Responsibility for rebuilding dependent components, was: F-16 Branched report: 20110920 changes

Nils Philippsen nils at
Tue Sep 20 16:00:57 UTC 2011

On Tue, 2011-09-20 at 11:45 -0400, Doug Ledford wrote:
> ----- Original Message -----
> > So when _is_ a good time to do binary-incompatible changes to
> > libraries?
> > 
> > * It's not after beta freeze, because they are unwanted at that time
> > 
> > * It's not 14 days before beta freeze, because they won't get out of
> > updates-testing in time
> > 
> > * It's not 14 days + 3 (4?) weeks before beta freeze - even if the
> > library gets out of updates-testing in time, its users may not be
> > rebuilt because the maintainer is on vacation.
> > 
> > * What if there are two layers of users that need to be rebuilt?
> > 
> > The delays just pile one upon another...
> >    Mirek
> I'd like to expand on my previous email (the one where I played
> devil's advocate) and pick up where Mirek left off here.
> I'm fine with our new early branched methodology, to a point.  I think
> it's a good idea that we do an early branch and separate our upcoming
> release from rawhide.  However, I think the process we use to get
> packages from updates-testing into the actual GA candidate tree is the
> problem.
> I think we are gating package updates on the wrong thing: testing.  I
> say this because the *real* testing happens with the alpha/beta/rc
> candidate install images, not with individual testers pulling packages
> from updates-testing.  And when trying to stabilize a product for GA,
> you want *everyone* testing the updates, not just a few.
> Instead, I think we ought to revamp the process like this:
> Maintainer A builds new package B
> Maintainer A files a bodhi ticket for package B
> In that ticket, the maintainer is responsible for list each item of
> change from the previous package already in the compose tree.  For
> example, did the upstream source get bumped, did any new patches get

I'd like to mention that an upstream source getting bumped doesn't mean
anything per se, so we should rather have criteria agnostic of arbitrary
parameters like this. For instance, it shouldn't make a shred of
difference whether I apply a patch in the spec file, or upstream, all
other things being the same (i.e. if tarball-1.0 + patch == tarball-1.1
+ changes we want to have anyway like updated translations).

>  applied, did any old patches stop being applied, are the changes
> verified bug fixes as tested in rawhide, are the changes isolated or
> are there feature additions as well, will this update create
> dependency problems from things such as an soname bump, will other
> packages need to be rebuilt.

^^ This.

> Finally, the bodhi update should be reviewed by people from release
> engineering, and if the ticket meets the requirements of a reasonable
> change at this late stage of the game, the ticket should be approved
> and the package pushed to stable.
> The point of this process is that when stabilizing the product for GA,
> we want to minimize unnecessary or risky churn, and that doesn't need
> testing, that needs a human to make a judgement call.  Then, once the
> judgement call is made, we need as much testing as possible to make
> the release as good as possible.  Holding things up in updates-testing
> and then releasing them later throws away untold instances of testing,
> wasting those resources on a package that may never be on the final
> product.  We need to make that judgement call, put the package in if
> we are going to, test the hell out of it, and fix any breakage we
> find.  We need this iterative "test, report breakage, fix, retest"
> process to be as fast as possible, and our current process moves at
> the speed of a salt coated slug.
> That's my proposed process for our early branched release.  Thoughts?

Looks like it would get things done.

Nils Philippsen      "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase 
Red Hat               a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty
nils at       nor Safety."  --  Benjamin Franklin, 1759
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