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Re: KDE vs. GNOME on F10

On 08/06/2009 09:43 AM, Adam Williamson wrote:
> On Thu, 2009-08-06 at 09:24 -0400, Josh Boyer wrote:
>>> We either have to make it clear which policy we use and which policy we
>>> don't, and hence which theoretical user base we are not targeting, or
>>> take on extra work and try to satisfy both. I am not declaring myself in
>> Actually, we could do nothing and be just fine.  Let the users decide if and
>> when and what they want to update.
> Doing nothing is an implicit choice in favour of the adventurous option,
> with the disadvantage that we don't come out clearly and say it.
> It's rather hard to choose 'if and when and what' you want to update on
> a system that you only really talk to once a week that otherwise just
> sits there and does its job. For instance - a server, or a home theater
> box. I have both of these types of system. They're set to auto-update
> once a day, I don't spend my life logging into them by SSH, poring over
> the update list and deciding what to install. I can do this because the
> conservative update policy of the distribution they run gives me
> confidence that the updates won't break the things. I couldn't do that
> with Fedora, as there's no policy to give me the confidence that
> automatically updating such systems won't break them. As I've said, this
> isn't a _problem_ per se, but it means Fedora has a particular identity
> that we don't seem comfortable talking about - 'let's pretend not to
> make a choice' - for some reason.
> See what I mean? No choice is a choice.
In writing my reply, I figured out where the disconnect is between what
you're seeing and what I'm seeing.  You're looking at this from the
user's point of view.  In that case, a hands off policy does make it
more likely that the user will have an adventurous experience rather
than a conservative experience even if one segment of the maintainer
community (the desktop team) is doing its best to play a conservative role.

I think we'd be happy to admit to the end users that that's the kind of
distro we are and that CentOS/RHEL may be a better venue for the
machines that they want to take a hands-off, everything works today and
so everything will work tomorrow and the next day approach.  We
currently tell people to run CentOS or RHEL for the machines in that use
case because of the 13 month EOL period anyway.

The viewpoint that you also have to see, though, is the packager
viewpoint.  From within we don't all agree on whether we should have a
conservative or an adventurous update policy.  As the specifics of
whether to update KDE and whether to update GNOME demonstrate, different
sets of maintainers want the opposite strategies. Mandating that
maintainers will either follow the conservative or the adventurous or
follow both the conservative and the adventurous update path may satisfy
the most users but leaves the maintainers disgruntled.

Being clear that how we're messaging this to the users isn't affecting
how the maintainers get to handle their individual packages in this case
makes sense.

I'm going to note, though, that this still doesn't address the original
poster's question or thorsten's followup -- some areas of our
distribution will still follow a conservative update policy as long as
we give individual maintainers the leeway to use their best judgement.


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