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Re: package stability

On 3/3/07, Patrice Dumas <pertusus free fr> wrote:

Do we want to keep API/ABI stable over the corresponding RHEL release?
I think yes, but then we should really make sure that some libs don't
go to EPEL (for an example of a lib I maintain there is libdap which
changes API every 6 months or so).

Is there something similar for apps, for example that searching paths
command-line options, config files, file formats, are backward

If we impose such constraints, maybe there could be a discussion before
a package enters EPEL. Not a formal review because there should be no
packaging/usability issues, but a verification that the package is
stable enough and there are enough people/firms interested such that
if the maintainer stops maintaining a package that needs work it won't
be really unmaintained.

After some thinking, this is my proposal:

A package is 'frozen' at the time of a EL beta.
 This gives the EPEL people time to put together a 'DVD' or some such
thing that can be used for large rollouts.

When the EL goes gold, a finished set is published and kept to only
security/feature fix updates til the next EL beta cycle.

Security updates are done with the following preferences:
 If a backport patch is out, use that.
 If a patch is available via a minor update (say 4.5 to 4.7 versus
4.5 to 5.1).
 Else go to the latest supported upstream version.

When the next beta release is done, packages are updated by maintainer
preference. If there are requests for people to stay with
rootmymachine-5.0 and the maintainer wants to go with 6.0 then a
compat-rootmymachine5.0 or other approved naming scheme could be used
by someone who wishes to maintain the old tree.

For nearly maintenance only releases: (2.1/3.8), the maintainers would
only be expected to do 'security updates.' For items like clamav, this
might require a complete 'rebasing' push (0.88 to 0.90 as an example).

Stephen J Smoogen. -- CSIRT/Linux System Administrator
How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed
in a naughty world. = Shakespeare. "The Merchant of Venice"

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