reflecting on first UDS session on "rolling releases"

Scott Kitterman ubuntu at
Thu Mar 7 14:50:12 UTC 2013

On Thursday, March 07, 2013 04:43:18 PM Stefano Rivera wrote:
> Hi Scott (2013.03.07_16:27:02_+0200)
> > > These are users who otherwise would use the LTS, but need some
> > > particular feature or version of some program that is newer than the
> > > LTS.
> > 
> > This is exactly the case that backports are for.  I don't think users who
> > want a generally stable experience, but need a thing or two newer are at
> > all candidates for running the development release.
> Except for more complex HWE situations. (e.g. something that needs an
> entirely new network-manager modem-manager stack)
> Getting an official backport is still quite hard, though.
> * You have to know exactly what it is that you need backported
>   (sometimes it's non-trivial to determine)
> * Then build the backport, which could be easy (no-change backport of
>   one package) or really hard
> * Then file the backport bug, to request it for other people.
>   At this point, your own needs are satisfied, so you are doing this for
>   altruism and reproducibility.
> * Finally, someone has to review and sponsor the backport. That can take
>   ages.
> We've gone a long way to making backports easier, but I don't think
> there's much low-hanging fruit left. We can provide more help, and
> spread the word that backports can be easy. That's about it?

Mostly what we need is (like many things) more manpower.  Backports are 
certainly not ideal for the reasons you give, but if someone is not up to 
dealing with the relatively modest technical requirements for getting a 
backport approved then I think they are very much not the kind of people that 
should be running the development release.

Scott K

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