you have the latest
  stable version of foo, but foo-2.0 is in updates-testing, would you
  like to test it and provide feedback?

- For those things that don't have many users, we could allow a time
  based approach. keep the update in testing for a few weeks and then
  it can go to stable with no -karma. I admit I run with
  updates-testing enabled here, but usually only find time to provide -
  karma. I have however done that a fair bit. 

- This is a balancing act i think, we don't on the one hand want
  everything always updated like rawhide in a stable release. On the
  other hand we don't want to only provide security updates and nothing
  else. What do our users expect here? I would argue that given the
  decline in downloads and such they are clearly saying the status quo
  is not what they want. 

Anyhow I think this thread is mostly hot air unless there are specific
proposals or concrete feedback. Please write up a detailed proposal, or
wait and provide feedback when we have such? Or at least post new
ideas... not 'he said, she said' back and forths. 

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