Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-factory (1134 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-factory] Calling for a new openSUSE development model
  • From: Robert Schweikert <rjschwei@xxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2012 07:42:51 -0400
  • Message-id: <>

On 06/14/2012 04:46 AM, Stephan Kulow wrote:

It's time we realize delaying milestones is not a solution. Instead,
let's use the delay of 12.2 as a reason to challenge our current
development model and look at new ways. Rather than continue to delay
milestones, let's re-think how we work.

Well, reality and you message beat me to the punch. I do have a presentation on my box I was planing to give at oSC (assuming I can get the necessary travel approved). But I digress....

openSUSE has grown. We have many interdependent packages in Factory. The
problems are usually not in the packages touched, so the package updates
work. What's often missing though is the work to fix the other packages
that rely on the updated package. We need to do a better job making sure
bugs caused by updates of "random packages" generate a working system.
Very fortunately we have an increasing number of contributors that
update versions or fix bugs in packages, but lately, the end result has
been getting worse, not better. And IMO it's because we can’t keep up in
the current model.

I think there are issues with the model, but I think that they cannot be fixed if we do not address what I consider underlying issues. I believe that an underlying issue to the overall state is the package maintenance model. Look at any perl or python package in the devel projects and you'll find tons of people listed as "maintainers" but almost non of them is a "true" maintainer. Everyone of the listed "maintainers" is inherited from some parent project and in the end no one really feels responsible.

That this is an issue is also evident in the increased mail traffic on the list about lingering SRs.

I believe we need to clean up our package maintainer model. We should have 2 or 3 people at the most that are responsible for a package. These people will get messages about build failures for their packages, and these cannot be disabled. Further, just because you are a maintainer of a package that does not imply you become a maintainer of the parent project. Any devel project should probably not have more then 10 maintainers. If we have packages that do not have "true" "committed" maintainers they cannot go into Factory. This implies that in any given devel project the maintainers of the devel project can decide to have "unmaintained" packages that are nice to have in OBS, and that "drift along". However, these would never show up in factory.

Basically I am proposing that we get stricter about maintainership of packages. This may be sufficient to avoid the trouble we're in now in the future. If it is not at least we will have a base to build a new development model on for factory. With the current package maintainer model and the way it is presented any new model we come up with will, IMHO, be built on quick sand.

In summary, I think without fixing what we build on, i.e. the package maintainer model a discussion about the Factory development model is somewhat of a moot point.


SUSE-IBM Software Integration Center LINUX
Tech Lead

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