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Re: Definition of output of cloud project and discussion about possibly needed policies

Hi Lucas,

Thank you for taking the time to understand my concerns regarding the user experience of the Debian cloud images.

On Apr 15, 2014, at 12:19 AM, Lucas Nussbaum <leader@debian.org> wrote:

> <snip>
> As Jimmy pointed out, this was the topic of a BOF at DebConf.

I did try to review the video for the BoF. Unfortunately there are problems I'm running into with the media. The video on Youtube for the lecture (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCBSBYfpJqU) has pauses encoded in it around the 8 minute mark. It seems to have destroyed a good chunk of information. The start of the audience participation segment is unintelligible though later on there is some clear conversations. 

It appears to be a problem with the source media as the same issues occur at https://www.irill.org/videos/debconf13/Public_clouds_and_official_Debian_image_status.webm except that page has the additional problem that the downloaded media does not play for me even with VLC though the in browser player does work.

After watching the video I do have a better understanding of how the cloud project fits into Debian: its very official. 

> I just retried AWS image, and besides the addition of cloud-init and
> SSH, and the need to log in with 'admin', I haven't seen anything
> different from classical Debian installs (according to 'debfoster' and
> 'cruft').

I don't know the exact status of the current images as I had to checkpoint some earlier work of the cloud team so I could have an OS stable enough to let me solve my problems while not introducing more for me (and the software wasn't really the interrupting factor, it was the release cycle which came with testing). I wouldn't ever really say my user experience with the Debian produced cloud images on any platform hasn't looked and smelled on the surface exactly like Debian and my concerns aren't that when installed apt-get is missing or instead of the Linux kernel I've got the FreeBSD one.

My concern roots in the expectation of an individual looking for Debian/Stable. That individual isn't just expecting apt-get and the Linux kernel, they are expecting to not be experimented on. As far as I can tell producing software for a specific use case, distributing it for production use, and testing it in that capacity is exactly what the project goal is. It seems to me that experimenting on people with the released software is viewed as being necessary to accomplish the objectives of producing a universal cloud image. I'm still somewhat in shock from that realization as it severely violates my expectations as a long time Debian user.

My hope is that the experimentation is close to being done and that things are going to settle down. The churn delivered from the project has been reduced that is for sure. My concern is that nothing is around to prevent the very painful testing cycles that happened before except consensus which has failed to prevent that in the past. 

I think what may not be completely understood is that the images put up on the EC2 AMI list, for instance, are called "Debian Wheezy" but in reality is Debian/Stable Cloud/Testing. Its not clear, at all, to end users that some serious behavior changes are in order, the most important one being that testing is happening on you. There is real production infrastructure being used based on this pre-release work and the users can easily miss that sometimes critical point. 

> Thanks,
> Lucas

You are welcome and thank you also for trying to understand my concerns. This is rather stressful for me and not easy to handle well. Please understand as well that trying to talk in a room full of giants is extremely intimidating. So much so that I suspect quite a few people choose not to solely based on who the members of this team are.  The people who consume the work of the project also have full time jobs trying to keep servers from catching on fire and only a tiny percentage will be able to get the spare time to voice concerns while the changes are being pushed by individuals with full time jobs dedicated to achieving their business goals. 

This is a pretty strong conflict of interest and it has caused a degraded user experience in the past and is likely to cause it again in my opinion. 


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