[Dextrose] Dextrose-3 achieves feature freeze

Anish Mangal anish at activitycentral.org
Thu Sep 1 12:41:10 EDT 2011

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This mail is intended as a notification that Dextrose-3 has achieved
feature freeze. Credit must go to Sascha(AC), Aleksey(AC),
Jerry(OLPC.AU), Simon(OLPC) and David(AC) for this to happen. Most of
the details concerning Feature Freeze are captured here [1][2] (wiki
pages will be updated soon).

The major issues and decisions gating this milestone were:
* Identifying tickets for Alpha-2 (19 Sep) and Alpha-3 (17 Oct)
releases, and estimating the time they would take to fix.
* Deciding what version of sugar dextrose-3 would be based on.
* Dependant on above, deciding the base OS dextrose-3 would use.

- - - - - - - - - -

The last two topics above deserve some explanation. While dextrose-3
alpha-1 was being developed, it was assumed that we would basing it on
sugar0.9x/fedora-14. However, the new 0.9x has quite a few collaboration
issues, and without collaboration working stably, the whole point of
dextrose-3 w.r.t it being used by deployments would be defeated. This
made it a significant decision (one, which I believe caused the one week
delay in reaching feature freeze). The choices against us were:

* Sugar 0.94/fedora14
* Sugar 0.88/fedora14
* Sugar 0.88/fedora11 (essentially the platform dextrose-2 is based on)

While coming to this decision, all these three options were seriously
considered. 0.88/f11 was the last fallback option we had. We were
somewhat certain that 0.88/f14 would have worked, but 0.94/f14 was the
most ideal alternative. Staying with 0.94/f14 would have meant that:

* We stay in sync with OLPC 11.x, and upstream sugar 0.9x. This is a
major advantage considering maintenance and packaging overheads,
including backporting, upstreaming patches in the future.
* Fedora 11 was EOL-ed a while ago, and has numerous inherent problems.
* By the time 0.9x collab is eventually ready, it would be better than
0.88 collab.

Comment: One point that was raised during these discussions was that
while developing collab 0.9x code, the procedure followed was not good
coding practice. Heavily broken new collab code was pushed to trunk and
then its fixing was started. What should perhaps been followed was a
separate branch should have been used for new collab and only merged
when it was stable enough [3] (btw, that link is reference to a very
long and fruitful discussion about deciding sugar version ;))

Thus, an analysis was carried out about current readiness (existing
issues), rate of bugfixing, and comparison of workability with the 0.88
collaboration. At the end of this, I came to the following conclusions:

* The current 0.9x collab is actually not too bad, but there are still
some high priority issues remaining.
* The collaboration in 0.88 was somewhat buggy, and those would likely
not be fixed anytime soon.
* Collaboration bugs are being fixed at a good rate as of now.

This led me to believe that if AC were to work together with OLPC on
collaboration, there is very little reason it will not be fixed by the
time 0.94 is actually released. It is also a high priority for OLPC
11.3.0 as well. The way in which AC could contribute to fixing collab is
that it need not be fixing the collab bugs directly (as they are complex
and require knowledge of collab code) but help with other sugar related

'''So, with the above in mind, dextrose-3 would be based on sugar

[1] http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Dextrose/3/Feature_Freeze
[2] http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Dextrose/3/Sugar_Version
[3] http://meeting.sugarlabs.org/sugar-meeting/2011-08-22#i_2688362

- -- 
Anish Mangal
Dextrose Project Manager

P.S. I didn't feel like copying sugar-devel since this is not a build
release notification. Feel free to share this email with whomsoever you
wish :-)
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