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Re: An Open Letter to Red Hat: Guidelines for Fedora Core

On Thursday 07 April 2005 10:17 am, Bryan J. Smith wrote:
> On Thu, 2005-04-07 at 08:22 -0500, Danny Sauer wrote:
> > Updates are periodically released for each Fedora snapshot, right?
> First off, Fedora is not a "snapshot."

Fedora core is a time-based release assigned an arbitrary version number 
after a short "feature freeze" on the packages in Fedora-current every 3-4 
months.  That sounds an awful lot like a snapshot, though I suppose calling 
it a release or core is fine too, if the connotation of "snapshot" is 

> Secondly, Red Hat treats the last 2 Fedora Core releases as "Current"
> until the next Test 2 comes out.  As long as they are current, they
> support them, including testing patches before they are released.

If we're picking nits here:  http://fedora.redhat.com/about/

"What Support is Available?

No formal Web or phone support for The Fedora Project will be available from 
Red Hat."

> > Wouldn't it be just as effective to look at the release date of the
> > given snapshot, and then look at the dates and changelogs to see how
> > many fixes have been released, how quickly, and if they were fixing
> > big problems or just adding features?  From that information a user
> > could determine for himself how he felt about the stability of a
> > fully-updated Fedora vX.
> This has nothing to do with updates or guaranteed stability -- I'm
> talking about using a designation on ABI compatibility.  Red Hat started
> canning updates and guarantees on even Red Hat Linux long ago (before
> Fedora Core), as they started to drop Red Hat Linux (now Fedora Core) as
> a product.

One more terminology problem, I guess.  I consider stability to mean not 
only that the software won't crash, but that the API/ABI's won't be 
changing around, causing software to fail.

I do, however, agree with your sentiment - that there's no good way to tell 
if the 2-3 or 3-4 transition will be huge, or just a set of minor updates.  
There would have to be some kind of description of what constitutes a 
"major" change, though, and that's a discussion that's been going on for a 
long time without any succesful resolution.  Does a new version of libDB 
constitute a major revision?  What about an update to arts?  How about 
something even more minor?  I don't think that minor-number based 
versioning will solve any problems, honestly.

If potentially large changes between releases (which I still want to call 
snapshots :)) is a problem in a given application, then Fedora probably 
isn't the appropriate distribution for that application.  There are lots of 
other free, community-supported distros out there that maintain smaller 
increments between versions.  SuSE isn't one of them, BTW - large changes 
that break stuff occasionally happen in minor-number revisions there, too.

--Danny, who moved lots of stuff to Gentoo precisely because of this whole 
arbitrary version numbering bunch of crap

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