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Re: new RPM version and Feature process (was: Re: Heads-up: brand new RPM version about to hit rawhide)

On Wed, Jul 9, 2008 at 1:12 PM, Thorsten Leemhuis <fedora leemhuis info> wrote:
> But this announcement made me wondering: We have a big and complicated
> Feature process [1] in Fedora that keeps a whole lot of people and
> committees (especially FESCo) busy. Afaics the new RPM version is something
> that can be considered a "feature" [2]. It was afaics not approved yet by
> FESCO [3] or even proposed [4]. I would expect going backwards to an older
> RPM in rawhide later will be next to impossible or very very hard. IOW: once
> it's in rawhide for a few days FESCO kind of has no other chance then to
> approve this feature, in case it ever comes up for a Feature vote in a FESCo
> meeting.
> So is the most of the Feature process (and especially FESCo's approval)
> useless overhead? It looks to me that the answer tends to be "yes" as long
> as big features like this can easily creep in without going through the
> established approval process, as long as the feature gets added to rawhide
> early enough in the devel cycle.
> Just wondering. No, I really don't want to stop the new RPM; there are
> likely other examples (say OpenOffice 3.0) in rawhide (but going backwards
> there as hard as with RPM). But I'm more and more wondering if the complex
> Feature process is worth all the trouble and effort. The best thing that
> came out of it in F9 IMHO were the good release notes and great "whats new"
> pages. But I'd say we can have that easier.

This is my understanding:

The Feature process was implemented to be a conduit for the
Engineering side of Fedora to collaborate with the Marketing side of
Fedora, to allow the Marketing people to build up pre-release hype for
new features without having to second-guess us notoriously busy, and
quiet, engineering types. It allows the Marketing people to keep tabs
on engineering activities and have reasonable certainty as to the
status of the feature, specifically whether or not it is going to be
finished in time for the final release.

It is a stack of bureaucracy in which us Engineering people
voluntarily participate, in order to improve our PR activities for the
greater good of the project.

"voluntary" being the key word here. No one should be forced to
participate. However not going through the feature process discourages
the Marketing people from advertising your work in pre-release hype.

Am I wrong?

Honestly, though the new RPM affects us package monkeys quite a bit, I
don't think it means much to the majority of general Fedora users. It
*shouldn't* mean anything. RPM should be the machinery that, when its
doing its job right, quietly goes on doing its job without anyone but
us package monkeys noticing.

Though I do foresee *cough* certain people *cough* complaining about
how their spec they've used unchanged since RHL 6.2 no longer builds,
and accuses us of "breaking things" and "actively sabotaging" RPM...
So this should probably get prominent notice in the release notes, at

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