LTS and release methodology

Peteris Krisjanis pecisk at
Tue Jul 8 13:54:46 UTC 2008

>> Conclusion
>> Ubuntu must stop insisting on being on the bleeding edge of features and software if they want to have a "low-error" operating system. This applies even more so for LTS, and this paper is directed toward my disappointment in the QC of this LTS release. Let us briefly review my points, as they apply to any "stable" release of Ubuntu:
>> --Regression is unacceptable. Care should be taken that software updates and new features do not break existing functions that were stable previously.
> This is easy to say, but consider carefully what it would mean in practice.
> How could we implement such a policy in Ubuntu?  Before we can even begin to
> estimate the effort required in order to achieve this, we would need to
> rigorously specify every feature in Ubuntu and how it should work.  While
> this is common in traditional software development models, consider the
> sheer scope of Ubuntu: how long would it take, and how many people, just to
> enumerate all of this functionality?
> Instead, we focus on defining a subset of functionality which can be tested
> in practice.  You can find the corresponding test plans here:
> along with instructions for how you can
> participate in the testing effort and find the problems which matter to you.

But why not then create such subset as spec? For example, for standard
desktop? Only such way we can track down regressions and do *planned*
testing instead of just jogging strings for known scenarios, leaving
corner cases out in the cold. This would definitely help with creating
test cases too.

In fact, all the time when I encounter different bugs (mostly which
affects functionality), I think 'we need spec'. We do. Propably we
don't like to admit, because it is huge task (and involves managing
lot of people, instead of just giving them a direction). But it is
actually tallest wall what stands between mainstream use and us.

For example, we have Evolution. It claims it can do CalDAV. Actually I
had to patch it to get it work with several servers. And it still
crashes when I do lot of stuff with calendars. Remove claim or fix
app. It is not that hard to do. Again, Ubuntu can play a lot of
formats, but it still can't do MIDI. And so it goes on and on.

Such spec would be more like guideline, because it's not possible to
fix everything. It would be like - we see what we have and we see what
we lack. We see where we are. That's important.

Just my two cents,

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