[PC-BSD Testing] Rolling release criticism

Joe Maloney jpm820 at gmail.com
Wed Dec 18 09:33:32 PST 2013


On Wed, 2013-12-18 at 11:07 -0500, Kris Moore wrote:

> On 12/18/2013 07:44, Claudio L. wrote:
> >
> > On 12/17/2013 14:55, Joe Maloney wrote:
> >> This also seems like a good idea to me if it doesn't cause too much
> >> overhead or slow the project down a bunch I suppose. 
> >
> > Good point, we don't want to increase overhead. But if it's done in an
> > organized way it can actually be done without putting too much extra
> > work.
> >
> > For example:
> > * Let's say the 1st of each month they do a "package freeze", where
> > they select the packages that will be pushed in the next cycle.
> > * The 15th of the month they finish preparing the set of packages and
> > it gets pushed out to one branch.
> > * There's 1 and a half months to fix any problems with this set of
> > packages. And if a package can't be fixed within this time, it is
> > removed from the set.
> > * The last day of the second month, they push the package set out to
> > the more stable branch.
> > * ... and it loops ad infinitum...
> >
> > So they reduce the frequency of packages to a 2-month cycle, that
> > should help Kris et al. to pace themselves (vs. the frenzy they have
> > today with a monthly cycle or even faster), and we get a second branch
> > with relatively low effort and a more polished set of packages.
> > The 2-month cycle would introduce a delay of up to 2 months for the
> > bleeding edge packages and up to 4 months for the stable one (this is
> > a worst case scenario, for a package that comes out the day after they
> > do the package freeze). I think it's reasonable.
> >
> >
> >> That's why I was suggesting security and critical updates for RELEASE
> >> only.
> >
> > But that would essentially freeze that branch for its life cycle,
> > which goes against the idea of a rolling release. In my opinion it
> > should lag behind the other one, but still roll. The static nature of
> > FreeBSD gets a lot of criticism and it's one of the differentiating
> > reasons to use PCBSD (or TrueOS) versus plain FreeBSD.
> >
> >
> >> That way things like VirtualBox don't get borked when that package
> >> get's updated. Like it is now. :( I know what you mean about spending
> >> extra time fixing little things on what should be a production
> >> system. Perhaps this every 2 months idea could work. I'd still say
> >> apply the idea you just mentioned about the every 2 months to STABLE,
> >> and roll a CURRENT release with the more current packages instead
> >> that can trickle down into STABLE after they have recieved testing.
> >
> > That's slightly different from what I proposed above, it could work as
> > well.
> >
> > Well, the ideas are now out there. I think we did our part, now it's
> > up to the team to decide if and how they want to implement any of
> > this. I'm positive that in 2014 we'll get back the stability we need.
> >
> > Claudio
> >
> 
> I think these ideas are great. I also agree 100% with the renaming,
> since RELEASE/STABLE is confusing, and I think those terms are best left
> to the FreeBSD world/kernel portions. So here's what I think we will do:
> 
> 1. As mentioned, create new PRODUCTION / EDGE set of packages.
>   - Update EDGE every 2~ weeks, depending upon breakage of ports upstream.
> 
>   - Update PRODUCTION every quarter
>     * One month before release, freeze the most recent EDGE set of ports
>     * Begin testing / fixing major ports  - Desktops/VirtualBox, etc
>     * Once testing is finished, push out new PRODUCTION set and unfreeze
> EDGE again
>    
>   - Add selection mechanism to system manager GUI, letting you switch
> between these sets
>  
> 
> Does this sound like a reasonable timeframe for us to work on?
> 

Sounds good to me.  Will you branch the ports tree on github as well for
this?  Just curious for pc-sysmanager that I was working on whether or
not branch detection for ports would need to be implemented depending on
whether PRODUCTION / EDGE is being used?

Joe Maloney

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