Let's Discuss Interim Releases (and a Rolling Release)

David Henningsson david.henningsson at canonical.com
Thu Feb 28 20:49:07 UTC 2013

On 02/28/2013 05:09 PM, Martin Pitt wrote:
>>   * Keep doing daily quality and keep improving our daily quality.
> Big +1. I'm particularly looking forward to integrating our automatic
> package tests with britney.

The QA work done in -proposed has increased the productivity for the 
rest of us, no doubt about that.

But still, a word of caution here. Every piece of code even remotely 
related to the hardware, not only the Linux kernel but also most of the 
plumbing layer, is quite difficult (or even impossible) to automate 
testing for. Even if we would set up robots in our lab looking at the 
screen for artifacts, talking into the microphone and so on, we wouldn't 
cover the world's hardware.

Hardware becomes increasingly complex, diverse, and so testing it takes 
a lot of time. You can't go test thousands of machines to see if their 
headphone outputs stopped working every single day.

Do we have a plan to deal with those types of bugs?

Somewhat related, I'm also wondering about the backport kernels we 
recently started working with. E g, in the development release we've 
been uploading 3.8-rc kernels rather than waiting until they're stable, 
this allows us to catch regressions and fix them early. Then we stay for 
a while and skip a kernel version or two - this helps us make a more 
stable backport kernel, and the six months cycle give some natural 
points for testing hardware too.

What's the kernel's upload policy going to be for the rolling release? 
Do we upload kernels in the beginning of rc cycle, middle of rc cycle, 
at the stable release, or...?

>> = Why Now? =
>> There are two answers for this.
>>   1. Because of Convergence
>>   2. Because we can
> You forgot the One True Reason for "Why Now?": I'm sure that it was
> never meant to be a Raring Ringtail, but always a Rolling Release! We
> couldn't do it at any other point in time.

The real reason is of course that we're running out of letters; this way 
we're slowing down our letter consumption by a factor 4, this buys us 
like, 12 more years or so!

David Henningsson, Canonical Ltd.

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