CI Requirements - Lessons Not Learnt?

Ben Cooksley bcooksley at
Wed Jan 11 09:46:10 GMT 2017

On Wed, Jan 11, 2017 at 6:57 PM, Martin Gräßlin <mgraesslin at> wrote:
> Am 10. Januar 2017 22:42:35 MEZ schrieb Ben Cooksley <bcooksley at>:
>>On Mon, Jan 9, 2017 at 8:22 AM, Martin Gräßlin <mgraesslin at>
>>> Am 6. Januar 2017 17:46:30 MEZ schrieb Alexander Neundorf
>><neundorf at>:
>>>>On 2017 M01 6, Fri 22:39:22 CET Ben Cooksley wrote:
>>>>> See my notes above re. why tying this to the dependency freeze date
>>>>> a bad idea and won't really work.
>>>>> Given that we potentially have to take into account Qt version
>>>>> and base system rebuilds - i'll give a timeline of 1 month's
>>>>> notice (this is an absolute worst case scenario time). In most
>>>>> instances we can turn things around in much shorter time (about a
>>>>> week), especially where it's just a case of installing an already
>>>>> available package / adding a PPA/Equivalent Repository.
>>>>> The significant variation in time above is why I don't want to
>>>>> actually specify a time frame which is set in stone. Some things
>>>>> just easier to provide / upgrade than others.
>>>>how about some simple rule like "new dependencies every first of the
>>>>and 1 week notice. For the developer this would mean in the worst
>>>>5 weeks
>>>>waiting, which is probably quite a lot.
>>>>E.g. if you need a new dependency, and announce it let's say January
>>>>you'll get it February 1st.
>>>>If you announce it January 29th, you get it March 1st.
>>> In general I like the more formal approach to dependency handling.
>>> This concrete proposal is in my opinion to restrictive to developers
>>- in case of plasma it could mean only one date per release schedule.
>>> That's difficult to plan and makes it easy for devs to miss. If for
>>whatever reason you cannot push that one day you have to wait a
>>complete release cycle.
>>> And I don't see how this addresses the problem of CI needs time. As
>>Ben told us one week might not be enough.
>>> It can address the problem for distro consumers, but for developers
>>on older distros it wouldn't help either.
>>Can we have a proposal from your side then Martin?
>>As i've said previously, what i'm asking for here is fundamentally
>>incompatible with integration into a release schedule, as dependencies
>>can be bumped at essentially any time from the point of a version
>>being released (the unfreeze) to the point dependencies are frozen in
>>the lead up to a release. The advance notice i've asked for needs to
>>be given before said bump actually happens.
>>Note that the amount of notice needed is very dependent on the nature
>>of the bump - some bumps could be sorted in 24 hours... while others
>>require extensive planning and need weeks.
> Honestly, that is an inflexibility I cannot work with. I don't see how I as a dev can
> plan to upgrade a dependency if all we get is something between a day and months.
> Please remember that our release schedule is only about 3 months. With the
> requirements presented here it means I have to announce in the last release cycle that I want to upgrade a dependency.

I'm sorry but that is how it is - we're providing CI to the entire of
KDE, covering Frameworks, Applications and Extragear - in addition to
Jenkins currently has ~1300 jobs loaded into it - so KWin is a
miniscule blip in comparison, considering it makes up only 2 of those

This makes any change in the base platform a complex one - requiring a
full rebuild of everything (takes more than a day last time we did it
- and that's not taking into account the current Jenga tower state of
the dependency tree for some parts of KDE). This is where the "weeks"
part I mentioned above comes in - as depending on what you are after
we may have to replace the system base. That isn't something we can
just do at a drop of a hat because you've decided to bump dependencies
on something, and it isn't something I can predict with any certainty

How difficult a dependency bump or introduction is to accommodate very
much depends on the availability of supplementary repositories (PPAs),
the difficulty of building it ourselves (bear in mind this has a
corresponding maintenance cost as well) and the ABI impact on the rest
of the system (even Qt patch releases demand a full rebuild of things
due to the usage of private API in various parts of KDE).

As for a month "being a problem" I seem to recall you mentioning that
you waited about that time for libxkbcommon to filter into various
distributions before bumping the dependency on it. I've no idea why
you think CI should be subject to different rules - you seem to think
it should be able to bump dependencies at the drop of a hat which is
from my position completely unreasonable.

> That doesn't work. Such inflexibility take away the advantage of having a CI.
> Cheers
> Martin


>>> Cheers
>>> Martin
>>>>Of course such the numbers (weeks) are arbitrarily chosen and could
>>>>I guess something like this would be convenient for "consumers" of

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