FC3 -> FC4 Upgrade? (was Re: reducing distribution CD count)

Alexandre Oliva aoliva at redhat.com
Sat Feb 26 07:22:18 UTC 2005

On Feb 26, 2005, seth vidal <skvidal at phy.duke.edu> wrote:

> What do the things I try to contribute have to do with my belief that
> extras functions? You maintain libtool and a number of compiler-related
> functions. Does this mean you are not to be trusted about the state of
> the compilers? 

No, it means that if people moved features out of say the kernel
claiming they could be implemented by the compiler or glibc, I
wouldn't feel as uncomfortable because I could implement them myself
if I had the time and inclination to do so.  I'm at an advantage
position in this regard.  Just like you're at an advantage position
WRT Fedora Extras.

>  I believe extras functions b/c they are are over 901 packages in
> extras.

See, the problem is not in extras.  It works perfectly well, and
there's very little to improve other than the creation of ISOs at
about the same time as the release.

The problem is in Core, that's missing essential features to make
Extras a seamless part of the distro.  Such features are scheduled to
FC5, but nevertheless we're pushing useful packages from Core to
Extras as if this would have no impact on anyone.  As if the seamless
integration was already in place.  This is the mistake I'm disputing.
My solution is to just bring the packages that were removed out of the
madness to shrink the Core to an arbitrary limit.  It's not shrinking
the distro (Core + Extras), just pushing bits around, making some of
them less convenient to get to.

Sure having CDs of Extras available for download would address part of
the problem: people would still be able to ask friends with big pipes
to download and burn CDs for them.  But how convenient is the
experience of installing packages from such CDs be?  Anaconda won't be
able to install packages from such CDs; will system-config-packages?
How about yum, will it require messing with yum config files, or does
it have magic to resolve deps and install packages from a collection
of CDs that have dep closure as a whole, but not individually?  (i.e.,
I want to install package foo that's in CD2, but that depends on bar
that's in CD1)

>> That's hardly the case for the typical Fedora user.  In fact, if I
>> knew there was only one person on Earth (or in the universe!) that was
>> happy about the usability of the current Fedora Extras, my first guess
>> would be you, and the second would probably be Bill Gates :-)

> This is just bizarre.

In case the point of the joke was not clear, I think this rush to move
packages out of the Core before the Core is ready for Extras will make
Fedora as a whole worse, and anything that makes a GNU/Linux distro
probably makes Bill Gates a richer man.

> 1. the distro is 5 isos - they spend 8 yrs downloading 5 isos to install
> about 30% of the packages available on them
>   - they've wasted a lot of time and probably made a number of coasters
> in the process.

Just because I'm a pedant, make that 4.5 isos, which was the original
space figure we had.  You don't have to download the second half of
the last CD, so what we're saving is not 2 years of download (heh :-),
just half a year or so.

> So if we're worried about users with limited bandwidth then we would
> want the latter. Which means putting fewer packages in core.

Sure.  As soon as the Core is ready.

Besides, there's always the option of downloading the individual
packages, or perform an HTTP install using a local web proxy.  If you
don't have a lot of bandwidth but can wait for 5 years for the install
to complete, that's probably the way to go.  For such users, whether
something is in Core or Extras makes little difference, except for
updates possibly breaking working packages.

>    b. it's 4 isos their FAVORITE package is not there - so they ask the
> friend to burn them a cd of a chunk of things from extras. Heck, if the
> friend is really nice s/he can get a list of what they need, run
> repoclosure on it across base + extras and then run createrepo on the cd
> before handing it over. Then s/he knows that the user has all they need.
> The user pops in the cd, runs and adds a repo to their yum.repos.d and
> they're cooking with gas.

If it fits in a single CD, or each CD is made repo-closed, yes.

> either. They don't have lots of things. I'm sorry, but hey, maybe
> someone wants to make isos of Extras like the user with the friend in
> the case above.

They can't.  And nobody can, if I'm reading the Fedora trademark
guidelines.  Yeah, we should fix that.

But fine, someone could burn select rpms into CDs for friends.  But
companies can't create Extras CDs fitting certain profiles and sell
them, or distribute them with magazines, using the Fedora name.

>   b. the distro is 5 isos - they have their FAVORITE package, but they
> still can't play ascii art video files. So maybe someone volunteering to
> look at isos of extras is the right solution.

It would help, but as I explained above, we still need better tools.

> hey, wait a second. You're a programmer aren't you?

Allegedly :-)

> would you like to contribute to fedora extras? I bet you could come
> up with a way to make isos from Fedora Extras!

Hey, I know we have some Python scripts to create the Core CDs!  Why
couldn't we just tell it to take packages from the Extras pool as
well, and roll a single set of CDs?  Wouldn't that be cool? :-)

> That's fantastic, thanks for volunteering instead of just being another
> complaining voice w/o a solution.

The solution that many of us have been proposing is to revert the
not-well-thought-out rush to shrink Core before the tools are ready to
make Extras a seamless part of the distro.

Alexandre Oliva             http://www.ic.unicamp.br/~oliva/
Red Hat Compiler Engineer   aoliva@{redhat.com, gcc.gnu.org}
Free Software Evangelist  oliva@{lsd.ic.unicamp.br, gnu.org}

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