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Re: Unstable EPEL? (frequent package updates)

Felix Schwarz wrote:

in the past few months there were quite a few packages in EPEL
which got version updates. This has come to a point where I
seriously doubt my understanding of the EPEL policy.

Rahul Sundaram wrote [1]:
"The simple rule: Don't release an update unless absolutely necessary.
This is to avoid regressions."

This was exactly my understanding of how package updates should be
done in EPEL.

But obviously other packagers don't see this policy so strictly - or
maybe I'm just too blind to find important information why all these
updates were absolutely necessary.

I'd like to give my opinion on this. I've pretty much been a Red Hat user since MKLinux DR3 (based on RH 5.1) - RH 6.1 was my first i386 distribution.

Back then, Linux was just beginning to emerge, getting the latest software was always a bonus because it was leaps and bounds ahead of the rest.

I really liked Red Hat 8 once the first set of major bugs was fixed, but jumped on the Fedora bandwagon because there were still extremely exciting things happening with each new release.

Maybe part of it is because I'm older now than I was back then, but honestly, I'm not as gung ho about having the freshest releases of software as I use to be. In my opinion, OSS has matured to the point where as a *desktop user* I would rather have a slighly older release that is stable than a fresh release with new features and new bugs. For example, for whatever reasons - evolution in Fedora 8 was unusable to me, it had some cool new stuff but it had some major issues, particularly with my laptop, which was a slow low memory machine.

There are a few exceptions. I do think RHEL is justified in moving Firefox to FF3. The reason is twofold -

1) Firefox has a huge codebase. It would take extreme amount of man power to continue to maintain FF 1.x without upstream.

2) The web evolves quickly, and a browser must keep in touch with modern web innovations, particularly in the area of javascript and CSS implementation.

I think RHEL moving to modern Firefox was the right decision.
For most other software though, my opinion - if you want to run the latest versions, use Fedora. That's not what RHEL/CentOS are for.

At this point - there is enough functionallity in desktop apps to have an extremely usable desktop system with apps that are not the latest and greatest. RHEL should provide a stable desktop without introducing the new bugs and new quirks that come with new software.

That's my 2 cents on the issue.

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