Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-factory (661 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-factory] RFC: Announcing important changes in the distribution
  • From: Bryen M Yunashko <suserocks@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 02 Dec 2009 12:41:06 -0600
  • Message-id: <1259779266.3866.136.camel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On Wed, 2009-12-02 at 18:57 +0100, Lubos Lunak wrote:

it repeatedly happens that there is a change introduced in the distribution
that affects others yet those are not told at all or too late to do something
about it.

Examples would be the removal of X configuration including keyboard layout
from YaST as a consequence of deprecating Sax2, meaning that it is now not
possible to change keyboard layout for KDM/XDM, or the upgrade of PackageKit
to a newer version that no longer had PolicyKit as a dependency but instead
started requiring its newer and backwards incompatible version polkit-1,
requiring rewritting KDE support from scratch (which is the reason why KDE in
11.2 uses polkit-gnome). In the first case, I don't remember that mentioned
anywhere, in the latter case, the kupdateapplet maintainer was notified
(where it didn't really matter) but not the KDE maintainers. Others could
probably come up with their own examples.

I'd prefer if such things didn't happen again, or at least if they were
in advance. And it even seems doable, because some changes already are
announced, e.g. new gcc version, the switch to linking with --as-needed, etc.

Therefore I want to suggest that announcing important changes in the
distribution that affect other components of the distribution becomes

What would qualify for such a change is somewhat hard to specify exactly,
I'd hope using common sense to judge would do. For example "we remove support
for X settings from YaST and require desktops to take care of these settings
if necessary" or "we introduce new polkit-1, which is not backwards
compatible to the old PolicyKit, and deprecate the old one" are clearly
changes that should be announced. Something like "DHT support in KTorrent is
now enabled/disabled" or "libjpeg is going to be upgraded from 6.2.0 to
6.2.1" is clearly of no interest, as long as it is not known to break other
parts of the distribution - that would just create an unnecessary flood that
nobody would follow.

The place for such announcements would be this list, with some specific
subject to make it easier to spot them (and perhaps some more firm pointing
to the right list would be needed for those who create noise, or something
from would
be needed).


Lubos Lunak
KDE developer


I wholeheartedly support the concept you are advocating of a more
transparent awareness of significant changes that affect our beloved
distribution. And I personally endorse any effort to do that.

But, I think we what we need to first address isn't the "announcement"
itself, but the distribution of that announcement. Time and time again,
I have seen a topic being discussed on a particular mailing list. Then
two or so months later, someone else on that very same mailing list
discovers something about that topic and says "Whoa, why wasn't I aware
of this?!?"

The SAX2 issue appears to be new to me. The PPC issue I've seen brought
up even as far back as 4 months ago, and "Whoa" reappearances on the PPC
matter since then.

There's a serious problem in how we get the information out to everyone
at the same time. Not all eyes are watching at the same time. I admit,
even I don't watch all the time and when I suddenly hear about
something, I have to scramble a bit to find more backdated info just so
I can respond in the proper context.

We also need to recognize that our Community is far larger than just our
mailing list or even IRC users. There also exists a Community on the
Forums and beyond that, I even define our Community as just users who
don't actively follow our various venues of information distribution.

So we need to address first... HOW do we distribute relevant and
significant information to our Community in a timely and broad manner?
I do not believe that the decision-makers on any particular change are
intentionally holding back such information. I think they're just as
bewildered as the rest of us in how to disseminate that information

I don't have an easy answer to that.

Bryen Yunashko
openSUSE Board Member
GNOME-A11y Team Member (Personal Blog) (Feed aggregator of the Accessibility Community)

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