[Mageia-dev] How will be the realese cycle?

Fernando Parra gato2707 at yahoo.com.mx
Sat Oct 16 05:00:14 CEST 2010

On Fri, 15 Oct 2010 12:42:03 +0100
Buchan Milne <bgmilne-tobu8poG+uhSwrhanM7KvQ at public.gmane.org> wrote:

Hi Buchan.

First, I believe this is the beginning of a long term friendship, I really love your answers, Is very clear for myself we aren't agree in a lot of points, but both are looking the same thing, we only differ in the method.

> On Friday, 15 October 2010 03:48:56 Fernando Parra wrote:
> > Hi everybody.
> > 
> > I feel that the concept of a new way, as it exist into my mind is not
> > completely understood. Let me try to re-explain again. Please be patient
> > and excuses any mistake with my English (I'm totally out of practice):
> > 
> > I'm talking about to liberate to novice/novel/without experience user,
> > about concepts like backports, but I'm not talking about
> > close/disappear/eliminate/forgot backports.
> > 
> > Why? because a big share of them will arrive from a very different
> > environment (especially windows), and as you now, in there those concepts
> > are not only estrange, they simply don't exists. When a Windows user
> > wants/needs to update a program, as much the only thing that he/she must
> > do is unninstall the old/previous version and then install the new one.
> > 
> > What programs? Following the same idea, about these kind of users, we
> > should ask: what programs they usually upgrade? The answer could be found
> > asking to the user's themselves, but certainly could be another ways.
> > 
> > Why not all backports? Reason 1: Because a lot of them don't care about the
> > new version of CUPS (in example) or the new version of Maxima (I'm sure
> > there are a lot clearly examples). Reason 2: Because there are packages
> > that may causes some incidents after upgrade them.
> > 
> > How we can solve this situation? Offering a default automatic upgrade for a
> > small group of packages, especially when they change in an important way,
> > in example Firefox 3.6x 3.6x+ or to 4.x
> > 
> > With this in mind:
> > > What aspects of the Mandriva backports solution are not satisfactory?
> > > 
> > > -The fact that not everything is available as a backport?
> > 
> > Not all are in backports, more these users don't want/understand a big
> > share of them
> So, we must "dumb down" everything, and not provide openldap backports for 
> people running servers who want a convenient way to run the software version 
> that will allow them to file bugs upstream (OpenLDAP team doesn't respond to 
> bugs filed on non-current releases)?

Specially here the answer is obvious: The novice doesn't now what is OpenLDAP! and maybe he wont hear about it for the rest of his life. New versions of OpenLDAP should be stay available in the backports repository, not as an automatic available upgrade.

> > > -That users don't know how to request a backport?
> > 
> > That is true, more, they don't want to learn about that, they only want a
> > new version of their favourite program.
> What do we do in the case where a new version of some software is available, 
> and has been sent to cooker? How do we decide whether it should go to 
> backports or not? And for which releases?
> (FYI, for Mandriva users can typically request backports in bugzilla or on 
> IRC, but we may need better means).

Ok, first at all, we must deicide what packages (not all of them!) will be at the Rolling Ligth model. After that, all this packages must have an appropriate path.

> > > -That too many backports are available?
> > 
> > This is matter of who are revising backports, for novice? Yes there are to
> > many. For the geek or the expert? Maybe never there will enough of them.
> > 
> > > -That all users don't get them by default?
> > > -That users doing network installs by default don't get the backport on
> > > initial installation?
> > 
> > No, they are not get them if we will use a potentially problematic
> > repository.
> > 
> > > -That users aren't aware of backports?
> > > -Something else?
> > 
> > Panic? Fear? Baal, Luzbel and other demons in their minds?
> > 
> > > Technically speaking?
> > > Less than 'urpmi --searchmedia Backports chromium' ?
> > 
> > If I was a novice my answer will be: What hell is that?
> This was a response to 'users must do less', not 'it must be very easy'. At 
> present, users need to do just one thing. We can fix the ease of doing that 
> one thing, if we understand the problem correctly.

Some times easy doesn't means "do less", I think in this particular case must means Understandable.

> I note you chose to leave out:
> > > Or, should it be more obvious in rpmdrake or similar? How about
> > > commenting on my proposal for UI change in rpmdrake making backports
> > > more obvious?
> The proposal I refer to is:
> "
> Now, maybe the user interface needs to be improved. For example, maybe there 
> should be no dropdown box, but instead when searching for a package by name, 
> it should show you all the versions:
> ============================================================================
> Find: | digikam         | In: ->Graphical applications   |By: ->Package Name
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Package|                |Status                          | Action          
> +digikam                |Security update recommended     |Update            |
> - 1.3.0-1mdv            |Installed                       |Uninstall         |
> - 1.3.0-1.1mdv          |Security Update                 |Update            |
> - 1.4.0-4mdv            |Unsupported upgrade (backport)  |Upgrade           |
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
> digikam - A KDE ........
> =============================================================================
> "
> Further, we could have some settings regarding what the user's preference is, 
> and possibly even per-package. For example, maybe the user would not like only 
> updates by default, except for chromium and pidgin where they want backports. 
> Or, maybe another user wants all backports, except OpenOffice.org, where they 
> just want  updates.
> > > Again, before we can decide what *more* we should do (what significant
> > > resources we need to commit), maybe we should first understand why the
> > > existing features (which have significant effort behind them) are not
> > > resulting in user satisfaction.
> > 
> > More and more reasons to prepare very carefully our offer. All we here
> > appreciate those efforts and there are no way to send them to trash
> > 
> > > Personally I think a poll without educating everyone about what exactly
> > > each choice would mean is useless. We first need to elaborate detailed
> > > alternatives before anyone can make an informed choice.
> > 
> > IMHO, a democracy without education is not democracy, is populism. I agree
> > at all, we need first elaborate a well structured alternatives and then,
> > explicitly after inform and educate our community we can run a poll, or
> > prepare a council, or any other appropriated way.
> > 
> > > backports should be supported for security patches and bug fixes just
> > > like the main packages (if not instead of the main packages).
> > > Of course the security patch could be simply provided by backporting a
> > > newer version of the package, no need to make patches for each version.
> > 
> > That is essential, any upgrade must be supported (other valid reason for an
> > small group of packages).
> Note that this can be difficult. For example, if (say) 2010.1 has shipped with 
> samba 3.5.3, and let's say we shipped samba 3.5.5 in backports, now a security 
> update is required, updates provides 3.5.3-1.1mdv with a patch, but 3.5.6 
> doesn't build without substantial work.
> Now, in order to provide a rapid update, the maintainer now needs to either:
> -apply the patch to 3.5.5 and ship this to cooker and backports, and later 
> work on 3.5.6 for cooker, and then send it to backports again
> -work on 3.5.6 until it works, and leave users without a security update for a 
> few days
> These decisions have quite an impact on the cost of supporting the distro ...

Again, IHMO, these kind of packages (samba, nfs, cups, etc.) now are in the main repository, and of course they must be frozen, except for security updates, and if a new version occurs, it should be in backports repository or in Cauldron or at any place that will be appropriated.
> > > What I mean is basically when new updates get presented (which would
> > > include new backports) the user could untick specific packages (as is
> > > possible now) but also have a second tick-box to store the choice
> > > permanently in the skip.list.
> > > This would give the user more choice of which packages he wants to always
> > > update to the newest version and wich ones he/she prefers to keep frozen
> > > at the same version.
> > 
> > Please try to explain that to my grandma, or maybe you could be lucky with
> > some of my students.
> How easy this is to use depends on the UI. For example, the updates window 
> could be reduced to be "Apply all recommended updates", "Apply only security 
> updates", and "Advanced", which would show the list of packages to update (and 
> provide options similar to the above, but slightly different). Your grandma 
> shouldn't click the "Advanced" button.

If my grandma watch the word "Advanced", she simply call me by phone and order me: Come here right now!.

> Regards,
> Buchan

Let me relate a true history (and it isn't a joke): few years ago, I was a technical support manager in an international bank, my main task was to have running all time, all computers in the bank (2000). When my guys were responding to a request for support, and when asked:
What happened? the first response was: 
I did nothing! 
Okay, a message appeared on the screen? 
Oh yes, but did not understand, then I hit the OK button. 
What was wrote in the Message?
I'm not a technician, I didn't read it.
Mmmm, and now what is the problem? 
Are you blind?, I can not start Word! (Or print or whatever)

I heard hundreds of times these kind of absurd conversations. 
The basic/novice user doesn't read anything, doesn't request anything to some like a bugzilla, If you show on his screen some like your proposal, he usually take one of two different ways: 1) Check all the options or maybe worst 2) Close the window and he will think: "Oh hell, Why Linux is so hard?"

Anyway, after decide what packages will be in the Rolling Light, The OS must be gentle with the user and show a Window with a Message like that:

There are available a new version of Firefox(as an example). Do you want to install it?
NO,   Maybe Later,   Show me more information,    Yes

Please take in mind that we are trying to get a considerable number of new users. If we just keep doing things like today, we will certainly have new users, but they probably come from other distributions.
I'm not sure of the number of distributions that exist today, but I remember that there are more than 500. I think that despite how good it might be, it is in fact a form of cannibalism.

IHMO before to discuss what are the technical conflicts, we need to evaluate the benefits of any proposal focusing the point of view on what the users needs/wants.

As we said in Mexico: My home is your home.

Regards from México.

Fernando Parra <gato2707 at yahoo.com.mx>

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