Proposed udpates policy change

Terry Barnaby terry1 at
Tue Mar 9 07:43:35 UTC 2010

On 08/03/10 23:12, Matthew Garrett wrote:
> On Mon, Mar 08, 2010 at 11:21:45PM +0100, Sven Lankes wrote:
>> If Fesco is aiming at getting rid of all the pesky packagers maintaining low
>> profile packages: You're well on your way.
> So, no, that's not the intent and it's realised that this is a problem.
> We need to work on making it easier for users to see that there are
> available testing updates and give feedback on them. This is clearly
> going to take a while, and there'd undoubtedly going to be some
> difficulty in getting updates for more niche packages through as a
> result. If people have further suggestions for how we can increase the
> testing base then that would be awesome, but the status quo really
> doesn't seem sustainable.

Can I make a tangential suggestion here ?
I am on the side that quite a few packages need much more testing before
they appear in stable. Fedora, for me, has got less and less stable
and thus less usable. I have been bitten for many years, especially by
the Graphics issues :(

However, to get testing done it actually requires a good many users to
actually test the packages. This requires it to be easy for the user to do.
This is especially true for the Graphics system where testing is needed
on lots of different hardware.

I wonder if a change to the Fedora package build/release systems could
help here by more closely coupling Bodhi/Others with updates-testing.
Some ideas:

1. All packages in Bodhi automatically appear in updates-testing.
2. The karma (or stability :) ) value is stored in the RPM.
3. A link to the Bodhi information is also stored in the RPM.
4. yum/rpm is modified to support the idea of a
    "karma"/"package stability level".
5. Users can change the "package stability level" they are willing to accept
    overall or on a per package or package group basis.
6. Simple GUI package manager extensions could handle the extra info or a simple
    to use "package-testing" GUI could be developed to handle this allowing users
    to feedback issues in an easy way.
7. There would be an easy way for users to backout the duff packages.
    (emails back to the user when an updated package is available ?)
8. A link with upstream would be provided so any user generated feedback
    would be sent to the upstream developers or be easily available by
    them. Bugzilla would be integrated into this.
9. Bodhi information would include info on particular items to test.

This would mean that all packages are immediately available to end users
in an easy to use way. Users could decide how "frontier" they would like their 
system. Links to the Bodhi information would directly available to users 
allowing feedback of issues and backout the packages. It would also
be nice to have package groups such as
"Graphics: kernel,libdrm,mesa,xorg-x11-* etc) so that an entire group of
related packages could be karma'ed, installed and reverted in an easy way.
In the background the system can check for package dependency issues and
notify the package managers automatically. Obviously how the "kama"/"package 
stability level" is calculated is an issue. In fact updates-testing could
probably go and we would just have updates ...

Any views, anyone got some financial resources :)


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