[maemo-developers] Backwards compatibility broken PR1.1 SDK

From: Jeremiah Foster jeremiah at jeremiahfoster.com
Date: Wed Jan 20 23:50:02 EET 2010
On Jan 20, 2010, at 18:24, Graham Cobb wrote:

> On Wednesday 20 January 2010 16:32:23 Jeff Moe wrote:
>> For what it's worth, in the Fedora buildsystem (Koji), the buildsystem is
>> running with the latest updates. Perhaps investigating what the various
>> other distros do (especially Debian) and doing what they do would be a good
>> approach (if they have mostly all settled on similar approaches).
> Jeff, thanks for the input -- we certainly need to take a look at what other 
> projects do.
> I am most familiar with Debian.  There the challenge is very different.  
> Debian, like many distributions, is geared to creating periodic releases 
> containing a consistent set of packages.  It chooses to maximise stability 
> and, to some extent, quality by sacrificing time to release and, to some 
> extent, openness (only DD's can submit packages).  

I disagree. Debian has very high quality packages and software. Part of debian's success is its rigorous QA procedures. There is puiparts, lintian, and a considerable period of software traveling through testing which makes debian software high quality. Plus a good deal of packaging is done through teams so there are lots of eyes on packages. Debian also has a concept of "release critical" bugs and won't release until they are all gone. That is a commitment to quality that commercial operating systems cannot match - they have to meet sales goals and timetables.

Yes only DDs can upload packages to the ftp server. But even there the ftpmasters look at packages and check them before they go into the distribution. Anyone can join one of the packaging teams and submit a package into a debian subversion or git repo. I have contributed many packages over the years and am not a DD, nor do I feel the need to be one since I can get the software I want into debian so easily. It isn't really fair to say that Debian lacks openness.

> The consistent and tested 
> set of packages are then not touched (apart from critical security patches) 
> for the next 18 months or so while the next release is prepared.  That is not 
> the model the Maemo community members want as they want to be able to create 
> and launch new applications and new versions of applications in days, not 
> months.
> Debian testing is closer to the release goals of Maemo (although still quite 
> far away -- it takes a long time for something to propagate into testing and 
> relatively few new packages are added).  But Debian testing requires frequent 
> updates of all parts of the system, and no guarantees of support.

Actually not true. Debian has had security for testing for about four and a half years. 

>  The Debian 
> community is very clear that only people who can tolerate occasional broken 
> systems, and continuous change, should install testing.

I think you are referring to unstable here. I run testing everywhere, even production web servers, and I have few problems. Especially compared to the Ubuntu machines I admin, or for that matter, fedora.
> As each project has different goals, and constraints, the decisions made 
> around process (including how builds and repositories work, who can submit 
> code, how QA works, etc.) are going to be very different.  But suggestions or 
> comments from people familiar with how other projects work are certainly 
> welcome.  I *think* that, here in Maemo, we are trying to create a model with 
> different goals from any of the other distributions, so our decisions may 
> also be different, but I certainly want us to learn from other experience.

I think debian should server as a model for maemo, after all, Nokia based its OS on debian. The biggest problem is Nokia's penchant for separating their releases from the community. There really should be greater cooperation between the community and Nokia, it is pretty much as simple as that.


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