Fedora release model (was Re: Plan for tomorrow's FESCo meeting (2010-11-17))

Adam Williamson awilliam at redhat.com
Mon Nov 22 16:18:04 UTC 2010

On Mon, 2010-11-22 at 10:21 +0100, Hans de Goede wrote:

> The way I see it, is we have:
> rawhide (and for a part of the cycle Fedora #+1 testing)
> Fedora #
> Fedora #-1
> Fedora #-2
> Fedora #+1 is for people who want the bleeding edge
> Fedora #   is for people who want the latest and greatest without too much
>             bleeding
> Fedora #-1 is for people who want it relatively safe and slow
> Fedora #-2 Does not fit into this picture

Quite a few people take this view, but I'm not sure it's entirely
reliable. As I see it there may well be those who use the system as you
suggest - they upgrade every six months but to the *last* release, not
the current one, so they're always running F#-1 - but I'm fairly sure
there's also those who actually use the current lifecycle system for its
stated purpose, which isn't to allow you to constantly run one version
out of date, but to run each version for up to twelve months. So they
ran F8, then F10, then F12, then F14 - skipping 9, 11 and 13 so they
only have to deal with the pain of an update every 12 months. To these
types of users, it doesn't necessarily make sense to treat a -1 release
differently from a 'current' release.

> So taking for example the much much discussed KDE rebases. I think that
> doing a KDE rebase for Fedora #+1 is a no brainer, for Fedora # is fine
> as long as it is properly tested and for Fedora #-1 KDE should NOT be
> rebased. This also matches well with what the KDE people have been
> reporting, were they can get plenty of testing on Fedora # but all most
> none on Fedora #-1. I think that the few KDE users which remain on
> Fedora #-1, do so because they appreciate some stability, and thus
> should not get (a largely untested) KDE rebase.

I hope I'm not putting words in KK's mouth again :), but I believe this
is actually more or less what KDE team does; the current KDE update
isn't a rebase as far as they see it, it's a minor point update. I think
they may well not push KDE 4.6 to F13 when it comes out, but only to
F14. (Yell at me again if I'm wrong, KK).

> This is also how I in practice deal with must updates for packages I
> maintain I try to fix any serious bugs reported against Fedora # and am
> a lot more conservative when it comes to Fedora #-1.
> Note that Fedora #-2 does not fit into this view for things at all,
> Fedora #-2 is meant to allow people to skip a Fedora release. But in
> practice I think this works out badly, because a relatively new Fedora
> release like Fedora 14 tends to still have some rough edges and get lots
> of updates/churn (and thus possible regressions, despite our best effords).
> This is not at a good point in its cycle to upgrade to for people who like
> it stable (and sticking with 1 release for an entire year to me sounds
> like liking it stable).

That's a reasonable point indeed.

> Where as the one which has already been out for 5-6 months (Fedora 13) has
> seen most rough edges polished away with updates, and the updates rate will
> have slowed.
> So maybe it is time we dropped the support duration for a release from 13
> to 11 months, and make clear that people should not skip releases.

That's one I didn't have on my list of ideas to look at; I'll add it :)
Adam Williamson
Fedora QA Community Monkey
IRC: adamw | Fedora Talk: adamwill AT fedoraproject DOT org

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