Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (882 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] OpenSuse considering a rolling release addition to scheduled release
  • From: "David C. Rankin" <drankinatty@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 05 Dec 2010 22:18:06 -0600
  • Message-id: <4CFC63FE.1080601@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On 12/04/2010 07:14 PM, Michael S. Dunsavage wrote:

This is how Greg described openSUSE Tumbleweed:

I'd like to propose "openSUSE Tumbleweed" a repo that is a
rolling updated version of openSUSE containing the latest "stable"
versions of packages for people to use.

It would be the greatest thing since sliced-bread for openSuSE. A rolling release is the *right* way to do Linux. If you haven't tried a rolling release distro, go load Arch Linux. A rolling release makes forced upgrades from release x.1, to x.2, ... a thing of the past. There is so much benefit that comes from a rolling release that it is impossible to give justice to the concept in a short reply. But, for the distro is will dramatically cut the cost of maintenance, bandwidth, development, etc..

Instead of maintaining 3 separate sets of repositories (or more) say for 11.1, 11.2, 11.3, you just maintain "openSuSE". Development still occurs in factory, but once package updates are complete for package X, then it is moved to the normal repository. Then with each 'zypper up' you are brought current, not just current for 11.1, 11.2, etc..

A rolling release also eliminates all those frustrating 'WON'T FIX' bugs where a annoying bug is found it 11.2, but the devs 'WON'T FIX' for 11.2 because it is no longer the current release and only fix for 11.3 with no backport.

I hope openSuSE does go to a rolling release. The distro would improve, it would be more usable as a server platform by eliminating the "oh crap, I've got to rebuild the server -- my release is out of support"

Along with suse, I've used Arch for about 2 years now, and from that experience, I can tell you the rolling release model is so superior to a release based operation, that the differences are night and day. Sure there are still the little hiccups, but they are few and far between. One thing that Arch does that's smart, is not only to the have the current kernel, but they also maintain a LTS kernel (long term support). It provides an automatic fallback in case there is a hiccup with a new kernel update.

Think about it, rather than trying to build and ready 4000 packages for a 'release', the distro just concentrates on the next 10 - 20 upstream changes and works those few package issues to get the next set up updates ready rather than juggling 4000 packages at once all stuck compiled against a given set of libraries and kernel.

Bug handling is simplified. You are handling bugs from 11.1, 11.2, 11.3, etc... you are just focused on bugs with the latest updates and any new one that are discovered. I would bet you could cut the bug handling resourced by 60%+ by eliminating chasing bugs for multiple releases.

Pretty smart proposal. If I think back over the last 5 years at all the improvements opensuse has proposed, they would all pale in comparison to implementing a rolling release. I hope opensuse does it!

David C. Rankin, J.D.,P.E.
Rankin Law Firm, PLLC
510 Ochiltree Street
Nacogdoches, Texas 75961
Telephone: (936) 715-9333
Facsimile: (936) 715-9339
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