RFC: Conditions of early access to unreleased

Michael Pyne mpyne at kde.org
Mon Jun 4 02:28:31 UTC 2012

On Monday, June 04, 2012 00:52:47 Albert Astals Cid wrote:
> My proposal:
> ******************************
> The KDE Release Team recognizes the importance of making a source release
> together with binary packages of various distributions since this greatly
> increases the impact of a given release.
> To this effect we give the privilege of early access to unreleased tarballs
> to select packagers of distributions

I like to view it as we have specific points-of-contact within the various 
distributions who have agreed to interact directly with us, the KDE developers 
and community in order to deliver the best possible KDE for their 
distribution. As such they have early access to unreleased tarballs to give 
early feedback of issues that would impair their ability to package the 
software so that when Release Day rolls around, there are already KDE packages 
available, yaaay!

Really though, that's where I try to stop thinking of it being a privilege for 
the packagers. You've certainly seen how hard it is to tag together dozens and 
dozens of disparate modules into a working release, I can't imagine it is much 
easier for the packagers to stitch it together on their end.

I agree candidate tarball releases shouldn't be deliberately announced to 
users or pushed directly to distribution channels, but I would not see major 
issue if enterprising users happened to end up with binary packages. After 
all, they can already run "the upcoming release" using build-tool or kdesrc-
build so they really have no more advantage or claim to running it than many 
other users.

If it is required for a distribution's packaging build system to push packages 
out, I would still rather have that than for them to hold up making packages 
until *we* are ready.

>  * Report any compilation error you might find as soon as possible to the
> release team mailing list
>  * Report any missing package or unpackaged dependency as soon as possible
> to the release team mailing list

I agree with this, and AFAIK the packagers have been doing well with this. But 
it's good to have it in writing.

> Reiterated failure to comply with this guidelines might end up in revocation
> of your special access to unreleased tarballs.

I would agree with this, with the proviso that we're talking about a guideline 
more along the lines of "do your best to avoid publicizing the new KDE 
packages" as opposed to "don't let any packages get out at all". I'm assuming 
the packagers generally want this as well instead of having to worry about 
other distros "breaking the street date".

> So it turns I'm undecided and don't know if we should un-tighthen the first
> point to something like
>  * Do not make the packages available to your users (in stable or
> automatically suggested updates to stable versions) before the official
> tarballs are announced

I like this much better.

 - Michael Pyne
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