Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-factory (1324 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-factory] Will we have additional repositories for Leap as we have currently?
On Mon, Oct 19, 2015 at 3:47 PM, Richard Brown <RBrownCCB@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
On 19 October 2015 at 15:01, jcsl <trcs@xxxxxxx> wrote:

Currently we have repositories with the latest versions of desktops and some
applications (KDE, GNOME, Mozilla, ...) Will they be available for Leap too?



I do not want to speak for the individual maintainers for those
individual repositories -

Whether or not they want to make repositories for that purpose is a
decision for them to make. I'm about to express below my opinion, but
ultimately, it's up to our maintainers, and they're fully within their
right to ignore everything I say now.. but personally speaking, if I
was in their shoes, I would _not_ bother with 'latest version' repos
for Leap.

We have Tumbleweed for the 'latest of everything' use case. It's a LOT
easier for us to maintain a fully rolling release, than trying to keep
a constantly moving software stack (GNOME, KDE, Mozilla) working ontop
of a static base.

Most of the time, when something goes wrong, it's often easily fixed
by updating to the latest things from upstream or updating something
somewhere else in the stack to fix the integration issues.

And if it's easier for us to maintain (and test - Tumbleweed has
openQA, something which none of those projects currently do) it's less
likely to break for our users..

Lots of work has gone into Leap to make it a STABLE distribution.
It's taken us months to put it together and make it work right.
A lot of that work has been integrating the chosen versions of all
those software stacks so it can act as a stable, curated, consistent,
operating system, which should serve everyone who downloads it well
until at least 42.2 comes out a year from now.

Such stuff doesn't happen overnight, has required lots of work and
lots of testing from lots of different angles. No addon repository is
going to have that level of scrutiny and effort.

Furthermore, taking individual software stacks, and piling them ontop
of a static base, is a lot more work for our maintainers to do, and it
doesn't take much for people to be able to make very horrific
combinations that would just never work.
Just look at the 'old Tumbleweed' model (Tumbleweed from before Nov
2014) - that was our old regular releases, with an addon repository
with a selection of new packages (GNOME, KDE, Mozilla, Kernel)
maintained and curated by a renowned kernel developer, but even then
it broke a lot, because it's frankly harder to build something that
works, and stays working, that way.

More integration points, more ways stuff can go wrong, especially when
still trying to do it at a pace that follows the upstream projects,
but that unmoving base makes it harder to find solutions to make it

So, my hope would be that we start moving away from that model.

While addon repos have indeed been dodgy regarding stability, they
have been very valuable, so your assessment seems quite nearsighted.

Yes, it's difficult to make them hold to the same standards as stable
distributions. But unlike rolling distributions, you don't have to
risk your whole system (and time) to update some component you
absolutely need.

Furthermore, you won't know you need the addon repo until after you
installed and have been working with the distribution for a while.

Say you install Leap, and it's fine because at that point everything's
the latest or close enough. Let a year pass, and while you got all the
security updates, you start noticing that this annoying little bug in
software X just became a showstopper for you, and see that a newer
version has it fixed. Software X is a leaf package, so you think: I
should just update it, but yeah, it depends on libY and libZ. Still,
nothing else uses libY, and the libZ update is binarily backwards
compatible, so you update, and live happily ever after.

Sure, it's tricky, you can actually break things. But the nature of
the breakage is far more limited and predictable than in the case of
tumbleweed's "zypper dup", which simply by following the mailing list
can be scary to watch if you actually depend on your computer for your

Add to that the fact that people will simply wash their hands if you
use TW and don't dup (updating a single package? you're on your own),
and you can start to appreciate the value of addon repos.

So, I agree, addon repos for core components (say Mesa) would probably
be too much effort to be worth it. But that's not something you can or
should generalize. Leaf packages should be just fine.
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