Why are 4.8.80 packages already out in the wild?

Kevin Kofler kevin.kofler at chello.at
Mon Jun 4 13:18:11 UTC 2012

On Monday 04 June 2012, Sebastian Kügler wrote:
> That means that people report bugs against different incarnations of the
> same packages, which makes bugs hard to find -- it doesn't work as we
> can't verify the exact state of the code a bug is filed against.

That almost never makes a difference in practice, and when it does, the 
developers are (or should be) aware of the respin and ask to make sure. (If 
the reporter is the packager, he/she'll definitely know whether the package 
already uses a respun tarball, if not, he/she can provide the exact version of 
the distro package and the distro packager can tell you what tarball was used. 
And in any case, we always issue a new build with the respun tarball as soon 
as possible.)

It would definitely be better than the current situation where bugs end up filed 
against at best "unspecified" or at worst a wrong version number.

For reference, in Fedora, we create the version in Bugzilla when we branch a 
new release (which is shortly before the Alpha release), not when we release 
it. Users were able to file bugs against "Fedora 17" starting from a few days 
before Fedora 17 Alpha. We also don't distinguish between Alpha, Beta, Final 
or Final + n months of updates in the Version field. We still manage to do our 

> We've handled package level problems via email in direct contact with
> packagers who encountered the issues, and that worked fine so far. I
> suggest we stick to it.

That works great for things that warrant a respin, but for normal bugs, why 
should I not be able to use the normal bug tracker without setting the version 
to something vague like "unspecified"?

        Kevin Kofler

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