[IAEP] Long-term development strategy (Was: New XO-1.5 10.2.0 build 119)

Aleksey Lim alsroot at member.fsf.org
Tue Apr 13 02:10:01 EDT 2010

On Mon, Apr 12, 2010 at 09:31:25PM -0400, Bernie Innocenti wrote:
> On Mon, 2010-04-12 at 23:54 +0100, Peter Robinson wrote:
> > Bernie, I'm not sure the point of this point at this point in time. To
> > copy and paste part of the response I did to the other thread on
> > fedora-olpc for others benefit.
> > 
> > I personally don't see the point discussing it because from where I
> > sit I believe it will be supported well in both and continue to be so.
> > That way people have the choice. It might well get to a stage where
> > the newer versions of sugar won't run in RHEL/CentOS due to whatever
> > deps at which point we get to a situation where that release becomes
> > like 0.84 is currently and is a long term support release. I don't see
> > why its hard to support both because its not. The package maintenance
> > is simple and is done easily by a couple of people. There will be
> > Fedora and it will continue to be supported in Fedora for the
> > developers and the like that want the bleeding edge and then there
> > will be the EL branch for those that don't like so much blood. Its
> > called choice. There's no reason to limit it. There's not much point
> > discussing it at the moment as RHEL-6 isn't out yet, yes its in beta
> > but its not out.
> I agree on this, but it misses the point :-)
> I'm sure maintaining the Sugar 0.84 packages will be easy in RHEL6 as it
> is in F11. I've even back-ported Sugar 0.88 to Fedora 11 with minimal
> tweaks.

> Most end-user support issues lay within base OS components rather than
> the relatively small codebase of Sugar.

That's what I'm feeling all time started from the first time of my
participating in sugar when I packaged sugar for several distros.

> Here are some real-world
> examples from this development cycle:
>  * GSM connectivity requires up-to-date versions of udev and
>    modem-manager to support USB dongles commonly available in stores
>  * Playing multimedia content downloaded from the Internet requires
>    gstreamer with up-to-date codecs
>  * activities such as Record tend to uncover obscure bugs in GStreamer 
>  * Browse depends on xulrunner for security and compatiblity with web
>    standards. Surfing the web today with a version of Firefox from
>    3 years ago would be unthinkable
>  * ...not to mention NetworkManager...
> I would guesstimate that 80% of my time went into fixing platform bugs
> and just 20% on Sugar itself. In part, this is because I could offload
> the actual bugfixing to helpful people such as alsroot, silbe,
> sayamindu, mtd and others.
> > In short RHEL-6 isn't out yet, the associated CentOS6 release is quite
> > a while away as a result. Also ARM isn't a supported platform there.
> > Sugar is about options and I think having both options will be of
> > benefit to different users. I believe the leading edge Fedora will
> > continue to be a platform for development and then others in the know
> > or deployments themselves can make the decision as to what's best for
> > them.
> In practice, choosing the distro independently of Sugar won't be
> feasible on the XO until:
> 1) we merge (or kill) all the OLPC customizations. dsd and sdz have done
>    a lot of work in this direction, but there are still a number of
>    rogue packages in F11-XO1.
> 2) we switch to a real package system for activities with full support
>    for dependency checking and a build cluster for multiple targets.
> After this is done, it remains to be seen if someone who is using RHEL-6
> on the XO would be able to file a bug in Red Hat's Bugzilla and actually
> get it fixed for free. I have a feeling one would need to purchase an
> enterprise support contract of some kind in order to attract the
> necessary developer attention.

and thats why I like 0install way - it is not tied to particular distro
(packaging system) but can get benefits from all major distros (via
PackageKit) and add distro agnostic packaging system.

In my plans create distro agnostic sugar distribution entirely based on
0install - on most recent systems, users need only several clicks to
install sugar w/o root privileges and even if sugar didn't packaged at
all for this particular distro.


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