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Re: 2nd call: binary incompatibility



   Date: Wed, 17 Sep 1997 17:51:01 -0400 (EDT)
   From: Jim Hebert <jhebert@compu-aid.com>

   Redhat can do what they always do in these situations - run old versions
   of stuff. Look at the libc version, not to mention various other things in
   the distribution. Redhat will hang on to old sources and patch them if
   they don't like the new ones. People who are clued in enough to be on this
   list and downloading things that people put up marked as alpha-level code
   probably aren't the doing so without knowing what they're doing. 

There are two kinds of compatibility --- binary compatibility, and
source compatibility.  If we bump the major version number of libpam,
we'll have binary compatibility.  However, people who download old patches
to (say) retrofit a Radius server with PAM, may lose when they compile
against the new library.  If they're lucky, they'll notice the compiler
warning about the function prototype mismatch.  But if they're not, they
will simply lose.

   But, as far as what gets put in the distribution, RedHat, I would think,
   would wait until they can give you all new pam'd apps, and then release
   the whole lot of stuff at once in some sort of bundle. It's a good time to
   push for all the new stuff to get done, as redhat is working on their next
   distribution right now, and if you can get a new pam out and new apps to
   work with it, then the next generation of pam machines will be on the
   right track from birth. 

RedHat's new distribution is already in beta.  I obviously can't speak
for the RedHat folks, but in most software companies, you'd *never* try
to sneak through such a major change during the beta cycle, especially
this late in the beta cycle.  Short-circuiting the QA process like that
is a recipe for trouble.  You don't get quality software using the, "It
builds, ship it!"  methodology.

(I once cracked a joke about "It builds, ship it!!" at a party, and
someone who works in QA immediately started reaching for my throat....)

						- Ted



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