[Mageia-dev] Backports policy clarification (and discussion)

andre999 andre999mga at laposte.net
Sat Jun 9 12:04:41 CEST 2012

blind Pete a écrit :
> Samuel Verschelde wrote:
>> Le vendredi 8 juin 2012 20:20:54, David W. Hodgins a écrit :
>>> On Fri, 08 Jun 2012 10:22:41 -0400, Samuel Verschelde
>>> <stormi at laposte.net>
>> wrote:
>>>> I think you missed my point. If Mageia 1 "backports" has higher
>>>> versions than Mageia 2 "release" (not backports), upgrade can fail
>>>> because currently our tools do not take backports from the target
>>>> release (mageia 2) into account when upgrading a distro.
>>> In the upgrade from Mandriva 2010.2 to Mageia 1, it was made clear, that
>>> upgrading from a system with 2010.2 Backports was not supported.  It may
>>> work, but was not recommended.
>>> I think we should keep the same policy for the upgrade from Mageia 1 to
>>> 2.
>>> I.E.  Don't use backports if you are planning on later doing an upgrade,
>>> rather then a clean install.
>>> That way, Mageia 1 users who want firefox 13 can get it, without us
>>> having to replace the Mageia 2 iso images with an upgraded installer,
>>> that will keep backports enabled for 2, if it was enabled for 1.

Current tools will correctly update backports much of the time.  (From 
my experience.)
The tools just need to be reworked somewhat to ensure that backports are 
updated correctly all of the time.

>>> Regards, Dave Hodgins
>> Again, this is not the policy we adopted. When we defined the backports
>> policy (together, although it seems most people are just discovering it
>> now) we said that we didn't want to have backports that don't work, break
>> a system, or prevent upgrade.
>> However, I think that for DVD upgrade without internet access this is a
>> sensible option. But the upgrader should detect the situation itself, not
>> hope that the user will read somewhere in the release notes that it's not
>> supported.
> No, just include Cauldron's backport repositories (disabled by default)
> inside the DVD iso.  Upgrade to the release version, if possible.
> If that is not possible, upgrade to the version in backports.

Cauldron's backport repos will always be empty.
If you introduce a new package, or a new version of an existing package 
to Cauldron, it is not, by definition, a backport.  Even though the same 
version (not counting the revision) may be a backport for previous releases.

So if we do a release update to the latest release, backports will be 
replaced by regular packages except in those cases where a newer version 
has been introduced into Cauldron.  And if we update to Cauldron, all 
backports will be replaced by regular packages -- according to our 
backport policy.

>> And there should be a way for those who have internet access to upgrade
>> online *with* backports too.

True, to allow the user to do the release upgrade in one step.
>> Samuel

Effectively during release updates, we have to treat backports as 
updates to installed backports.
Because dependancies may differ between releases for the backport, 
installed backports will always have to be updated.
However many users are in a situation where they cannot do online 
updates when installing a release update,  (That is my situation.)  So 
they have to do updates as a separate step.
This means that in would be prudent to always treat backports as updates 
to installed backports, even if not doing a release update.
If all backports packages are tagged as backports (in the file name), it 
will be relatively easy for the tools to recognize and appropriately 
treat backports.

We have to avoid backports of packages that could make the system 
unbootable, or the major desktops unstartable, but note that this is 
already more than covered in the backport policy, under "packages scope".

In sum, as long as our tools can clearly identify backports, it should 
be easy to adapt them to properly treat backports.
So I think the policy should be changed to always tag backports in the 
revision part of the file name to facilitate recognition of backports, 
such as is usually done for "tainted" packages, and sometimes for "nonfree"

Maybe to facilitate keeping backports up to date, we should ensure that 
rpmdrake (and the other tools) include backports in the security and 
bugfix options.  This may already be the case.  (While still treating 
them as backports.)


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