yum RFE

Jeff Spaleta jspaleta at gmail.com
Wed Oct 18 23:39:39 UTC 2006

On 10/18/06, Christopher Stone <chris.stone at gmail.com> wrote:
> I think this is better than some poor user who is forced to remove all
> packages from a certain repository by hand after their system becomes
> messed up.

I could not disagree more.  If a repository maintainer isn't
responding to that repository's users by address the problems.. then
users should stop using that repo en-masse. We should not apply poorly
conceived protectionist default policies to restrict how users
interact with 3rd party repos.  Users of those additonal repos either
go talk to the repo maintainers and help fix the packaging problems...
or people stop using the repos.  If we attempt to make it easier for
ignorant users to use repos in ways that even the repo maintainers
don't even claim to test for reliability all you are going to do is
encourage people to ignore their responsibility to communicate
problems back to the repo maintainers... and the underlying technical,
organizational, and communication problems will never get resolved.

We can not and should not attempt to constrain the polices from other
repos from a privledged position simpy because we have input into what
Core's default settings are.

> There was a poor unfortunate user on #fedora just yesterday who ran
> into this problem and was forced to uninstall all 3rd party repo
> packages which due to dependencies resulted in uninstalling and
> reinstalling dozens of packages.  This is *much* more freightening and
> confusing to unsuspecting users if you ask me.

Your responsibility is to first drive any user who is experiencing a
technical problem to the appropriate forum and bug tracking entity.
Telling them to uninstall everything before attempting to communicate
with the 3rd party maintainers who can potentially address this issue
is no different then telling them to uninstall Fedora and try Suse
instead of filing a bugreport.

Moreover, by short-circuiting the issue tracking for 3rd party
software you are not doing anything to prevent the technical problems
from re-occuring. All you are doing is perpetuating your own personal
bias against the 3rd party repo. I'm all about personal bias, I live
for it.. but I first want to make sure that I do what I can to prevent
technical problems from re-ocurring... not just paper over them and
pretend they don't exist by hoping some restrictive default
depresolving policies protect users.

The fact is default protective policies are only going to trade the
types of issues users currently see for newer harder to diagnose
issues. Harder to diagnose because the protective default clientside
policy will be in direct conflict with how the 3rd party maintainers
have designed their repo to work.  If you aren't using the 3rd party
repos as directed, then you greatly reduce the chance that the repo
maintainer will be able to reproduce and fix the issue... even if
users take the time to communicate it to them.

And for those of you following along in this discussion who are
sentimental to this sort of protectionist prattle, cough gdk cough,
let me reiterate what I said in the bugreport, that a default
protection policy is a complete and utter waste of time. In fact its
damaging in the long run. I garun-goddamn-tee that if a default
protection policy gets in the way a 3rd party repo is designed to work
on a system, that repo maintainers will craft package scriptlets to
disable that protection policy to ensure the repo works as designed.
Thus we all lose the ability to use these features to establish are
own policies on an as-needed basis.

How about this, how about we stop being reactionary and start being
proactive. How about we actually craft useful tools to help
inexperienced users discover 3rd party repos and to inform them about
the organization of that repo and how it will interact with your other
repos... BEFORE they suck packages from it?  How about we encourage
informed decision making by desktop users, BEFORE we decide to enforce
Fedora contributor organizational policies on 3rd party repos.  We
have completely seperated the configuration of a new repo from the
important step of understanding what the repo is designed for. Why is
that? Why don't we make it so end-users can get repolevel information
of merit before they enable that repo..without trolling a website faq?

I firmly believe that users are making poor decisions when they choose
to use some 3rd party repos because its too damn easy to enable a new
repo and suck on it, without doing any due-diligence with regard to
reading up on the repo at all. I would rather help them make better
informed decisions through clientside tools which incoroprate
repolevel information then to pretend that we can control how they
interact with other repos. We can not control how 3rd party repos work
so we should not pretend by using protectionist policies by default.

3rd party repos exist for a variety of reasons, some of these repos
are well known and public.. some of them sit inhouse inside corporate
or academic networks. Regardless of the purist attitude we tend to
take about putting Core and Extras on a pedestal, the reality is there
are situational reasons to replace Core and Extras packages.  I do it
with my own in-house repos.
And if I find one of my users being told to uninstall inhouse packages
instead of communicating technical problems back to me.. well lets
just say its been a while since I've played softball and I need some
batting practise with human head sized targets.

We could in fact debate the validity of reasons to replace Core and
Extras packages all the live long day, but at the end of the day 3rd
party repos control their own policies and structures and we should
not enforce our own opinions as to how those repos should be dealing
with their userbase. We can establish best practises and associated
metrics and tools for users to make their own decisions as to which
repos to use based on those best practices.

-jef"I'll be damned if I let any individual in the Fedora contributor
undo the slow progress towards better communication and cooperation
with 3rd party repos without putting up a fight. Biased reactionary
protectionist attitudes do not build bridges into the future.  Stop
looking for the easy way out and start communicating with respect or
I'm going to make it my mission to drown you out in every single
mailinglist that I can find by posting 14 page long rambling
diatribes, so lengthy and obtuse that it will instantly drain whatever
passion or interest anyone had in the original topic, which noone will
remember 2 pages into my post. All that people will do is skip to my
sig and chuckle."spaleta

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