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Old 11-10-2008, 01:50 PM
"David Nielsen"
 
Default Proposal: Rolling Release

2008/11/10 Eric Springer <erikina@gmail.com>

Fedora has always lead the progress of FOSS by closely following

upstream and making non-trivial contributions. I see this is a great

strength, and like many other people it's my primary reason for using

it. But it's not without trade-offs, such as giving Fedora a

perception of being 'beta' software and balancing new software without

burning the large user base is not easy either.



This hit home today, after being impressed with the work you guys have

done with plymouth, I did a quick Google search[1] to find out a

little more. The first result is a "Ubuntu brainstorm" page[2] about

implementing it in their own distribution and the second comment is "I

support the idea but I do think that it should only be considered

after Fedora has done all the dirty work of getting it to work". This

is no way intended as a criticism of a Ubuntu, but it's a realization

that distributions like Ubuntu are able to offer a better user

experience by using stable software on a longer support cycle.



So what I propose is that Fedora goes to a rolling release cycle.

Implemented properly I believe we can better achieve Fedoras

objectives[3] of rapidly progressing Free Open Source Software, while

providing a more user centric focus (and bringing something new to the

easy-to-use-table). While I would prefer to not get bogged down in the

technical details at this stage, we would need to provide software in

varying levels of stability.



Perhaps something like:

hemorrhaging -> rawhide -> stable -> rocksolid



Users should be able to very easily and freely move through the

levels, especially on a per-package basis (with PackageKit). It should

also be easy for users to "freeze" their system/package to only

receive security (and optionally bug) patches, as many aren't

interested in the constant upgrade cycle.



New features/software/functionality would be easily tested by the

masses without needing to upgrade the entire distribution. It would

give the open source community a massive user-base they could call

upon to test easily.



The average user would sit at the 'stable' level while perhaps

testing/using a few of their favorite software from rawhide. Servers

would typically sit at the rocksolid level, and use stable packages on

a needs-only basis.



Thoughts? Flames? Ideas?
We already have a pretty much rolling release, and in many cases it serves us best to attain stability. Take an application like Banshee, typically only the latest release will be supported upstream, keeping one version for a long time will thus not do our users any favors. Many applications are like that today, we really need to supply the latest to lessen the burden on maintainers. The same way with frameworks such as Mono (or KDE, GNOME), upstream today generally has good QA and if it's deemed stable enough for F10 then it should also be for F9. If something cannot be backported to earlier releases for stability reasons then it only has a place in rawhide.


Keeping the same platform across releases will cut down on the amount of code we have to maintain and it will keep our users supplied with the applications they crave.

There are distributions that does this, Foresight Linux e.g. and they are incidently greatly helped by Conary in this way of working. Gentoo also does this. Neither camp has ever reported serious issues with this approach to releasing updates and it seems generally appriciated by their users. It does though diminish the idea of a release, and would require much greater effort in QA underway (and find a convincing yet reasonably safe approach to con users into enabling updates-testing to smoothen the roll out of big updates).


I, for one, really like that I can install my F9 desktop and be sure that most of my applications are up to date, and in terms of maintaining I always did my best to keep the packages the same regardless of which release it was on simply because it was much less work supporting and confirming bugs this way.


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Old 11-10-2008, 02:58 PM
Michael Cronenworth
 
Default Proposal: Rolling Release

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Proposal: Rolling Release
From: Eric Springer <erikina@gmail.com>
To: fedora-devel-list@redhat.com
Date: 11/10/2008 07:42 AM



Thoughts? Flames? Ideas?




Actually, what Fedora needs already exists: preupgrade

It just needs to be turned into a mandatory update tool with PackageKit.
Joe Enduser needs to be able to click "Update Me!" and go from Fedora
9 to Fedora 10 with a single click.


Software moves too quickly today to have a "long term" distribution. If
you need "long term" look at a commercial distro like Red Hat (Cent OS).


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Old 11-10-2008, 03:47 PM
Rahul Sundaram
 
Default Proposal: Rolling Release

Michael Cronenworth wrote:

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Proposal: Rolling Release
From: Eric Springer <erikina@gmail.com>
To: fedora-devel-list@redhat.com
Date: 11/10/2008 07:42 AM



Thoughts? Flames? Ideas?




Actually, what Fedora needs already exists: preupgrade

It just needs to be turned into a mandatory update tool with PackageKit.
Joe Enduser needs to be able to click "Update Me!" and go from Fedora 9
to Fedora 10 with a single click.


Already implemented. PackageKit hooks up to Preupgrade and you would get
a desktop blurb letting you know that when a subsequent release of
Fedora is available.


Rahul

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Old 11-10-2008, 03:59 PM
"Jeff Spaleta"
 
Default Proposal: Rolling Release

On Mon, Nov 10, 2008 at 7:47 AM, Rahul Sundaram
> Already implemented. PackageKit hooks up to Preupgrade and you would get a
> desktop blurb letting you know that when a subsequent release of Fedora is
> available.

Uhm, is that notification going to happen on F9 systems the moment F10
is available? It might be wise to hold off a few days at least so
that the initial release day iso grab subsides from the mirrors.

-jef

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Old 11-10-2008, 04:01 PM
Patrice Dumas
 
Default Proposal: Rolling Release

On Mon, Nov 10, 2008 at 11:42:46PM +1000, Eric Springer wrote:
> varying levels of stability.
>
> Perhaps something like:
> hemorrhaging -> rawhide -> stable -> rocksolid

There has been a long thread about keeping infrastructure open after
normal end of life:
https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-October/msg00671.html
It is very long and very heated. I don't think it is time to restart the
flamewar. Maybe the other things you propose (be able to use parts of
rawhide through a gui) should better be in a thread not mentionning
something that smells like longer term support.

Are you satisfied with

yum update something --enable-repo=rawhide

on the command line? Or do you want to be able to also go back to older
versions?

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Old 11-10-2008, 04:01 PM
Patrice Dumas
 
Default Proposal: Rolling Release

On Mon, Nov 10, 2008 at 09:58:52AM -0600, Michael Cronenworth wrote:
>
> Actually, what Fedora needs already exists: preupgrade
>
> It just needs to be turned into a mandatory update tool with PackageKit.
> Joe Enduser needs to be able to click "Update Me!" and go from Fedora 9
> to Fedora 10 with a single click.

It is very different than what the other person asked for. That being
said I don't think it is time to revive recent flamewars.

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Old 11-10-2008, 04:27 PM
Les Mikesell
 
Default Proposal: Rolling Release

Rahul Sundaram wrote:

Michael Cronenworth wrote:

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Proposal: Rolling Release
From: Eric Springer <erikina@gmail.com>
To: fedora-devel-list@redhat.com
Date: 11/10/2008 07:42 AM



Thoughts? Flames? Ideas?




Actually, what Fedora needs already exists: preupgrade

It just needs to be turned into a mandatory update tool with
PackageKit. Joe Enduser needs to be able to click "Update Me!" and go
from Fedora 9 to Fedora 10 with a single click.


Already implemented. PackageKit hooks up to Preupgrade and you would get
a desktop blurb letting you know that when a subsequent release of
Fedora is available.


The real missing piece is 'undo' when you find out that a change in the
new version breaks something that you need. Does anyone know if that
actually works on systems using conary (i.e. can you back up a major
revision)?


If that's not feasible, how about something else, useful in its own
right: a migration tool that would let you move an existing system to
different hardware or in/out of VMware/virtualbox, etc., preferably with
the ability to keep everything but the system partitions intact and
shared. Then when it is time to upgrade, you could migrate into a
virtualbox image or spare machine, upgrade that, then after testing your
apps and usage, migrate it to the host hardware.


Or if that's too complicated, how about an option to pre-allocate a
spare system partition during the initial install for the next version
and have that upgrade process give you a dual-boot system so you have a
way back. Then the next upgrade would rotate back to the first
partition, and so on.


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Old 11-10-2008, 04:57 PM
"Martin Langhoff"
 
Default Proposal: Rolling Release

On Mon, Nov 10, 2008 at 12:27 PM, Les Mikesell <lesmikesell@gmail.com> wrote:
> The real missing piece is 'undo' when you find out that a change in the new
> version breaks something that you need. Does anyone know if that actually
> works on systems using conary (i.e. can you back up a major revision)?

Using hardlink forests, Scott's olpc-update does some of that. It's
not integrated to rpm/yum but it could easily be turned into a "cheap
snapshot" without having to wait for ZFS/BTRFS. I am not madly in love
with it, but it does its job.

You'll find - however- that applications and desktop environments
often upgrade their storage formats, so your downgrade path may be
well oiled in the rpm/yum sense, and yet completely unusable for end
users.

cheers,



m
--
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- ask interesting questions
- don't get distracted with shiny stuff - working code first
- http://wiki.laptop.org/go/User:Martinlanghoff

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Old 11-10-2008, 05:02 PM
Rahul Sundaram
 
Default Proposal: Rolling Release

Jeff Spaleta wrote:

On Mon, Nov 10, 2008 at 7:47 AM, Rahul Sundaram

Already implemented. PackageKit hooks up to Preupgrade and you would get a
desktop blurb letting you know that when a subsequent release of Fedora is
available.


Uhm, is that notification going to happen on F9 systems the moment F10
is available? It might be wise to hold off a few days at least so
that the initial release day iso grab subsides from the mirrors.


It is a Fedora 10 feature and that requires that new packagekit. Not
available for Fedora 9 users (yet).


Rahul

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Old 11-10-2008, 05:05 PM
Rahul Sundaram
 
Default Proposal: Rolling Release

Les Mikesell wrote:

Rahul Sundaram wrote:

Michael Cronenworth wrote:

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Proposal: Rolling Release
From: Eric Springer <erikina@gmail.com>
To: fedora-devel-list@redhat.com
Date: 11/10/2008 07:42 AM



Thoughts? Flames? Ideas?




Actually, what Fedora needs already exists: preupgrade

It just needs to be turned into a mandatory update tool with
PackageKit. Joe Enduser needs to be able to click "Update Me!" and
go from Fedora 9 to Fedora 10 with a single click.


Already implemented. PackageKit hooks up to Preupgrade and you would
get a desktop blurb letting you know that when a subsequent release of
Fedora is available.


The real missing piece is 'undo' when you find out that a change in the
new version breaks something that you need. Does anyone know if that
actually works on systems using conary (i.e. can you back up a major
revision)?


Not feasible for RPM due to pre/post scripts. The rudimentary roll back
support in RPM has actually been removed in 4.6. It probably needs the
underlying filesytem to support snapshots. Something like btrfs needs to
be in place first.


If that's not feasible, how about something else, useful in its own
right: a migration tool that would let you move an existing system to
different hardware or in/out of VMware/virtualbox, etc., preferably with
the ability to keep everything but the system partitions intact and
shared. Then when it is time to upgrade, you could migrate into a
virtualbox image or spare machine, upgrade that, then after testing your
apps and usage, migrate it to the host hardware.


Or if that's too complicated, how about an option to pre-allocate a
spare system partition during the initial install for the next version
and have that upgrade process give you a dual-boot system so you have a
way back. Then the next upgrade would rotate back to the first
partition, and so on.


File RFE's in http://bugzilla.redhat.com. Otherwise it will likely just
get lost in a long thread.


Rahul

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