Re: [opensuse] Re: Why am I getting 14.6G zypper.log files?

That is, imho, one of the most thoughtfully written absolutely-spot-on
commentaries I've read in awhile here! I've been bitten by these
issues myself more than a couple of times ...

I do find it somewhat ironic that @ the same time, we're already
looking forward to 11.2:

Here's hoping that Jim's comments get some traction.

On Tue, Mar 31, 2009 at 9:23 PM, Jim Henderson <hendersj@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
On Wed, 01 Apr 2009 04:23:44 +0200, Carlos E. R. wrote:

This policy isn't very helpful to those who haven't upgraded to 11.1.
We might just as well be on a continuous upgrade cycle every 8 months
(based on the new release schedule).

Just like me, I'm using 11.0 >:-)

Common ground to build on. :-)

The "security patches only" was the old SuSE policy and it hasn't
changed much, it is how things are, and there are reasons for it (1).
There are exceptions. Big bugs have some chance of being solved, small
ones few chances. I don't work at suse, so I don't know which.

I can appreciate that, but sometimes a little shake isn't a bad thing. :-)

I do work for Novell myself (not as part of the group that handles Linux,
though) as I've mentioned before.

If you want support, you are pointed to SLES.

Actually, the way it is, if you want community support, openSUSE is the
way to go. If you want "professional" support, then something that comes
with a support contract (SLES or SLED depending on need) is the way to go..

I'm a home user with openSUSE.  It's easy to say "go buy SLED", but
that's not a desktop targeted at my market segment.  openSUSE is.  But I
also don't think that discussion of backporting patches should be shut
down with "if you want support, use SLE rather than openSUSE".  That
kinda says that the community support model doesn't work - but we all
know that's not the case.

AFAIK, this problem affects few people in 11.0, most use 11.1; maybe
there is some workaround. Marcus said he would have a look at it.
Personally, as I'm not affected, I would prefer some other bug be
attended to, hopefully some one that affects me! :-P

Could be, and as it doesn't affect me either (at this point), I'm not
overly keen on a fix for it specifically - at least until I run into it.
But the policy of not backporting patches for fairly serious issues -
even as I mentioned with the gsynaptics bug I ran into that was fixed in
11.1 before 11.1 was released and originally was not going to be
backported to 11.0 - even though it was the *current* release - seems
just silly to me and worthy of discussion within the community.

That way when a bug that's critical does hit me, my only solution isn't
to use a community-contributed patch through OBS (which can create its
own problems as many have noted in the discussions about 1-click installs
and such) or to upgrade my entire distro and pray I don't break something
like iFolder which isn't provided by openSUSE directly.

(1) Packages do not get upgraded to another version during a distro life
cycle (which is another long standing policy

Yep, aware of that one.  Currently using the unstable OO 3.x repo for
that because OO is still on 2.x in 11.0.  I'm fine with that.

(2)); instead, when there
is a problem the solution is backported, and as this requires some work,
it is done only if really necessary, which means, security problems
only. With some exceptions.

Sure.  This discussion came up with regards to another library update
some months ago as well - a library that encfs depends on that broken
encfs in 11.0.  Again, fairly critical issue to those who use encfs
because they couldn't get into their encrypted directories.  I forget
which dependency it was now that was broken - boost, I think - but encfs
was completely broken when 11.0 shipped and the fix was originally only
going to be put into 11.1 and not 11.0, even though it WAS totally broken
in 11.0.

To the team's credit, after much gnashing of teeth, the fixed boost
package was put into the update channel.  But IMHO it should have been
obvious that forcing people to upgrade to the just-released 11.1 to fix a
totally reproducible problem with encfs not working at all on 11.0 as
shipped rather than providing a patch to the library that broke it was
the right call, and it really shouldn't (again IMHO) taken the amount of
pressure to get that patch backported to 11.0 given the severity of the

I used to be a RedHat user, and I certainly wouldn't go back after having
been a SUSE user for the last 5-6 years (nor would I switch to another
distro - that's not going to solve the problem with openSUSE either).  I
find the distro superior in every way over the others, and "threatening"
to leave doesn't solve anything.  I think people who do that are being
pretty childish, actually - the "I'll take my ball and leave" tends to
leave OSS communities (and others) thinking "gee, what a prick" and "good
riddance to bad rubbish".

This is done to avoid incompatibilities between new or upgraded
packages, it add stability to the distro. Upgrading a package can add
new problems that are unknown and untested.

Sure, and I can appreciate the complexities of managing this as well.

And it has worked fine for a long time, believe me :-) Other distros may
do it different, but this is one of the strengths of suse.

Sure, at the same time, wouldn't it be great if the strength could be
maintained and we get critical issues fixed in currently supported
releases?  That'd be awesome.

As a user of openSUSE, I accept that an update might break things for
me.  I hope it doesn't.  But even more than that, I hope that when
something's broken, I can get it fixed through 'official' channels, and
if that fix breaks something else, I accept the responsibility to report
that it caused a problem, what the problem is, and to provide as much
detailed information as I can to get the problem fixed.  If I was a hard-
core coder, I'd probably contribute patches myself, but I generally don't
trust my coding enough to do that.

So instead I offer whatever I can to the developers who do write the
fixes so they can fix the problems.  That's my contribution to the
process, and honestly I wish more users of openSUSE would take my
approach rather than just "yell and forget about it" when they run into a
problem.  As a user of the product, I'm a member of the community and I
want to give back in any way I am able to.  That's how we make a better
product, right?


 Jim Henderson
 Please keep on-topic replies on the list so everyone benefits

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