Mageia Rolling Release please

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Re: Mageia Rolling Release please

Postby corbintech » Jun 10th, '11, 18:47

stormi wrote:Point releases must be supported for bugfixes too, not only security. Otherwise, the only way to have bugfixes for a given package would be to switch your entire system to a rolling version.

However, your proposal looks like a maintainer's nightmare to me. With 10 times more packagers and testers, maybe we could achieve it, but it doesn't look realistic given our current ressources.

At the same time, a maintainer would have to support a given package in : Unstable, Rolling Unstable, Rolling Stable, Point release 1, Point release 2, Point release 3, LTS release 1, LTS release 2 (for the periods where to LTS releases overlap to ease transition). Which means you have to run up to 8 different systems to be able to reproduce reported bugs, test your updates, etc. I'm not sure it would scale. I don't think we can have realistically at the same time a stable rolling release and point releases that are supported.


Your right, bugfixes in point releases.

The maintainers nightmare thing I don't see here. All maintainer of X package needs to do is make sure that package makes it into unstable, then release maintainers can push these packages down the line. So longer termed support releases would have older versions of packages (well tested) while more bleeding edge has newer.

1 package manager for upstream
2 packages are maintained by package manager until stable (while in unstable)
3 separate release maintainers work the packages down the line which are then stable

So we have a small community of people who represent the rolling unstable and so on and pull the packages from upstream into their version they are responsible for.

For bug fixes/security fixes, package maintainer could have releases in the repo like:
/blah/blah/unstable (general release)
/blah/blah/security (security updates)
/blah/blah/bugfixes (in the name)

Seems easy to me?

EDIT: Had a thought. Think of it like a giant filter, packages that go into unstable are just that unstable (until proven stable). Packages that would make it all the way down to LTS would bve rock solid and all the junk would be filtered out. Just random thought to add.
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Re: Mageia Rolling Release please

Postby petrherynk » Jun 11th, '11, 13:12

jkerr82508 wrote:
rtb wrote:Older people can't cope with major changes.

Please don't generalise. I have known many older people who have no problem adapting to change. I have also known more than a few younger people who don't like change of any kind. :)

Jim

I agree with Jim. I am 65 years old and no problem for me to change a distro. But on the other hand I dont want unstable one.
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Re: Mageia Rolling Release please

Postby stormi » Jun 11th, '11, 19:10

corbintech wrote:The maintainers nightmare thing I don't see here. All maintainer of X package needs to do is make sure that package makes it into unstable, then release maintainers can push these packages down the line. So longer termed support releases would have older versions of packages (well tested) while more bleeding edge has newer.

1 package manager for upstream
2 packages are maintained by package manager until stable (while in unstable)
3 separate release maintainers work the packages down the line which are then stable

So we have a small community of people who represent the rolling unstable and so on and pull the packages from upstream into their version they are responsible for.

For bug fixes/security fixes, package maintainer could have releases in the repo like:
/blah/blah/unstable (general release)
/blah/blah/security (security updates)
/blah/blah/bugfixes (in the name)

Seems easy to me?

Ok, I'll rephrase what I wanted to say : with the current amount of packagers, this would be a nightmare because we don't have enough packagers to maintain packages in so many different branches (and believe me, each branch will bring its amount of work). That's why your proposal, in my opinion, has no chance to be adopted soon and that we need a simpler, more pragmatic, model. It doesn't mean that your proposal is bad per se, but that I don't think it is realistic with the amount of packagers we have now. Maybe try to propose something with less branches ?
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Re: Mageia Rolling Release please

Postby Jehan » Jun 11th, '11, 19:55

Hi all,

why do I see so many people write that rolling necessarily mean unstable? No this is just wrong and wrong. It depends how you make your release system. You can't go and say that a Gentoo is unstable for instance! That would make any Gentoo user laugh. It is only unstable if you install development of untested packages. Not if you use the "any user" (I mean the default) configuration.

I think that people who say this simply associate "rolling release" to a development rolling release with nearly no control (basically what was cooker in Mandriva and cauldron in Mageia). This does NOT HAVE TO be this and even MUST NOT be this. I believe the people who ask for a rolling release in this thread (and I am one of them) ask for a stable rolling release. And no, this is not contradictory terms. A rolling release can be controlled and perfectly stable, yet providing newer package (not as new as cauldron which is for *development* but at least one doesn't wait 6 months), and allowing to update the distribution on a continuous basis, preventing from having to reinstall the full distribution every 6 months (even if this install is an "update", in my experience, I had far less issue with continuous smaller updates than with bigger *everything* update). Actually I found this in many ways more stable, less annoying and it kept my mind in peace (at the opposite, the big whole system update, I often end up in issues and I tend to fear it by experience).

Really I wonder if you are not simply afraid of change, of something you don't know. Yet I think Gentoo has made quite a nice precedent of a successful stable rolling release.
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Re: Mageia Rolling Release please

Postby Jehan » Jun 11th, '11, 20:10

I would add that Stormi got well enough what I mean (in this message: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=23&start=25#p586 ). We could indeed keep a similar structure to the current one.
We would still have some unstable repo and stable ones.

Simply we would update regularly the stable repos with *tested and stable* package as they come, instead of testing nothing for months then rushing with a lot of tests just before a release (which I think is in fact a very bad model for stability, which is why I had so many issues in these "freezed" style distribution). This is not more work for maintainers and packagers. I think at the opposite it is somehow more peaceful work. One just test as an update arrives and don't let the work pile up and suddenly work one's ass out every 6 months.
Also it is not mandatory to update everything. If a software has so few users that none cares updating it, then it won't be. That's also this, Free software: we do the work we like and if someone wants something that bad but nobody else does, then they can just do it.

And also in front end installation software, we should have more abstraction on the underlining packaging organization. Users don't need to understand all the routines behind package management. That's just boring for them and counter-productive. But this point can wait, if one could at first have the first point.
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Re: Mageia Rolling Release please

Postby corbintech » Jun 11th, '11, 21:55

stormi wrote:Ok, I'll rephrase what I wanted to say : with the current amount of packagers, this would be a nightmare because we don't have enough packagers to maintain packages in so many different branches (and believe me, each branch will bring its amount of work). That's why your proposal, in my opinion, has no chance to be adopted soon and that we need a simpler, more pragmatic, model. It doesn't mean that your proposal is bad per se, but that I don't think it is realistic with the amount of packagers we have now. Maybe try to propose something with less branches ?


I still don't understand.

1 developer releases 1 package. Package maintainer pulls package into unstable (developers don't make a habit of making crappy packages, stability is judged by the whole system running in harmony). Maintainers job is to make sure it works before it leaves unstable. When the package gains stability in unstable (basically you are able to install the package and have a usable system for 2 seconds) the package moves to the next stage, rolling unstable. Rolling unstable is a test bed of bleeding edge software from the package maintainer for a X amount of time (we are still on this one package). Now, the next time this package moves it is from a scheduled pull, so this package after X amount of time now gets "pulled" into the next phase (rolling stable (as long as there are no show stopper bugs)). From here on out the "team" responsible pulls in packages from up stream (rolling unstable) and the package maintainer just repeats this process in working at the top of the ladder. Security updates and bug fixes can be "pushed" down by the maintainer.

Where is this hard? Sounds like any other distribution to me... Debian maybe?

Anyway...

2.0 will become an LTS. Not a packaging nightmare at all... A snapshot of rolling stable from a point in time that matures with bug fixes and security updates. Kernel only updates within kernel branch (2.6.30-XX).

2.1 is a point release... Snapshot of rolling unstable (again easy on package maintainer). Supported for X amount of time. Becomes slightly mature as bug fixes and core updates make it so (from stuff already coming down from up stream).

So we have 1 package maintainer working packages that are pushed into rolling unstable (think testing) and trickle on down the line with help from the community team of "distribution" maintainers.

One rolling set of packages ever changing like a fine oiled machine. The logic just sounds right to me and very efficient I think...

EDIT: If you wanted to "shorten" the amount of "projects (I guess)" you could omit anything below rolling unstable.

Rolling unstable for instance could roll into a full fledged release (Not a good idea IMHO)
Rolling stable we could do without and we would be Debian all over (maybe more bleeding edge on the release)
LTS does not have to be... But LTS would be a very good way to get us used on servers...
Point releases are for those who don't like the rolling model... This is a "showcase" release to show everyone what we are without having to roll

Up to anyone really but this model is so versatile it really don't matter. You could omit about any point below the maintainer and have working mechanics.
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Re: Mageia Rolling Release please

Postby corbintech » Jun 11th, '11, 22:47

Jehan wrote:Hi all,

why do I see so many people write that rolling necessarily mean unstable? No this is just wrong and wrong. It depends how you make your release system. You can't go and say that a Gentoo is unstable for instance! That would make any Gentoo user laugh. It is only unstable if you install development of untested packages. Not if you use the "any user" (I mean the default) configuration.

I think that people who say this simply associate "rolling release" to a development rolling release with nearly no control (basically what was cooker in Mandriva and cauldron in Mageia). This does NOT HAVE TO be this and even MUST NOT be this. I believe the people who ask for a rolling release in this thread (and I am one of them) ask for a stable rolling release. And no, this is not contradictory terms. A rolling release can be controlled and perfectly stable, yet providing newer package (not as new as cauldron which is for *development* but at least one doesn't wait 6 months), and allowing to update the distribution on a continuous basis, preventing from having to reinstall the full distribution every 6 months (even if this install is an "update", in my experience, I had far less issue with continuous smaller updates than with bigger *everything* update). Actually I found this in many ways more stable, less annoying and it kept my mind in peace (at the opposite, the big whole system update, I often end up in issues and I tend to fear it by experience).

Really I wonder if you are not simply afraid of change, of something you don't know. Yet I think Gentoo has made quite a nice precedent of a successful stable rolling release.


I have been an Arch user for years (using it now) and have never run into a show stopper bug.

Arch does still have an unstable branch and a testing branch.

And if we could come up with something like the AUR for RPM......WOW.... Another post perhaps.....
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Re: Mageia Rolling Release please

Postby PietroTux88 » Jul 4th, '11, 15:09

mageia confirm be rolling release on cauldron version testing mode
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Re: Mageia Rolling Release please

Postby jkerr82508 » Jul 4th, '11, 15:30

cauldron has always been a rolling release - there has never been any doubt about that. It's the only way a development release can be managed.

My understanding is that Mageia stable will not be a rolling release, at least not before Mageia 2 is released. However, backports and other version updates will be provided for some applications.

Jim
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Re: Mageia Rolling Release please

Postby ghmitch » Jul 24th, '11, 05:35

Personally, since I use a computer mainly for computing and not for tinkering, I am most interested in seeing an LTS version. This combined with a generous supply of application backports would be my ideal choice. For me upgrades are a *NIGHTMARE* and the more I can avoid them, the happier I am. That is why, ironically, I find myself attracted to both the concept of LTS (the conservative choice) AND rolling releases (the more daring approach). LTS is, obviously, by its very nature, a stable *non-rolling* release. But that doesn't preclude backports which give even an LTS approach some ability to roll in a limited fashion.

On the subject of rolling releases specifically, I really do believe the best place for this to happen is Cauldron. The missing factor is how to determine when a new package is "ready" or "mature" enough for broader adoption *WITHOUT* adding prohibitive amounts of overhead. Perhaps what is needed here is some buy in on the part of those who *want* a rolling release. This could take the form of people willing to run Cauldron day in and day out and routinely select out and test packages that lie in their area of expertise and report back any issues to the rolling release community so that those in this community can discern what is relatively safe and what isn't. Mageia might possibly be able to provide some sort of support structure to such an endeavor. In turn, the Mageia development community could reap a benefit in terms of additional strategic user testing and reporting back of issues. I am thinking of Cauldron packages eventually being user ranked as "Gold", "Silver", "Bronze" etc in a similar way to which Code Weavers ranks WINE support for Windows apps. To do this internally would require a major amount of effort on the part of Mageia. Arch does it, but Arch is not Mageia. For Arch, rolling release is one of its niches. No distro can be all things to all people. Any distro can very easily become over extended and collapse as a result of ensuing developer fatigue and financial pain. For a rolling release to work with Mageia is only going to happen with buy in on the part of interested users. A rolling release is also much easier on the app side than the OS side. For example, when you start to fiddle with things like X or KDE or even Gnome, which are major systems within the distro, all kinds of chaos can ensue and since each and every Linux system is unique, figuring it all out is not always trivial.

In any case, I think this has been a great discussion so far. There have been a lot of very good points made here by all participants. But one thing I am REALLY loving about Mageia so far is its great stability, and I don't want to see that sacrificed for even something as attractive as rolling releases and believe me, rolling releases are VERY attractive to me. I lost my Mandriva system in upgrade hell and fortunately, I was dabbling with Mageia 1 in dual boot fashion at the time. Mageia 1 really saved the day for me and I have been impressed with its stability when compared to my Mandriva experience going back to Linux Mandrake 6.0.

- George
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Re: Mageia Rolling Release please

Postby doktor5000 » Jul 24th, '11, 15:30

Well, what when the support for the LTS version runs out? You need to upgrade or do a fresh installation, no?
Maybe it would be more practical and less work to care about working upgrades from version to version, no?
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Re: Mageia Rolling Release please

Postby Akien » Jul 24th, '11, 16:21

Well, I guess upgrading or reinstalling every three years (when the LTS runs out) is easier than having to care about upgrading every nine months when it comes to production computers. That's the purpose of LTS.
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Re: Mageia Rolling Release please

Postby ghmitch » Jul 25th, '11, 17:09

Akien wrote:Well, I guess upgrading or reinstalling every three years (when the LTS runs out) is easier than having to care about upgrading every nine months when it comes to production computers. That's the purpose of LTS.


E X A C T L Y ! ! ! It really doubles the time interval between forced upgrades from the usual 18mo time frame out to three years. There are some frustrations, of course with LTS. For example you run into apps that you would like to have but they won't run on your LTS system due to glibc issues. But the tradeoff is having to go through nasty upgrade process every nine months and that is unacceptable to me. It is usually a week of heavy pressure to get the system back together again and sometimes many more months of dealing with things that "used to work" that mysteriously quite working right after the upgrade. Even worse or at least just as bad are new installs which typically leave multiple things not working after the install plus all the packages that aren't there anymore and have to be re-discovered and re-installed. Every three years is tolerable for this odyssey, every 18 months is not, especially not for people like me who use a computer as a tool rather than a geek toy. - George
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Re: Mageia Rolling Release please

Postby doktor5000 » Jul 26th, '11, 10:10

Well, what i meant is that can be improved so you don't fear those upgrades and ultimately don't need LTS releases, and in turn you have more actual software all the time.

For example, i need in between 1 and 2 hours to migrate my old data to a new installation. I'm always doing fresh default installations, taking somewhere like 20-30 minutes, not customizing anything. If the system is running, i'm setting up urpmi repositories, install all the packages that i need with one line, for that i have simple text file what to do after installation. During installing, i'm copying back all my data and settings for the programs i use, which takes like 20-30 minutes again. And also in parallel i do those setting that i don't migrate like KDE settings, because they have a bad habit about creating small problems, and i don't customize KDE so much.

So 2 hours != a week of heavy pressure, you know now what i tried to explain?
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Re: Mageia Rolling Release please

Postby wobo » Jul 26th, '11, 12:00

As for the server side:
A 1-day pre-test locally, then between 2 / 3 hours for real upgrade - at least this is what it took to upgrade a server with web, mail and ftp services from Lenny to Squeeze.
Of course, this depends on how much you tweaked the system, how many home-made scripts you are using which are so special that they have to be changed for each system upgrade, etc.

But the general target group of Mageia would be ok with a couple of hours per upgrade. What George is describing here would be a nightmare and I haven't seen such a scenario yet. Especially the "sometimes many more months of dealing with things that used to work that mysteriously quite working right after the upgrade" bit does not look very professional to me - if something does not work during pre-upgrade test I would not make an upgrade in the first place until the issue is solved.

So i think 9 months is acceptable for both sides (makers & users), if an LTS is possible (depending on the ressources) it would be nice to have.

The good news: everybody who wants a LTS can do something to make it possible: contribute!
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Re: Mageia Rolling Release please

Postby stormi » Jul 26th, '11, 12:06

wobo wrote:The good news: everybody who wants a LTS can do something to make it possible: contribute!

Yes ! We need testers for update candidates !

see http://www.mail-archive.com/mageia-dev@ ... 06741.html
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Re: Mageia Rolling Release please

Postby ruel24 » Jul 28th, '11, 03:31

You know, LTS isn't the same as a rolling release. I'm kind of disappointed that Mageia isn't exploring the idea of a rolling release or semi-rolling release more. Let's not be like everyone else and start to think outside of the box. It seems like we're looking at how Ubuntu does things, and trying to mimick them to some degree. Mageia needs to set itself apart.
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Re: Mageia Rolling Release please

Postby wobo » Jul 28th, '11, 09:08

Seems like you did not follow the discussion about this issue. Nobody there looked at any other distribution. The reasons for the decision were all based on Mageia and its environment, goals and ressources.
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Re: Mageia Rolling Release please

Postby ruel24 » Jul 30th, '11, 02:34

You could fool me. Seriously, Mageia has a chance to set itself apart. Instead, it seems to want to do what everyone else is doing/done. I'm seriously disappointed that it's not looking at a better way of releasing. People grow tired of reinstalling. Longer release cycles just means waiting longer for the latest KDE, Gnome, or whatever. A rolling release or derivative of the model is the way to go. No complete reinstalls, long term support, updated everything... It's a winner for the users.
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Re: Mageia Rolling Release please

Postby ozky » Jul 30th, '11, 07:19

i am against that rolling release because i think it's good to test that system with time and then it won't break with pclinuxos there is updates what causes black screen after reboot and system won't boot anymore
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Re: Mageia Rolling Release please

Postby msdobrescu » Aug 18th, '11, 09:44

I've read almost all the thread. I mostly agree with Jehan.

First of all, I think it is not correct to see Cauldron as a rolling release. It looks like a development/test/unstable branch/repo to me.
Secondly, I like very much the Sabayon/Gentoo model.
I would love to have a rolling release of Mageia because I like the Mandriva/Mageia tools (msec, the package management, the "control panel" etc.) and their approach (like su instead sudo).

Indeed, people should be tired of re-installing again and again.
I would take it incrementally from an LTS to another, but still provide a rolling release.
I agree that a release deadline is less desirable than rolling some parts of a distro, at least the more important ones, like kernels, DEs and some popular tools.
I have KDE on mine, where some bugs drive me nuts, but I have to wait for the next year release to upgrade it and get rid of these bugs.

I'm at a point when Linux becomes my main OS, so I have a few choices: Mageia/Mandriva or Gentoo/Sabayon.
Ideally, a Mageia following Sabayon model would be my dream OS.

I hope nobody gets hurt by mentioning Gentoo/Sabayon...

Hope you think about that...
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Re: Mageia Rolling Release please

Postby undoIT » May 12th, '12, 10:08

I see that Mageia 2 is nearing final. Has there been any further discussion in regards to a rolling release?

I've been using Linux primarily for the past 5 years or so. I have 4 different distros installed on 4 different laptops and then another on a netbook. I am very interested in rolling releases because it is a pain in the arse to have to re-install my own laptops and all the friends and family computers everytime there is a new release, so that all the latest software is available and the security releases keep coming.

I don't see why a rolling release can't be stable if it is based on tested, stable packages that are released when they are ready. For those who want bleeding edge, they can pull from testing repos.

Maybe something like an LTS every 4 years in tandem with a rolling release would be a good model. Sometimes things break on very old computer systems (particularly with Nvidia graphics cards with proprietary drivers installed) as Linux forges ahead, so an LTS might be useful for such cases. But for those of use who are fairly confident our hardware will be supported far off into the future, rolling releases are desireable.
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Re: Mageia Rolling Release please

Postby doktor5000 » May 13th, '12, 18:48

undoIT wrote:I don't see why a rolling release can't be stable if it is based on tested, stable packages that are released when they are ready. For those who want bleeding edge, they can pull from testing repos.


Because we are missing the manpower to constantly do quality assurance and regression testing on the whole distribution. If you want to contribute, have a look at http://www.mageia.org/en/contribute/ and https://wiki.mageia.org/en/Contributing
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Re: Mageia Rolling Release please

Postby undoIT » May 13th, '12, 20:39

doktor5000 wrote:Because we are missing the manpower to constantly do quality assurance and regression testing on the whole distribution. If you want to contribute, have a look at http://www.mageia.org/en/contribute/ and https://wiki.mageia.org/en/Contributing


How about a semi-rolling model so that not every package that comes down the pipe is upgraded but certain mile-stones or at certain intervals, qa and testing is done and the upgrades released? I don't mind getting upgrades a little late, as long as I don't have to do a fresh install every 6 months or whatever the release schedule is for a particular distro.
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Re: Mageia Rolling Release please

Postby jkerr82508 » May 13th, '12, 23:23

undoIT wrote: as long as I don't have to do a fresh install every 6 months or whatever the release schedule is for a particular distro.

When Mageia 2 is released it will be possible to upgrade a Mageia 1 installation to Mageia 2, without doing a fresh install, using either the online repo's or the DVD.

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