What do rawhide testers want and expect?

Clyde E. Kunkel clydekunkel7734 at cox.net
Mon Sep 12 17:01:11 UTC 2011

On 09/12/2011 11:57 AM, Stephen John Smoogen wrote:
> In reading the long trash each other fest that accompanies pre-release
> jitters, could we start on a cleaner plate? What do the people who are
> using rawhide day-in/day-out expect out of the channel? What level of
> pain does someone like Jonathan Corbet expect and how can we better
> serve them? [And no this isnt me trying for another distro quote of
> the week, he is just my reference point of someone I know who runs
> rawhide day in and out.]
> In some cases, expectations may be off which means we need to market
> our deliverables better. In other cases, they may be looking for a
> better way to get attention to rawhide issues when everyone else is
> focused on F-XX-beta. In that case we can look at a mechanism that
> allows for less "zero-sum" game antics of elementary school yard "you
> suck, no you suck more" that the threads head towards.

I use rawhide daily, primarily for mail, web and document creation.  I 
also enjoy trying new software in rawhide which leads to some 
interesting situations.  I like to test the packages in updates-testing 
as a proven packager, but lately have been afraid to do so since what I 
think is a problem is criticized as not being a problem or if the 
package works for me but I can't test the bug it fixes then I am 
criticized for not testing the bug and passing the package on.

I expect rawhide to just, minimally, work, i.e., boot at least to a 
command line.  I also expect breakage, but I also expect that whatever 
breaks it to get attention and will file a bug if I can figure out what 
broke it.  Before there was no-frozen-rawhide, we would sometimes get a 
heads up that something would break rawhide and a workaround or advice 
to avoid the specific update.  That doesn't seem to happen any more.  It 
seems that too much software is just dumped into rawhide without any 
sanity checking before hand.  I do see notices on the development list 
about abi breakage or a change in an .so-n file.

Should new packages, bug fixes, new capabilities and enhancements 
destined for the current development release (F16) be required to work 
in rawhide first?

Why not have FESCO develop a definitive statement on what rawhide is, 
how to use it and what it expects from developers/maintainers and 
testers and then publish it on all Fedora lists, wiki's, LWN and the New 
York Times and Washington Post.


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