[Mageia-dev] please stop doing "bugs" for updating magia 1

Buchan Milne bgmilne at zarb.org
Thu Jan 12 12:19:02 CET 2012

On Thursday, 12 January 2012 11:27:59 Antoine Pitrou wrote:
> On Thu, 12 Jan 2012 11:05:34 +0200
> Buchan Milne <bgmilne at zarb.org> wrote:
> > An approach that doens't include a bug filed with the distribution means
> > the user doesn't really seem interested in receiving an update from the
> > distribution.
> Do note there are bugs that may go unnoticed by the user even though
> they are affected (for example if they have to do with resource
> consumption or subtle data corruption or other reliability stuff).

Right, and in most cases, upstreams should make enough noise about issues like 
that so maintainers know to push an update. Upstreams that don't are 
irresponsible, or have their heads in the ground.

> > If you just want every new piece of software as soon as possible, you
> > should run Cauldron.
> Obviously, that's not what I want.
> > 1)Why users who are not affected by some obscure bug (e.g. typo in a man
> > page they will never read) should be forced to download unnecessary
> > packages (at high cost in some cases)
> This is already the case. Regularly Mageia suggests me updates that I
> have not asked for since I have not filed a bug for them (and may not
> even be affected).

'users who are unaffected' and 'I didn't ask for an update' are vastly 
different things. But, it seems you also don't want to get an unnecessarily 
huge volume of updates ...

> Besides, your example is silly: I don't know of a software project that
> makes new releases only to fix typos in man pages. Bugfix releases *do*
> contain worthwhile fixes.

Sure, but on average, probably 75% or more of the software in a release will 
have some upstream release that has at least one bugfix in it per year, does 
that mean that we should ship updates to 75% of the packages for each 
supported distro every year?

> > 2)How you will identify all upstreams which have a good history of
> > bugfix-only releases, and how you will automate the selection of these
> > packages to go to updates, and how you will streamline this process
> > through QA.
> Each packager can decide if their upstream package is well-behaved or
> not. Of course, better be conservative and not package bugfix releases
> if you aren't totally confident. Still, some upstream teams *are*
> well-behaved.

Right, and this is (mostly) done, although IMHO the updates policy needs to be 
updated to make this more explicit.

> > Anyway, you seem to be of the assumption that all the contributors to the
> > distribution you are using have so much more time on their hands than you
> > do, while in actual fact I believe almost all contributors are *very*
> > contstrained on time.
> Relying on upstream for bug fixes may actually free some of the time
> spent doing custom patching and testing.

You assume:
1)Upstream and packager have no relationship
2)Bugfixes are done in isolation

> But I agree volunteer time is a
> big blocker in most open source projects.
> > If you don't think it is worth your time to help out, why should we
> > waste time (which could be used to ensure the next release has all
> > bugfixes) on new bugfix releases we don't need?
> Usually bugs are fixed for a reason (i.e. they affect someone
> somewhere). Why you think people don't need bug fixes is beyond me:

That wasn't the argument. The argument is that there is a cost to every 
update, and the question that has to be answered is whether the minimal 
improvement in some package is worth the time, effort, resource, bandwidth 
involved, or whether the user is better served by having a completely up-to-
date minimal-bug-affected-release 2 months later, than having 1000 updates 
shipped every month and a new low quality release in 2 months, which forces 
more updates down their expensive internet connection, leaving them with a 
high cost, low quality experience.

> Mageia users aren't, presumably, more stupid / more careless than users
> of other distributions.

No, but the point of Mageia is to provide a usable distribution, not one where 
you get breakage every 2nd week due to supposed 'bugfix' releases of new 


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