[Oneiric-Foundations-Topic] networked client app updates

Scott Kitterman ubuntu at kitterman.com
Thu Apr 21 18:14:57 UTC 2011

On Thursday, April 21, 2011 01:23:52 PM John Rowland Lenton wrote:
> On Thu, 21 Apr 2011 11:29:22 -0400, Scott Kitterman <ubuntu at kitterman.com> 
> > Go through the tech board (as Landscape did) and show your QA/updating
> > process is sufficiently robust to be able to ship needed feature updates
> > in *-updates. While this doesn't scale well and doesn't work at all for
> > clients without someone working on updating specifically for Ubuntu, for
> > Ubuntu One it should be doable.  The larger issue is updates to client
> > libraries that have other users.
> A few problems with this idea (which I'd be glad to be wrong about):
> * recently we had to upgrade couchdb in lucid for replication to work,
>   and the upgrade broke replication with the old version (which was the
>   reason we needed to upgrade), as well as potentially breaking couch
>   apps that only worked with the older version. What we ended up doing
>   was putting the fix in backports as the less onerous of the
>   non-world-breaking options we had.
> * if our projects switch to, say, python 4, then we'd be looking at
>   shipping python 4 to all supported ubuntus, including LTS'es.
> * it's easy to imagine scenarios where we'd want to ship updated
>   versions of rhythmbox, banshee or nautilus (and/or any newer
>   application that integrated with our apis). Much more commonly we'd
>   want to update plugins to those apps.
> the thing we need is to have as much feature parity as is possible
> across all the platforms we support, and that includes across all
> supported versions of ubuntu. So if this were already in place and we
> were ship a completely new feature in three months time, we'd want lucid
> users to be able to use it (without the unity bits, say).

That's what I meant by "The larger issue is updates to client libraries that 
have other users."  It's certainly an issue that needs to be addressed.  I 
think it needs upfront design consideration to minimize the risks of needing 
to do such changes.

If you need to ship such updated versions of multiple packages, -backports is 
the only in archive approach that I think might work.  Due to some work that 
landed in Natty, I'm going to propose that's enabled by default in Oneiric and 
later releases.

Scott K

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