When the Planets Align...

by chromatic

Tuomo Valkonen, who you may know as the author of the Ion window manager has a rant about the brokenness of the megafreeze development model, where a Linux distribution attempts to stabilize the entire system.

As an upstream contributor, I find it highly frustrating to release a new version of my software and have users contact me for about ancient versions I no longer want to support.

Perhaps if every project moved to a monthly stable release cycle then it would be easier to create an entire distribution that's not all out of date. As it is, trying to wait until the stars and planets and comets and asteroids all align for one blessed week of complete stability... well, even I don't believe in trying to herd those cats.

Alternately, stabilizing only the base operating system--the kernel and the core utilities necessary to install further software packages and bundles--might be sufficient. Perhaps the real problem behind this big problem is that the problem is just too big. Maybe a monolithic release is just too much to organize all at once.


4 Comments

Jerome G.
2007-03-14 05:29:44
Part of the problem is certainly users not doing their homeworks (updating before enquiring) and distro having too much to handle (not enough time to add the latest release of every packages).


Maybe the programme/team should jump in, and maintain their own packages in some core distributions, specially where no one is clearly assigned for a package. Might be done actually, I don't know.


Most of the users have no real means of updating on their own. Distributions like Slackware or ArchLinux are good for know-how people who like to add/update as they see fit. I am not sure one can build and maintain a -package- for himself with debian or ubuntu without the risk of breaking dependencies for the system.
(I might be wrong with Deb/Ubuntu, I am not a user of those distros, unlike Arch and Slack :)


This been said, I feel the pain but it's sadly an outcome all teams will have to live with, for many different reasons.

uteck
2007-03-14 05:42:45
Since Tuomo was not happy with how other UI's worked it rolled his own, so now he can roll his own distro and do monthly updates on that, he could it GenIon.
Or, he could provide packages for distros and tell people to upgrade since he does not want to provide support. But what do i know, I don't use Ion and suspect even less do now with his $|!!% support.
Jerome G.
2007-03-14 09:56:14
@uteck: I don't think this was any 'attack' on his part, but just a statement and maybe an interesting 'loud thinking'.


When he mention "ancient versions I no longer want to support", I am pretty sure he does not mean the previous build. Notice the 'ancient' keyword, rather important if you ask me... Providing support for v0.2.5 when v0.9 is the standard, and v0.9.5 is the last build (all of those numbers are examples here) is kinda awkward and was probably the subject of this thought.


But still, I don't know the guy, so what is 'ancient' for him?

Ms. Ross
2007-03-19 09:13:10
This sucks! What abou planets....?