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Re: Temporal Release Strategy

On Wed, Apr 20, 2005 at 04:56:32AM +0200, Adrian Bunk wrote:
> The rules and goals of testing are clear.
> The more interesting points are the problems of testing that several 
> years of using it have shown.
> > If package FOO has a RC bug, then everything that depends on FOO will be
> > stuck AT WHATEVER POINT IT IS IN THE PROCESS until FOO is fixed.  If
> > fixing FOO breaks BAR, then they all wait again until BAR is fixed.  Use
> > of experimental to work through some of these issues would help.
> > I'm not saying it won't take manual coordination to handle complex
> > changes to the system.  I'm not saying it will make anyone's life
> > easier.  What my proposal will do is provide the ability to decide when
> > package $PACKAGE makes it into stable, we will call that an official
> > release and give it a number.  Alternatively, you could declare every
> > $INTERVAL Debian releases.  What is in stable should have been well
> > tested, and supportable.  Stable no longer is a static concept, but a
> > slowly evolving thing.  If you cannot wrap your mind around to accepting
> > a stable that evolves, we could snapshot stable at release data and make
> > a separate archive (really a Packages.gz and related files as long as
> > the version of the package in the release exists in the package pool).
> You completely miss my point:
> There are several transitions every month, and a big transition can 
> involve several hundred packets.
> Your proposal requires, that _every single_ package that is part of a 
> transition has to be both ready and in testing for over 3 months before 
> it can enter your proposed "candidate".
> If _one_ of the packages that is part of a transition is updated in 
> testing during this time, the 3 months start again. For bigger 
> transitions, it's therefore practically impossible that they will be 
> able to enter your "candidate".

I don't believe I missed your point, you just don't seem to be able to
grasp the fact that I intend candidate to change slowly. 

Yes, I am proposing that every package involved in a transition be of
adequate quality to be promoted to candidate.  The purpose of the entire
release system is to ensure the quality of the Debian distribution.
Debian releases "when it's ready" because Debian demands a certain
minimum level of quality (currently defined as an arbitrary number of RC
bugs in packages of variable importance in the distribution as seen by
the release manager).  I'm proposing a system that allows "when it's
ready" to be defined and automated.  Our current release system places
an enormous burden on the release manager.

> Please try to understand the limitations of testing before proposing 
> something even stricter.

I understand the limitations of testing.  In fact, I am depending on the
limitations of the testing rules to ensure that candidate is of adequate
quality and changes slowly enough to be used on desktop workstations and
that stable is adequate for servers.

I am proposing a system that removes some of the arbitrary nature of
what we call a stable package.  I'm proposing that we define QUALITY
CONTROL standards that ALL packages adhere to so that when someone says
they recommend Debian's testing/candidate/stable release, they can point to a
testing system that allows the person to select which branch they use
based upon well know published criteria for the stability of that
particular branch.  The user controls the amount of risk they are
willing to have in their system.

Testing, candidate and stable should change progressively slower.  That
is the entire point.



Patrick Ouellette
Amateur Radio: KB8PYM 

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