new RPM version and Feature process

John Poelstra poelstra at
Wed Jul 9 23:33:33 UTC 2008

Thorsten Leemhuis said the following on 07/09/2008
> But this announcement made me wondering: We have a big and complicated 
> Feature process [1] in Fedora that keeps a whole lot of people and 
> committees (especially FESCo) busy. Afaics the new RPM version is 
> something that can be considered a "feature" [2]. It was afaics not 
> approved yet by FESCO [3] or even proposed [4]. I would expect going 
> backwards to an older RPM in rawhide later will be next to impossible or 
> very very hard. IOW: once it's in rawhide for a few days FESCO kind of 
> has no other chance then to approve this feature, in case it ever comes 
> up for a Feature vote in a FESCo meeting.

Just because something is in rawhide does not force FESCo's hand to 
accept (note that is "accept" not "approve") the feature page, thus 
officially advertising it as a feature of our next release.

I agree the feature process is not perfect and we have tried to keep it 
as un-cumbersome as possible--which is why there is no blocking on 
getting FESCo acceptance to be added to rawhide, etc.  Just last week we 
completed our second public review of the process which sadly only had 
suggested changes by three people.

> So is the most of the Feature process (and especially FESCo's approval) 
> useless overhead? It looks to me that the answer tends to be "yes" as 
> long as big features like this can easily creep in without going through 
> the established approval process, as long as the feature gets added to 
> rawhide early enough in the devel cycle.

I think you've overlooked some of its benefits:

including the HUGE amount of equivalent marketing dollars the pages help 
drive which Paul mentioned at FUDCon.

I'd argue the return on investment is there.

> Just wondering. No, I really don't want to stop the new RPM; there are 
> likely other examples (say OpenOffice 3.0) in rawhide (but going 
> backwards there as hard as with RPM). But I'm more and more wondering if 
> the complex Feature process is worth all the trouble and effort. The 
> best thing that came out of it in F9 IMHO were the good release notes 
> and great "whats new" pages. But I'd say we can have that easier.

I'm all ears.  What are your specific ideas for a more effective process 
so it is worth all the "trouble and effort"?

We've spent a lot of time up until now trying to get to a useful 
process, including the public reviews of the process we have at the 
start of each release.  More participation and concrete suggestions from 
people like you would be greatly appreciated :)


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