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Old 10-12-2012, 08:47 AM
Riku Voipio
 
Default (seemingly) declinging bug report numbers

On Thu, Oct 11, 2012 at 09:45:58PM +0200, Simon Josefsson wrote:
> Marco Nenciarini <mnencia@debian.org> writes:
> > I've seen recently several company I'm working with getting away from
> > Debian in favor of Ubuntu because they have a LTS version. However I
> > don't know if this is a general trend.

> I can confirm the trend for a couple of organisations. The primary
> reason that I identified was the retirement of security support for
> Lenny and that Lenny packages are removed from many Debian mirrors which
> made it difficult to use Lenny machines. IMHO, supporting an OS release
> for only 3 years is not long enough.

Well the challenge is that everyone has a opinion what Debian should do,
but few are ready to WORK to make it happen. Getting volunteers to be
interested in maintining 3 years old release is hard enough. If companies
and organisations are not prepared to assign people to work on debian LTS,
it is unlikely to happen.

While people want LTS, they still want latest version of various apps
they use (browser, new gcc and python for some inhouse development, etc),
as well as support for all the new hardware they buy. Solving these two
goals at the same time is tricky. We'd like to have the cake and eat it
too.

My gut feeling is that when people say "We want long term support for
old distro releases", they mean "We have had so many bad experiences of
things breaking when upgrading the whole distro, that we'd rather not
upgrade if possible".

Which means the root of the problem is regressions when upgrading.

Riku


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Old 10-12-2012, 07:53 PM
Christoph Anton Mitterer
 
Default (seemingly) declinging bug report numbers

On Thu, 2012-10-11 at 21:45 +0200, Simon Josefsson wrote:
> IMHO, supporting an OS release for only 3 years is not long enough.

I think that such very-long-term security support is quite an illusion.

Of course, problems found get then back-ported,... but software changes
so rapidly while usually the quite recent versions are
tested/analysed... so it's questionable whether issues in very old
versions will ever be found (be the good guys), simply because they are
no longer that intensively looked at.

No to speak about all issues that get silently closed, simply because no
one ever notices that there was actually a problem.


So IMHO, the older software gets, the less security support can be
provided. Personally I think the 3 years are fine.


Cheers,
Chris.
 
Old 10-12-2012, 08:13 PM
Christoph Anton Mitterer
 
Default (seemingly) declinging bug report numbers

On Thu, 2012-10-11 at 13:40 +0200, Stefano Zacchiroli wrote:
> I wonder: did upstream developers start to worry when the number of bugs
> report they received *directly* started to decrease, due to Debian
> distributing their software?
Well but that's a different situation isn't it? I mean Debian typically
doesn't "duplicate" what upstream is doing, but in your example rather
serve as some intermediate layer for bugs, either directly solving them
(and then hopefully push that upstream) or simply forwarding the bugs.

With derivatives, it's not only that (don't know how much of the bugs
e.g. reported at Ubuntu are then forwarded to Debian, if they manage the
respective package themselves)... the really copy and make the same
work...

And I can't quite believe that this doesn't ultimately take users and
manpower away from Debian.

An example is that, especially stuff from the commercial- (or at least
non-open-source-) world seems to drop out Debian from their supported
major distros and replace it by *buntu (given that it must be "better"
for its "commercial support").... well at least in my experience.


> In fact, the resulting ecosystem probably
> brings *more* users and bug report to them than before, albeit now they
> are mediated. Looks like the same situation.
I wonder whether the majority of the Debian community sees it like
that... especially the Debian/*buntu relationship.


Guess I'll be in the minority, but I think all that is quite worrying
for Debian's long term future.



Cheers,
Chris.
 
Old 10-13-2012, 02:43 AM
Charles Plessy
 
Default (seemingly) declinging bug report numbers

Le Fri, Oct 12, 2012 at 11:47:30AM +0300, Riku Voipio a écrit :
>
> While people want LTS, they still want latest version of various apps
> they use (browser, new gcc and python for some inhouse development, etc),
> as well as support for all the new hardware they buy. Solving these two
> goals at the same time is tricky. We'd like to have the cake and eat it
> too.

There may be some light at the end of the tunnel with two game-changing
developments:

- The possibility to copy packages between archives with the same interface
already in use to manage DM permissions. This could be used to allow the
maintainer of a package in Testing to copy it to Backports.
(https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2012/09/msg00008.html)

- The transfer of a package's regression tests from the build process to
the "autopkgtest" system. This would allow to frequently test that packages
in Backports are working. (http://dep.debian.net/deps/dep8/)

In my field (command-line bioinformatics), where the build dependencies are
often simple and not too demanding, it think it will be straightforward to
provide up-to-date backports even if the support for Stable is extended of a
few years.

Have a nice day,

--
Charles Plessy
Debian Med packaging team,
http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-med
Tsurumi, Kanagawa, Japan


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Old 10-13-2012, 06:35 PM
Wouter Verhelst
 
Default (seemingly) declinging bug report numbers

On Fri, Oct 12, 2012 at 10:13:51PM +0200, Christoph Anton Mitterer wrote:
> On Thu, 2012-10-11 at 13:40 +0200, Stefano Zacchiroli wrote:
> > I wonder: did upstream developers start to worry when the number of bugs
> > report they received *directly* started to decrease, due to Debian
> > distributing their software?
> Well but that's a different situation isn't it?

No, it isn't.

> I mean Debian typically doesn't "duplicate" what upstream is doing,

No. However, Debian is an upstream to many other distributions, just as
upstream developers are to us.

> but in your example rather serve as some intermediate layer for bugs,
> either directly solving them (and then hopefully push that upstream)
> or simply forwarding the bugs.

How is that any different from downstream distributions?

> With derivatives, it's not only that (don't know how much of the bugs
> e.g. reported at Ubuntu are then forwarded to Debian, if they manage the
> respective package themselves)... the really copy and make the same
> work...

Not in all cases.

[...]
> And I can't quite believe that this doesn't ultimately take users and
> manpower away from Debian.
>
> An example is that, especially stuff from the commercial- (or at least
> non-open-source-) world seems to drop out Debian from their supported
> major distros and replace it by *buntu (given that it must be "better"
> for its "commercial support").... well at least in my experience.

On the whole, commercial entities cooperate better with other commercial
entities than they do with volunteer organizations, just as much as
volunteer organizations cooperate better with other volunteer
organizations instead of other commercial entities. There may be
exceptions, however, though strictly speaking canonical isn't one of
them (otherwise we wouldn't have be having this discussion yet again).

I don't expect most major corporations to see Debian as something they
can work with, mostly because Debian is something so far removed from
what such entities are used to be dealing with that it's not something
they can wrap their collective minds around. That's a pity, but it's not
the fault of our commercial derivatives. The fact that they can take
Debian, make some changes so it does something they think is important,
and then offer that to major corporations in a way that these
corporations will be interested in the offer is a good thing, and in no
way threatening to Debian.

I don't think Debian is losing ground to Ubuntu. If anything, Ubuntu is
gaining ground on non-free software. You can't be angry about that.

--
Copyshops should do vouchers. So that next time some bureaucracy requires you
to mail a form in triplicate, you can mail it just once, add a voucher, and
save on postage.


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Old 10-15-2012, 01:25 AM
Christoph Anton Mitterer
 
Default (seemingly) declinging bug report numbers

On Sat, 2012-10-13 at 20:35 +0200, Wouter Verhelst wrote:
> No. However, Debian is an upstream to many other distributions, just as
> upstream developers are to us.
Don't think that's true.

When Debian takes software from upstreams, it's majorly a case of making
a collection (of course with adaptions).


When a derivative take Debian, it's - compared to single software - more
like forking it.


Now forks can have benefits for (free) software, but they also can have
disadvantages, especially if there's no good reason for forking.

Some of Debian's forks may do so because they want to add modifications
which they wouldn't get into Debian easily. E.g. for policy/DFSG
reasons...
I guess that's ok,... but one can already question whether it wouldn't
be better if it was tried to bring these changes into a state where they
fit the quality of Debian.

Some of course are special ones like rescue disks or so... no problem
with them.

In the case of *buntu... well to be honest I don't really see a reason
unless someone wanted to create a company behind his distro, which
wasn't possible with Debian.
And IMHO, making it more "desktop/user" friendly (actually I don't think
that Debian would be not) would have also been possible in Debian
itself.


> On the whole, commercial entities cooperate better with other commercial
> entities than they do with volunteer organizations, just as much as
> volunteer organizations cooperate better with other volunteer
> organizations instead of other commercial entities.
That's true... but wrt Ubuntu it sounds rather like an excuse, because
many projects show that it's well possible to build up commercial
support without making a fork.


> I don't think Debian is losing ground to Ubuntu.
Well we'll see... I'm quite sceptical... and truly hope I'm wrong and
people can look back in some years and laugh what that Mitterer jerk
wrote about


> If anything, Ubuntu is
> gaining ground on non-free software. You can't be angry about that.
That's a tricky question... ask yourself what RMS would probably answer.

Making opensource more open for proprietary stuff is sometimes simply
necessary... but this may ultimately also become a big threat for the
free software world, namely then when that non-free stuff plays such an
important role that we couldn't get rid of it anymore.

When you followed that recent discussion on lkml, where some Nvidia guys
wanted to remove GPL from some kernel source files (for their evil
deeds )... you may see what I'm thinking about.


Cheers,
Chris.
 
Old 10-15-2012, 05:01 AM
Russ Allbery
 
Default (seemingly) declinging bug report numbers

Christoph Anton Mitterer <calestyo@scientia.net> writes:

> When Debian takes software from upstreams, it's majorly a case of making
> a collection (of course with adaptions).

> When a derivative take Debian, it's - compared to single software - more
> like forking it.

Except it's not, because that's not what Ubuntu does. Most of the
packages are imported into Ubuntu unmodified. Among those that are
modified, most of the modifications are exactly the minor changes that
Debian makes to upstream, and Ubuntu folks are generally quite happy to
drop the patch when possible.

I've both been upstream for software packaged in Debian and the Debian
packager of software imported into Ubuntu, and the experiences are very
similar.

> In the case of *buntu... well to be honest I don't really see a reason
> unless someone wanted to create a company behind his distro, which
> wasn't possible with Debian.

Ubuntu has a much different release cycle, a different set of goals in
terms of what packages to focus on and what bugs have to be fixed, and a
different default desktop environment, all of which would be extremely
difficult to do in Debian directly, and would at least have involved a
vast amount of discussion.

--
Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org) <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>


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Old 10-15-2012, 06:11 AM
Tollef Fog Heen
 
Default (seemingly) declinging bug report numbers

]] Christoph Anton Mitterer


[...]

> In the case of *buntu... well to be honest I don't really see a reason
> unless someone wanted to create a company behind his distro, which
> wasn't possible with Debian.

Do you remember the sorry state of, for instance hotplugging of devices
and the utterly poor integration with desktops back in 2004 when Ubuntu
first started? It was a _huge_ step forward.

> And IMHO, making it more "desktop/user" friendly (actually I don't think
> that Debian would be not) would have also been possible in Debian
> itself.

I don't think it would be possible to make some of the
large-scale-across-the-board changes that Ubuntu does, in Debian. We're
a lot of people, we have a culture of discussing every change in every
detail and in practice people feel like they can rightfully block other
people's work. We're also generally unable to choose a single solution
and prefer to say «both» rather than A or B.

[...]

> That's a tricky question... ask yourself what RMS would probably answer.

I use RMS as a guide in the same way that a boat captain would use a
lighthouse. It's good to know where it is, but you generally don't want
to find yourself in the same spot.

--
Tollef Fog Heen
UNIX is user friendly, it's just picky about who its friends are


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