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A request for more agressive updates to FC



Hi!

This will be a bit long, so if you don't have anything better to do,
please bear with me.

Since the days of Red Hat Linux 5.0, when I started using Linux, I have
followed a ritual with every new release. The ritual consists in looking
around for stuff that used to work and is now broken. Fortunately, the
server related stuff seems to be immune to obvious regressions, but that
cannot be said of desktop related stuff. Some of these regressions are
easy to fix (and I sometimes fix them myself) but the fixes have to wait
for the next release, where other regressions pop up... This is a never
ending cycle.

In the days of Red Hat Linux, the situation was much worse, since the
only updates that appeared were security fixes (which are good), bug fix
updates were as rare as water in the desert. But today we are no much
better.

So, what I'm saying is that there should be a more agressive update
policy to Fedora Core, new packages should go into updates-testing and
then updates except if there is a good reason not to. Let's have gaim as
an example, it is a piece of software with many shortcomings and which
gets better with every release. It's also a non intrusive package, and
so the new gaim that pops up in updates every couple of weeks is a
welcomed update. However, there is a nut package in "development" that
fixes some configuration file ownership stuff that stays there, although
it has no other change from the version in FC2.

Stuff should never go into "development" unless there is a strong
reason, meaning "it breaks other packages", "it requires tons of
dependency updates, some of which possibly beaking other packages" or
"it changes basic stuff in the distro, like how initialization is done,
security is handled". FC2 should have a more evolutionary approach,
stuff like mozilla-1.7 should go directly into updates-testing. New FC
releases should mean big stuff like SELinux, kernel 2.6 and the likes,
meanwhile FC should be as close to development as possible (without that
big stuff).

Basically I'm saying that FC should be "development" without the
dangerous suff. After all this is a distro for hobbyists which like to
be as close to the bleeding-edge as possible, without actually bleeding.

Why do I say this? Because I feel that once a release is out, almost
everybody moves its attention onto the next one and forgets about us
folks. FC should not be the absolute bleeding edge, but it shouldn't
also be RHEL... evolution is needed. This would allow to squash bugs
earlier, meaning getting to a stable desktop (as in not crashing or
buggy, not feature-frozen) faster.

I'm kind of sick of being between a rock and a hard place, either I use
a bleeding-edge distro and spend all my time bleeding or I use a over
conservative distro and never get new features... Am I totally clueless?

Well, to be true, the same thing that I say above can be accomplished by turning "updates-testing" into some sort of half-way between FC and "development", more dynamic but not as risky.

Carlos Rodrigues


PS: I was prompted into this because in FC2 smb with GNOME is totally broken (amongst other things), and even if a GNOME 2.6.2 gets out I know that it will never come out, FC3 will bring 2.8 and new stuff will break. It's actually funny (in a bad way) that GNOME gets released as frequently as FC, which means we always get a .0 release and not the following bug fixes... damn!




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