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Re: XFree86 spec file for develoment snapshots ?

On Fri, 10 Oct 2003, Nicolas Mailhot wrote:

>> I think he was asking for more of a easy to remove build of the CVS 
>> tree. No RedHat patches. Just what you get if you downloaded and did 
>> make world, but that was then used as an RPM payload. That allows easier 
>> installation, and removal (when it breaks).
>Sure - what I need is just a way to test quickly the latest XFree86
>devel snapshots, see if I can reproduce my bugs, report back in XFree
>bugzilla and reinstall the rawhide version.

There isn't any super user-friendly way of doing that though, 
until it is in RPM format.  The simplest way, is to download Alan 
Hourihane's driver/module binaries, and install them in a 
directory on your hard disk such as /usr/local/lib/XFree86/modules-extra

Then put ModulePath in your X config file as such:

ModulePath /usr/local/lib/XFree86/modules-extra'
ModulePath /usr/X11R6/lib/modules

Put the test modules in the /usr/local/lib/XFree86/modules-extra 
directory to test them.  When done testing, comment out the first 
ModulePath line and restart your X server to get back to the 
default modules.

>When I wrote about another repository than rawhide I meant
>exactly that : some central locations where people can dump
>highly experimental stuff and people like me can test it.

People are of course free to create their own special highly 
experimental repositories of such software.  Of course, if they 
encounter/experience bugs in that software, or in the 
distribution of any kind while using it, they should report those 
bugs to the upstream projects/authors, so they can be fixed.

>Right now you need to read the package changelogs to see who at
>RH might be working on them, then hunt down the packages in the
>relevant people.redhat.com directories or even private pages (or
>be on a top-secret list where the maintainer annouces
>experimental packages)
>Which is a lot of fun except you don't always time to do it.
>It's not as if the packages were not created and people can not find
>them - why not put them in some sort of central place ? 

Because individual people have different audiences for their 
experimental rpms.  If there is a central place, then it quickly 
becomes used by many people, and some fraction of those people 
then start to cry because their systems break, then they want 
special hacks added to the spec files so that upgrades to 
official packages work properly, etc...

I would much rather limit my initial highly experimental packages 
to a limited number of people whom I trust can responsibly test 
the packages and provide me with high quality good/bad feedback 
and bug reports with as little "useless" reports as possible.  
Then continue this way until something is more stable for wider 
distribution to people for testing.  Once my packages are of a 
state that I consider "good enough for centralized testing by the 
masses", then they will be in rawhide, which is just that - a 
central place for testing by the masses.  Until I feel the stuff 
is rawhide ready however, I very much want limited testing by a 
select group of people, because I don't want to break hundreds of 
systems if I can avoid it, and I don't want 10000 bug reports, or 
flaming emails from people who shouldn't have been testing 
nitroglycerin software.

Other people may feel differently, and other developers may feel 
differently with their packages also.  That is natural and to be 
expected, as different packages have different consequences if 
they break something.

XFree86 packaging is going to change very dramatically for Fedora 
Core 2, and while the initial packages will be similar to what we 
have now, the changes are going to be highly experimental and 
will probably screw up all kinds of stuff for a while.  And that 
is *after* I screen the builds for the most problematic issues.  

Be forewarned of what is yet to come...  ;o)

Mike A. Harris     ftp://people.redhat.com/mharris
OS Systems Engineer - XFree86 maintainer - Red Hat

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