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Re: Upload of GNOME 2.6 to unstable

On Sat, Apr 17, 2004 at 11:57:14AM -0500, Steve Langasek wrote:
> On Fri, Apr 16, 2004 at 12:10:00AM +0200, Jordi Mallach wrote:
> > As you know, the Debian GNOME team has been working on packaging
> > GNOME 2.6 during the last weeks. While many of us didn't count on having
> > them ready to opt for their inclussion in Sarge when we started, the
> > situation has changed now that packages are judged to be at least
> > unstable quality.

At the moment, afaics, packages have only been uploaded to experimental
for i386 and powerpc. Please make sure they're building on all
architectures before even considering a major change like this.

Second, the quality level you need to be thinking about for uploading
to unstable isn't "unstable quality", it's "release quality". Are these
packages suitable to form a basis for other developers' work? Are they
reliable for everyday use? Have they been run through any automated
test suites we have available (at a minimum building them in a
pbuilder/autobuild environment) and are they reliably passing? If not,
they're not release quality, so they're not "unstable" quality.

> > We'd like to hear what the release people think about attempting to get
> > GNOME 2.6 and GTK 2.4 into Sarge immediately. 

Looking at what's in experimental: you're not ready.

> > - the packages have been tested on !i386 thanks to Michel D?nzer's
> >   powerpc builds, which have uncovered some build errors that have also
> >   been fixed.

And if the first round of porting discovered errors, you should be
confident that the second round will also discover errors.

> > - AFAWCT, GNOME 2.6 wouldn't affect debootstrap sarge/sid at all: one of
> >   the transitions that have been performed in the new packages, the
> >   switch to gnutls10 isn't an issue as gnutls10 is already in Sarge's
> >   base system.

You need to check for interactions with other packages (mozilla, things
that have gtk interfaces that aren't part of Gnome proper, things that
rely on whatever version of gal is around, etc), and you need to check
that tasks and similar don't get broken. I'd expect the former to be a
problem, but the latter to be okay.

> > Before considering an upload to unstable, we would still need to
> > complete two outstanding TODO items:
> > - Debian #241706 / GNOME #138454: libeel2 btroke backwards compatibility
> > - Transition of GConf schemas files to /var

(Err, what's with saying "immediately" then?)

> Anthony and Colin may have other concerns; I'll let them speak for
> themselves.  For my own part, if you can address the above, I don't see
> any reason why GNOME 2.6 can't be allowed into unstable.

Our goal is to cope with transitions like this on fairly short notice. So
that if Gnome X.Y releases in June, we can have "release quality" Debian
packages in July, and include them in a new Debian stable release that
comes out in August.

There are obvious concerns at each point in the above:

	* Gnome X.Y might not be stable enough for release in a mainstream
	  distribution; we might need to wait for X.Y.1, or X.Y.2. We
	  might need more than a month to make this decision.

	* We might not be able to prepare release quality packages in a
	  month -- porting upstream stuff across all our architectures,
	  or adapting it to Debian policy, or providing some reasonable
	  testing, could easily take more than a month's work too.

	* Integrating the new set of packages into the distribution --
	  both satisfying dependencies so the testing scripts are happy,
	  and checking for bugs and misfeatures and incompatabilities
	  and fixing them so that _users_ are happy -- can take more than
	  a month too.

The best way of meeting the first two concerns is to prepare and maintain
the packages in experimental; that means finding people to build it
on various architectures, and pestering them when you make uploads,
and getting people to install the stuff you upload to experimental and
report problems.

You need to do some more of that before thinking about uploading to
unstable yet.

That'll go /some/ of the way to doing integration testing too, but will
leave some important bits undone. Steve pretty much covered how to work
on those -- make sure your dependencies are what you /really/ want, and
check through other packages to see if you're screwing them over or not.

When you've got that much done, we'll be able to make a good judgement call
about whether to add Gnome 2.6 to unstable or not.


Anthony Towns <aj@humbug.org.au> <http://azure.humbug.org.au/~aj/>
Don't assume I speak for anyone but myself. GPG signed mail preferred.

Protect Open Source in Australia from over-reaching changes to IP law
http://www.petitiononline.com/auftaip/ & http://www.linux.org.au/fta/

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