Plan for tomorrow's FESCo meeting (2010-11-17)

Adam Williamson awilliam at
Sun Nov 21 23:59:10 UTC 2010

On Sun, 2010-11-21 at 23:04 +0100, Kevin Kofler wrote:

> In short: Want higher-quality updates for previous releases? Then push 
> version upgrades wherever possible (even and especially for libraries, as 
> long as they're ABI-compatible or can be group-pushed with a small set of 
> rebuilt reverse dependencies)!

I don't agree with this at all. It's just abusing a stable release cycle
to try and make it into something it isn't.

I should probably clarify where I'm coming from on this, as my position
is probably more nuanced than my mails so far would seem to suggest. I
don't necessarily think Fedora works best as a project which does stable
releases every six months and supports at least two of them at a time
(and often three). As I've written elsewhere, I'd very much like to look
into the possibility of changing that.

But the fact remains that *right now*, this is what Fedora is. I think
that it makes sense to commit to being whatever we are fully. Right now,
we're a stable release distribution; we should work to make those
releases properly stable, to actually be what we represent ourselves as
being. If we follow your strategy of pushing as many updates as possible
as aggressively as possible to all stable releases, we're not being a
stable release distribution at all, we're just shipping three branches
at a time which are all essentially rolling releases and have absolutely
no guarantee of stability. It's the worst of all worlds: we get all the
messy overheads of supporting three releases at a time, but none of the
benefits you get from properly following a stable release model.

It seems like what you want is actually not to have three releases at a
time at all but to have one and update it constantly. And I actually
rather suspect that would be a model that would work well for Fedora,
and I'd like to look into adopting it. But it's *not* the model we have
right now, and it doesn't strike me as a bad idea to try and abuse a
stable release model by pushing admittedly unstable changes into the
stable releases. A stable release into which we cheerily shove new
versions of everything just for the hell of it really isn't a stable
release, and it has no clear identity separation from the next or
previous stable releases, and hence makes the whole idea of having
releases rather pointless and just dead weight overhead.

If we all somehow got together and agreed to turn Fedora into something
different and less committed to the stable release model, I would then
rather change my tune on what our procedure for doing updates ought to
be. But as long as the Fedora project as a whole remains committed to
the stable release model, our updates policy really ought to reflect
that model.
Adam Williamson
Fedora QA Community Monkey
IRC: adamw | Fedora Talk: adamwill AT fedoraproject DOT org

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