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Re: Finding an improved release process.



>>>>> "alexeijh" == alexeijh  <alexeijh@westnet.com.au> writes:

    alexeijh> Desktop vs server. I currently use debian for my
    alexeijh> desktop/development workstation. I'm sure most of you do
    alexeijh> too. Do we need to identify and specify that we are for
    alexeijh> desktops just as much as servers?


Definitions:

reliability[remote]: Prevent breakage that disallows logging in
    remotely and fixing the problem. The worst case is if all current
    network connections die. The nest most serious case is if current
    connections are OK but new connections cannot be created. Even if
    the problem can be fixed, if the power fails at the wrong time...

reliability[obvious]: Prevent breakage that is not immediately
    obvious; This is annoying. Perhaps the worst case example is if it
    prevents the computer from rebooting (making it fall into the
    previous category). Upgrading kernels is potentially risky in this
    regard. If a vital service shuts down without the administrator
    knowing about it, this could be annoying even if the problem is
    extremely easy to fix.

reliability[hard]: Prevent breakage doesn't fall into either the above
    categories but is not easy to fix in, lets say under 5 minutes by
    a reasonable competent administrator.

reliability[easy]: Prevent breakage doesn't fall into either the above
    categories, i.e. it is easy to fix.

security[local]: Security of the local machine only.

security[network]: Security of the network; may require virus scanners
and firewall to be up-to-date. Obviously this implies security[local].



A server is more likely to be administrated remotely. It is more
likely to have remote Internet access (even if filtered via a
firewall). As such, the highest priorities, in order highest to
lowest, IMHO, are:

* Connectivity. Obviously it needs to work with whatever interfaces
  the site requires, including (if required) IO cards that require
  non-free software. This may require newest software in certain
  cases. In other cases it may complicate the process of upgrading the
  kernel (e.g. if non-free kernel drivers must be rebuilt).

* reliability[remote]
* reliability[obvious]
* reliability[hard]

* security[local]
* security[network]

* reliability[easy]

* up-to-date: Not an issue except as required for above points.

(note: an yucky implication here is that reliability might be more
important then kernel upgrades even if the kernel upgrade would fix
known security issues).



A desktop server on the other hand is more likely to be used by end
users. I can think of two categories:

NOVICE USER

* reliability[obvious]
* reliability[hard]
* reliability[easy]

  Doesn't want to have to fix breakage, and may not be able
  to. Breakage, no matter how minor might send some novice's straight
  to other distributions/OS.

* security[local]   (security[network] may or may not be an issue)

  Upgrading to latest security tools might get neglected.

* up-to-date: May want latest software package X, particularly if
  latest software is needed to meet requirements or if friends use
  latest software.

* reliability[remote]: generally not an issue


EXPERT USER:

* security[local]
* security[network]

* up-to-date: Probably wants latest software for everything, but only
  if time permits (especially if breakage likely).

* reliability[remote]   (possible depending on usage)
* reliability[obvious]
* reliability[hard]
* reliability[easy]

  Prefers not to have to fix breakage, but is capable of doing
  so. User typically has direct console access, meaning boot problems
  can be fixed on-site and network problems can be fixed on-site.


Just my thoughts, probably with a strong bias towards my experience. I
have defined 3 different categories of users. I have deliberately
avoided making any comment on how well Debian currently meets the
requirements of these users.

Also take note of the way I have juggled around the priorities for the
different users.

This probably isn't the only way of categorising users of Debian, but
rather it is to provoke discussion...

I think it might be most important to work out the requirements before
trying to decide a solution.
-- 
Brian May <bam@debian.org>



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