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Re: Linux 2.0.36 in slink?

On Thu, Dec 17, 1998 at 11:07:29PM -0500, Joey Hess wrote:
> Oscar Levi wrote:
> > Not necessarily true.  A crash bug that affects 1 out of 10000 runs of
> > a program is not release critical.
> That is correct.
> > A security hole, in of itself, is not a release critical bug.
> That is incorrect.
> You seem to be confusing a bug that crashes the kernel and a security hole
> that may crash the kernel, or allow access to private info, or anything
> else. A security hole can be reproduced at will by an attacker, without a
> great deal of difficulty.

Is it correct that this security hole requires login access to the
computer?  If an attack can be perpetrated from anywhere on the
internet to an internet connected computer, then it is clear that the
hole in 2.0.35 has a high probability of exploitation since a large
percentage GNU/Linux systems are Internet connected.  If the attack
requires access to a user account on the machine, then the exploit is
overrated.  It is all in the interpretation of 'great deal of

> > We don't have guidelines for release that we can use to decide if this
> > is important or not.
> Yes we do. We have a release manager who says we will not ship if we have
> critical bugs. We have a definition[1] of critical bugs that says "critical
> makes unrelated software on the system (or the whole system) break, or
> causes serious data loss, or introduces a >>>security hole<<< on systems
> where you install the package."

While the opinion of a release manager is the inevitable last stand
for determining when to release, it is not a substitute for parameters
that we ALL can measure.  Nor for a testing framework.

> > In your opinion, is it worth a three-week delay
> > to switch kernels?
> Yes. It's worth a delay to fix any security hole. Debian must not ship with
> known security holes. Quality is our priority, we have never sacrificed
> quality for marketing concerns.

Let's let the security issue pass.  It isn't important.  I agree we
should upgrade.  Now, at this point is it worth shipping slink?  By
the time we get around to gel'ing it, the packages will be out of
date.  Some already are.  

Software release is time-critical.  No matter how hard you beat the
quality drum, the distribution that can ship often will show the best.
RedHat has shipped several buggy distributions in the 5.x series.  I
just tried to install 5.2 and found a nest of problems.  Unpleasant as
it is, users can only choose a distribution that ships.  Hamm is out
of the running and the competition is fierce.  They shiped with bugs
that requires 30MB of updates.  But they shipped...and people use it.

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