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Fedora Project Developer Proposes Layered, More Agile Design to Distribution

Unknown Lamer posted 1 year,9 days | from the upstream-engagement dept.

Linux 74

Karrde712 writes "Fedora Cloud Architect Matthew Miller announced a proposal on a plan to redesign the way that the Fedora Project builds its GNU/Linux distribution. Fedora has often been described as a 'bag of bits,' with thousands of packages and only minimal integration. Miller's proposal for 'Fedora.Next' describes reorganizing the packages and upstream projects that comprise Fedora into a series of 'rings,' each level of which would have its own set of release and packaging requirements. The lowest levels of the distribution may be renamed to 'Fedora Core.' Much discussion is ongoing on the Fedora Devel mailing list. If any Slashdot readers have good advice to add to the discussion, it would be most useful to respond to the ongoing thread there." A full presentation on the plan will be given at the Flock conference next month, and draft slides have been uploaded. A few more details about the discussion are below the fold.

Karrde712 continues, Discussion on the list has questioned whether this is meant to be a return to the old "Fedora Core" and "Fedora Extras" model of Fedora's early life, to which Miller responded: 'I'm aware of this concern — I was there too, you know. As I was talking about the idea with people, it kept being hard to not accidentally say "core". Finally, as I was talking to Seth Vidal, he said, in his characteristic way, "Look, here's the thing. You should just call it Fedora Core. If you don't, people are going to be grumbling in the back corner and saying that it's really Core, and the conversation becomes about a conspiracy about the name. Just call it Fedora Core, and then have the conversation about the important point, which is how it's different."'

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businessmen in software (5, Insightful)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | 1 year,9 days | (#44359263)

I pretty much left the software development world when all this "Agile" bullshit became popular.

Over the past decade there has been an explosion of methodologies and metrics to coincide with a stagnation in fundamental developments in engineering. Contrary to what the young'uns think, there is very little that's appeared on the software scene that wasn't already there - and written more efficiently - either on the desktop in the '90s, or on the mainframe/cloud in the two decades prior. But what we do have is a whole pile of paperwork, of admin, of things to remember about how you're supposed to be doing things, of new ways to make creativity just that little bit harder.

So there is an *explosion* on all the new platforms of very similar software products, all developed the same way.

Stop it. Find out what works in your organisation, and evolve incrementally. Don't look to claims of revolutionary buzzwords.

Re:businessmen in software (3, Funny)

viperidaenz (2515578) | 1 year,9 days | (#44359295)

and get off your lawn?

Re:businessmen in software (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | 1 year,9 days | (#44359315)

You're welcome on my lawn, but please don't re-enact history on it...

Re:businessmen in software (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | 1 year,9 days | (#44359425)

ButButBut. . .Java can be a sexual encounter between Cobol and a bagel, if you just want it badly enough!

Re:businessmen in software (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44359341)

You said everything I was thinking. It's a shame that reality seems to equal flamebait according to slashdot readers these days.

Re:businessmen in software (2)

breun (691628) | 1 year,9 days | (#44359363)

Find out what works in your organisation, and evolve incrementally.

Hm, sounds like agile to me.

Re:businessmen in software (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44359471)

Find out what works in your organisation, and evolve incrementally.

Hm, sounds like agile to me.

Indeed. The problem has always been with the name. It should be called Common Sense Development. Again, he's right, this is not new, just the ol' good spiral method.

Re:businessmen in software (1)

gl4ss (559668) | 1 year,9 days | (#44359679)

Find out what works in your organisation, and evolve incrementally.

Hm, sounds like agile to me.

Indeed. The problem has always been with the name. It should be called Common Sense Development. Again, he's right, this is not new, just the ol' good spiral method.

and the big house agile is just... well it's a new name for waterfall development where you never see the supposed architecht. same old shit with weekly or even by hour progress report writing.

Re:businessmen in software (2)

jbolden (176878) | 1 year,9 days | (#44359715)

Agile is one of the most pro-programmer, pro-creativity methodologies around.

As for nothing new being invented, just to pick one, mobility and a mobile workforce. In the 1990s people could carry papers and a PDA but information from the mobile workforce flowed back often days later.

Re:businessmen in software (1)

spike hay (534165) | 1 year,8 days | (#44370333)

But will it be able to provide the complete, integrated experience to empower our talent to enhance our enterprise value?

Re:businessmen in software (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44359731)

Good, more money for the rest of us.

I'm guessing you made that shit up to make a point, much like everyone else on Slashdot, but hey...even if you didn't, your stupid decision leads to more work for me. If you actually "left the software development world" because of dumbass IT managers then you probably never worked in it in the first place. Actual IT workers have to deal with stupid managers all the time.

Don't get me wrong, if you actually left, I appreciate it. Like I said, your shortsightedness and your inability to adapt only leave more opportunity for the rest of us.

Re:businessmen in software (3, Interesting)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | 1 year,9 days | (#44360247)

Like I said: "businessmen in software" - you're demonstrating it well, Anonymous coward.

While "actual workers" have always had to deal with managers, helicopter management by overgrown software developers who slipped into the comfy chair is a newer phenomenon.

Short-sightedness is not seeing that we're just seeing the same old methods but with new names, more rules, and more paperwork. See other replies on this thread. But I couldn't help but hear you type your post with Cabaret's "Tomorrow belongs to me" playing in the background, and this made me laugh, so thanks.

Re:businessmen in software (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44361303)

And like I said, your failure to adapt is my gain.

Thanks.

Re:businessmen in software (3, Interesting)

ClassicASP (1791116) | 1 year,9 days | (#44359819)

True that. Seen this routine a bunch of times in various ways, and in the end its really about developers making money. You can just keep it simple and go with what works (as you can see from my handle, I'm old-school). But I've met many less-experienced and less-knowledgable business owners who were totally sold on complex methodologies by their developers, and as time progressed they ended up with something thats very bulky and complicated that required a big learning curve to get past in order for any new developer to be added to the scene to jump in and start getting anything done. Business owners don't want to have to pay money for someone to just sit there and learn, so they can't find anyone else to work on their site who they consider "qualified". So whats happened is they've found themselves pretty much stuck with whomever originally wrote their code, which of course keeps their job secure and empowers them to command more money for their work. To me it just feels and sounds too much like a scam, and I hold myself to higher standards than that.

Re:businessmen in software (2)

Bengie (1121981) | 1 year,9 days | (#44359933)

I also love how people use "Agile" as an excuse for horrible design. You don't let programmers design the system, you still have a proper architect who designs, but you have the programmers make modular code that is easy to re-factor.

Like what anonymous said further down, "Common Sense Development". Make your code modular, work one module at a time, preferably create tests for each module, when requirements change, re-factor. Welcome to Agile, the same crap that has been told for good programming practices for decades.

Re:businessmen in software (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | 1 year,8 days | (#44366215)

Except that Agile comes with it's own terminology and rituals. Like a religion in some ways. It also comes with a large industry of consultants and coaches and participants and advocates.

Most companies out there don't use any specific methodology, they just have a mishmash of lots of things. There absolutely is not a binary choice of agile versus waterfall.

Re:businessmen in software (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44360017)

'Agile' is just a name that popped into this guy's mind to describe what he considers the potential release-cycle benefits of his proposal. It's obvious from the rest of his memo that his use has nothing to do with Scrum, Extreme Programming, or those other methodologies that require you to send your staff to get training and buy a bunch of fluffy books that always seem to cost $34.95.

I think we should focus discussion on the specifics of the guy's proposal.

Re:businessmen in software (1)

mattdm (1931) | 1 year,9 days | (#44364355)

I think we should focus discussion on the specifics of the guy's proposal.

Thanks, I appreciate that. :)

I could definitely have chosen "flexible" or "nimble" or some other random adjective. It didn't quite just pop into my mind, though -- I'm definitely familiar with the agile programming movement and have seen it in action in very positive ways. (I'm sure it can go horribly wrong, just like anything.) So, the title isn't completely an accident. I do want to evoke some of the agile manifesto: focus on interactions and individuals, responsiveness in the face of change, and so on. In general, I think we need to make some room for "worse is better" underneath the Fedora umbrella (while still keeping the core to a "the right thing" model) -- that's not agile in specific but is part of the same vein from which it developed.

Re:businessmen in software (1)

AdamWill (604569) | 1 year,9 days | (#44363749)

If you knew anything about Matt, you'd know describing him as a 'businessman' is pretty absurd.

http://mattdm.org/ [mattdm.org]

Marketing not cutting edge (2, Interesting)

Stonefish (210962) | 1 year,9 days | (#44359325)

If you're concerned about packaging you're in marketing not software development, why not just spend hours talking about the colour of the box and be done with it. This is one of the reasons why debian is making inroads into the enterprise space. Less colour and more bang. Once many years ago I thought that Debian wasn't for business use and only redhat was a contender in this space and I fought hard to standardize on this supported model. Since then the packaging quality of debian has demonstrated its robustness and redhat has been focusing on other things.

Re:Marketing not cutting edge (5, Informative)

msclrhd (1211086) | 1 year,9 days | (#44359369)

Packaging in this sense is referring to grouping the built binaries and other files into a set of installable files that you can install (i.e. the rpm files in Fedora, deb files in Debian and msi files on Windows). These take care of specifying the dependencies and upgrades.

The discussion in TFA is how to group those packages so they are more manageable. For example, a core layer is critical for running the OS (containing the kernel and other essential software), like the projects built in the Linux From Scratch manual.

This then allows those groups to update and release independently of each other. These updates ensure that the packages in the group work well together. That is, you usually need to make sure that gcc, binutils and glibc all work well and update together so they would be in a group together.

Re:Marketing not cutting edge (0)

Stonefish (210962) | 1 year,9 days | (#44359951)

If you though that I didn't understand what "packaging" was you're a clod. The discussion about if sets of packages can be aligned in rings whether multidimensional or not is "marketing" in the purest sense, they aren't and will never be rings, its an attractive term that you're familiar with that they are using to sell the concept. This is a top down approach to solving what could be and arguably should be a bottom up methodology. In essence its about control or more specifically a small group's vision of control about how releases should work. Once you have a classification model (rings) you need a classifier etc and suddenly there a layer of control where there was none before. But is was for your own good ;-)

Re:Marketing not cutting edge (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44360951)

TIL: Sensible presentation of complex data is 'marketing'.

I should hire some marketers to help me with my big data sets.

Re:Marketing not cutting edge (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44359411)

There are packaging projects that are about meaningful software development: Guix and the original nixos.org have substantial improvements over the current deployments methods and systems like fedora's rpm or even debian's deb.
The thing is, by providing better packaging and deployment, you speed the adoption of newer and better software. Debian is the best example of the price cumbersome system impose. Developers just refuse targeting it since it's too involving so Debian is forced to rely on it's own packaging volunteers. The result in many cases is old packaging with ad-hoc patches.

If Red Hat is serious about getting some base system work done, and after Anaconda I believe they do, they should start with adopting Guix or something like it. It will fix problems they don't even know they have.

Re:Marketing not cutting edge (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44359489)

Christ. The reason why Debian is so good is exactly that they take so great care with packaging. You even write so yourself. Idiot.

Re:Marketing not cutting edge (0)

tibit (1762298) | 1 year,9 days | (#44359825)

Idiot moderators, this should have been moderated funny! Stonefish, if you're serious, you're in deep trouble.

Re:Marketing not cutting edge (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44360543)

If you're concerned about packaging you're in marketing not software development

In context this is probably one of the dumbest comments I've ever read on Slashdot. You don't belong on the Internet outside of Facebook and Youtube.

Re:Marketing not cutting edge (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44361915)

It's almost as dumb as posting snarky comments anonymously! Almost.

Re:Marketing not cutting edge (1)

crutchy (1949900) | 1 year,3 days | (#44411179)

if this is one of the dumbest comments you've ever read on slashdot... welcome to slashdot noob!

if you weren't a total twit you would realize how much sense the snippet you quoted actually makes, particularly in the open source world where there usually isn't any packaging at all beyond a few jpegs on the download website

you don't belong on the internet outside of goatse.cx

Re:Marketing not cutting edge (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44361459)

On the other hand, Firefox's development cycle greatly improved when they changed their numbering and release system.

Listen to the sysadmins (4, Interesting)

mitcheli (894743) | 1 year,9 days | (#44359345)

Seems to me that when I'm working on a build with security in mind, I start with a bare build that is the barest of essentials to boot the system and use the hardware. From then, we add on the packages we need to get just what we need. And as we layer those packages on, we focus on the hardening of the individual services. As time has gone on, in a virtualized environment, it's very easy to build "default" systems that fill certain roles and are sized for different resource levels. It would seem to me that these standardized baselines would serve well for an installation model. Fedora does that to some extent (loosely) but that could be built upon more I would think. So if I want a firewall, I could get a bare boned installation with enhanced iptables rules and hardening provisions commonly used. Or if I want a web server, perhaps a slightly less bareboned installation with the needed scripting tools (PHP, Perl, etc?), etc... It seems the biggest questions I've dealt with when building new systems is, role, size, and whether or not it's for development. Outside of that, the builds are rather typical.

Re:Listen to the sysadmins (2)

jfdavis668 (1414919) | 1 year,9 days | (#44359493)

The reason I use Fedora is just that. You can install a bare bones system, and add the capability you need. That way I only need to take the "bit" I need from the "bag". Yes, that means thinking about what you need to install, instead of spraying features out until you hope you covered your needs. That was one of the problems which lead to unsecured systems, people installing features they weren't even aware existed. If they didn't know about it, they didn't configure it and take security into account. I like having to decide to include it, and configure it properly as I go.

Not even new (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44359395)

It was Fedora Core when it first replaced the Red Hat regular distro... The Core was dropped a few years ago, now it is coming back as something *New and improved*.

What we'd really need (3, Insightful)

aglider (2435074) | 1 year,9 days | (#44359421)

In order to get Linux growing is a similar thing.
A "ring0" with a very basic system on top of which all other distros are based.
This would avoid everyone re-inventing the warm water multiple times, while distros would focus on the other rings.
More or less the same as is seen in FreeBSD with the "GIU"derivatives.
A controlled ring0 would focus on keeping the system up and running at the very best with a centralized repo for everyone.
But you may say i am a dreamer ...

Re:What we'd really need (2)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | 1 year,9 days | (#44359457)

So what you're saying is that we should reinvent Debian?

Re:What we'd really need (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44359465)

Not at all, but feel free to read his post ;)

Re:What we'd really need (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44359841)

Oh, you mean the linux standard base? http://www.linuxfoundation.org/collaborate/workgroups/lsb
It's been tried, and only a few people pay attention to it.

Re:What we'd really need (2)

tibit (1762298) | 1 year,9 days | (#44359847)

The deal is that this "ring0" can be done in multiple ways. For example, what is the first process to start: init or launchd? Is selinux finally going to be the default, with support for all services in this ring0, and core stuff in the next ring as well? And so on. See, it's not so easy when you actually get to doing it. Talk is cheap.

Re:What we'd really need (1)

cold fjord (826450) | 1 year,9 days | (#44360459)

This would avoid everyone re-inventing the warm water multiple times, while distros would focus on the other rings

It wouldn't be Linux if people weren't reinventing (or at least reimplementing) things. In a way that is almost the point of it.

Re:What we'd really need (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44361017)

Just so long as the "ring0" base system is based on Red Hat technology, right? Any distros (hey Debian) who follow this plan are going to find themselves working indirectly for Red Hat and killing off the distro model of linux distribution. It will also be near impossible for any new players (hello Canonical) to offer different "core" level technology since all of the ring0 stuff is tightly dependent on each other (hello GnomeOS). This ploy is only going to help Red Hat in the long run to the detriment of the diversely vibrant Linux ecosystem.

Re:What we'd really need (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44361443)

Just so long as the "ring0" base system is based on Red Hat technology, right? Any distros (hey Debian) who follow this plan are going to find themselves working indirectly for Red Hat and killing off the distro model of linux distribution. It will also be near impossible for any new players (hello Canonical) to offer different "core" level technology since all of the ring0 stuff is tightly dependent on each other (hello GnomeOS). This ploy is only going to help Red Hat in the long run to the detriment of the diversely vibrant Linux ecosystem.

-1? Ha. Looks like the Red Hat mod toadies are out in force today!

Re:What we'd really need (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44364705)

Just so long as the "ring0" base system is based on Red Hat technology, right? Any distros (hey Debian) who follow this plan are going to find themselves working indirectly for Red Hat and killing off the distro model of linux distribution. It will also be near impossible for any new players (hello Canonical) to offer different "core" level technology since all of the ring0 stuff is tightly dependent on each other (hello GnomeOS). This ploy is only going to help Red Hat in the long run to the detriment of the diversely vibrant Linux ecosystem.

-1? Ha. Looks like the Red Hat mod toadies are out in force today!

Another one bites the dust! Here, have s'more!

Re:What we'd really need (1)

JonJ (907502) | 1 year,7 days | (#44378619)

No, it's because your drunken ramblings make no sense at all. This is purely about Fedora, not upstream projects. Debian, Canonical etc. aren't pulling directly from Fedora.

Re:What we'd really need (1)

madcat_sun (2812213) | 1 year,9 days | (#44362675)

It depends in what you are meaning for " a very basic system on top of which all other distros are based." Why the same basic system has to be the same for a student, for a group, for a school or a goverment server? This is more marketing . It reminds me the time, after a gazillion bugs/error or hardware misconfiguration you used ti fullfil a w95 setup. Whoa!!!! and then what? You have the very basic system...doing nothing. Cmon men, just fire up a network installation disc, grab the packages you need and its done. Why do you need a ring to make things????

We need a ring (1)

aglider (2435074) | 1 year,8 days | (#44373135)

to rule them all! Of course, you insensitive hobbit clod!

Re:We need a ring (1)

madcat_sun (2812213) | 1 year,6 days | (#44386531)

Indeed I forgot ; you Gondor people!!!!

Extra layers == epic fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44359423)

From TFA, their goal seems to be to:

- Add more layers
- Add more dependencies
- Reduce compatibility
- Make the distro more "exciting"

It would be hard to imagine a better recipe for epic failure. It seems that the proponents don't realize that the less baggage it carries, the more robust and easy to use a distro becomes.

And "excitement" is definitely not needed. An operating system isn't an electrical appliance needing new excitement and frills to shift product off the shelves each season. Boredom is a sign of stability and reliability, and those two are without doubt most important features a distro designer can provide.

Re:Extra layers == epic fail (2)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | 1 year,9 days | (#44360387)

- Make the distro more "exciting"

I'd be excited if upgrades weren't an ugly afterthought. Y'know, because everybody has to do it at least once a year.

If it takes this 'ring' idea, to force the upgrade issue, and perhaps versioned packages outside of kernel-*, then I'll get behind it.

Re:Extra layers == epic fail (2)

mattdm (1931) | 1 year,9 days | (#44361729)

I'd be excited if upgrades weren't an ugly afterthought. Y'know, because everybody has to do it at least once a year.

If it takes this 'ring' idea, to force the upgrade issue, and perhaps versioned packages outside of kernel-*, then I'll get behind it.

Good, because those two things are exactly what this is all about.

Re:Extra layers == epic fail (3, Informative)

mattdm (1931) | 1 year,9 days | (#44361973)

It would be hard to imagine a better recipe for epic failure. It seems that the proponents don't realize that the less baggage it carries, the more robust and easy to use a distro becomes.

I have to say, I'm not entirely sure you've read this proposal. Or maybe there is something that could be more clear? The audience here is really Fedora developers, so it's likely that some things aren't immediately apparent if you're more removed from that. Overall, this is a proposal for significantly less baggage.

And "excitement" is definitely not needed. An operating system isn't an electrical appliance needing new excitement and frills to shift product off the shelves each season. Boredom is a sign of stability and reliability, and those two are without doubt most important features a distro designer can provide.

Well, Fedora isn't ever going to be that completely safe kind of boring. For that, we have our downstream distributions, which are awesomely boring in all the way you describe. Fedora isn't supposed to be that, and is supposed to be in place where we are generating excitement, whether that's at the OS core or further out. But in general, the idea here is to separate out that "no frills" core from the language stacks and other areas where "be up to date" and "make available the exact things we need" are the demands. Then, we can address these needs differently.

If you're just interested in the base, awesome: we will put that together for you in a well-defined way and let you do whatever you want on top of that.

Having the separate ring 1 lets us focus on making that a coherent base which can be enhanced in an cohesive way which doesn't break everything for users as we go from release to release.

Fedora had its place (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44359605)

Fedora being a "bag of bits" wasn't necessarily a bad thing, as it was one of the distros more focused on out-of-the-box functionality than efficiency or minimalism anyway. It was the happy medium between the user-friendly behemoth or Ubuntu, and the minimal "hardcore" distros like Arch Linux, Slackware, and Gentoo. While the difference in software support is significant, a more minimal Fedora would compete with Arch Linux, and lose.

Agile (1)

BrentRBrian (582948) | 1 year,9 days | (#44359659)

What makes this AGILE?

Re:Agile (1)

jbolden (176878) | 1 year,9 days | (#44359725)

It allows small working groups to focus on their areas of interest without broader impact and thus parts of Fedora can evolve semi-independently of one another. Level 0 will be top down but Level 2 may be very agile where all the stakeholders and just meet and come to a quick agreement.

How is this different? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44359669)

Just not sure I understand how these goals can't be achieved with the current tools:
"include layers of modular enabling technologies.." RPMs?
"provide room for special interest groups to create solutions" Yum Package Groups? Kickstart?
"Ring One is base functionality and behavior that everyone can expect of any Fedora system" Minimal Install?

Maybe the idea is to use the current tools sets but in a more efficient way? I do like that they are pushing for JeOS images even a minimal fedora install comes with loads of things I don't care about or will ever need.

lets have a bike shed committee committee (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44359775)

then we can discuss the appropriate structural milieu for forming a committee that will, eventually, discuss how to go about forming a committee that will discuss creating a committee to paint a bike shed.

first order of business - will this committee be a circle? or more a sort of a square. and will there be sandwiches? i love those little ones with the crust cut off, you know, like they are cut into little squares out of a regular size sandwich.

whats that? no. no. i dont care about the vegetarians. they can get their own food on the way here. ok muslims? fine. no pork. maybe we can have pork and then chicken, and we can put a little sign on them.. to split out which is which so... no, that wont work it might get mixed up while people are taking sandwiches...

and the gluten free people? what about people with celiac? oh god. this is getting complicated.

i know ... what if we form a committee to study the sandwich problem?

also about the funding.... i hate to bring it up... but...it has been some time since we have been renumerated for all our hard work painting the bike shed.

Re:lets have a bike shed committee committee (1)

tibit (1762298) | 1 year,9 days | (#44359875)

There's more truth to this post than I'm comfortable with, actually. How sad is it when people can't just articulate a clear plan of action - something that anyone familiar with Fedora would be able to, you know, start hacking away on.

completly off-topic Was: bike shed committee (1)

oddtodd (125924) | 1 year,9 days | (#44364023)

you know how sometimes you run into a word a few times, then don't see it for years, then this word pops into your head for some unknown reason and a day or two later, BOOM!, there it is.
kinda freaky.
anywho, the word in this case is 'remunerated', which you misspelled here 'renumerated', which is kinda how it was brought to my attention years ago.
and stay off my lawn.

Sounds like Debian (1)

canadiangoose (606308) | 1 year,9 days | (#44359807)

Sounds to me like they're talking about Debian, the way it's integrated and layered.

As a Debian fan who's often asked to administer RH boxes, this would be a welcome change.

Matt Miller is unhappy but unsure what about (0)

tibit (1762298) | 1 year,9 days | (#44359865)

Let me rephrase what's going on: Matt Miller is unhappy about the state of Fedora, but he can't really articulate exactly what he's unhappy about and how exactly would he have an imaginary uber-developer fix the issue. When you get rid of buzzwords and marketing speak, there's no substance left. How sad.

Re:Matt Miller is unhappy but unsure what about (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44360075)

Let me rephrase what's going on: Matt Miller is unhappy about the state of Fedora, but he can't really articulate exactly what he's unhappy about and how exactly would he have an imaginary uber-developer fix the issue. When you get rid of buzzwords and marketing speak, there's no substance left. How sad.

How dare you question an architect of "clouds". HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Re:Matt Miller is unhappy but unsure what about (2)

mattdm (1931) | 1 year,9 days | (#44362149)

Question all you like. I don't mind. However, I'd really prefer questions to the trolling. *

Which, given all the posts, by tibit, I have to assume is the case. If I were to take it seriously, though, I would say that probably what's happened is that much of the concrete part of the proposal uses labels which are unlikely to be familiar to someone not active in Fedora development (Fedora Formulas, Software Collections) without explaining them. You might know OpenShift, but "OpenShift Gears, decoupled" just sounds like gibberish. Even the term "base design" sounds vague but actually relates to a specific ongoing effort (http://sched.co/11El9OZ).

I didn't really think about how this would read to an outside audience, because Fedora developers are the intended audience, and because this is a presentation, not an in-depth white paper.

(* I know, I know, am I new here or what?)

Re:Matt Miller is unhappy but unsure what about (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44360585)

He's just saying that you should have one set of packages that you focus more effort into and a larger superset that you don't. It's basically what Ubuntu has been doing the whole time with the main vs. universe repos.

'bag of bits' is harsh (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44359941)

I'd call it a 'set of bits' because the maintainers are usually careful not to include the exact same package twice.

They already do this (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44360009)

It seems to me Fedora already does this. Fedora itself is a relatively small, bare distribution. it doesn't come with codecs, Flash, any proprietary repositories, VirtualBox, etc. That's why Adobe, Oracle and RPMFusion exist, they are add-ons to the core of Fedora. the Fedora project itself has always just been about providing a pretty small base and letting people throw on additional software at their own risk. This just breaks down the same model further. We could end up with Fedora Core, Fedora Extras and then all the third-party repositories on top. No thank you, I'll stick with an all-in-one set up like Mint or Debian.

Re:They already do this (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | 1 year,9 days | (#44360469)

Fedora itself is a relatively small, bare distribution.

There are fourteen thousand [fedoraproject.org] software packages in Fedora.

it doesn't come with codecs, Flash, any proprietary repositories, VirtualBox, etc. That's why Adobe, Oracle and RPMFusion exist, they are add-ons to the core of Fedora.

Which only contain a few hundred packages, mostly due to licensing issues that Fedora doesn't want to tackle (have an argument with the government over).

No thank you, I'll stick with an all-in-one set up like Mint or Debian.

Adobe doesn't even run a repo for Debian and its packages rely on downloading binaries raw, without repo support. It's good that the intermediate packagers make the effort to stay on top of vendor updates, though.

Re:They already do this (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | 1 year,9 days | (#44360753)

Unless all 14000 are preinstalled you aren't exactly disproving them.

Re:They already do this (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44361029)

14,000 packages in total for all of Fedora's repositories vs nearly 40,000 for Ubuntu/Mint. I think you just proved his point.

Re:They already do this (1)

hierofalcon (1233282) | 1 year,9 days | (#44360835)

To further the comment on the huge size of the "Everything" repository that is Fedora - I think F18 x86_64 is around 40+ Gb with updates, so, yes it is a huge distribution.

I think it would be great if they would get off this release everything every six months kick they're on and figure out something better. If rings helps them get this accomplished, that's fine. I hate to think of the number of packages that get recompiled just to change the name of the package from f17 to f18 to f19 with no substantive other changes.

If the rings let them alter their dependency tree from works with version x of lib x to works with at least version x of lib x on more outer ring fluff, I'm all for it. This is particularly true for all the font and game and other data packages where large blobs of data that probably didn't change from one release to another just get reissued with a new name.

The KDE group already releases their desktop for all non EOL versions of Fedora. I'm sure it costs them a bit of extra care to do that, but they manage. They're a great ring. It's the synchronization with some of the other same level rings like Gnome that give them fits.

The biggest issue is that some of the low level ring changes will force lots of next layer ring changes anyway that will propagate out, so in the long term I'm not sure if it will really fix the problem. But if it would slow down the massive changes in the outer application ring that in the old days wasn't even part of Core and allowed them to just update individual packages when needed to because of a library incompatibility in a lower level ring but otherwise didn't release a new version unless the software functionality was upgraded, that would be great.

Get rid of gnome3 (1)

EPDowd (770230) | 1 year,9 days | (#44360059)

If you really want to make Fedora better get rid of gnome3.

just like BSD (1)

Nightshade (37114) | 1 year,9 days | (#44360713)

So they're basically "reinventing" how BSD does things? They even blatantly copied an OpenBSD image for this presentation...

(Compare slide 13 [mattdm.org] from the presentation with OpenBSD 4.9 [openbsd.org] art)

In all seriousness though, it's a pretty good plan. Everyone knows that BSD means real engineering while Linux is "just a hobby, won't be big and professional"

Make upgrading painless (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44360899)

On linux, that's a joke. Upgrading is like pulling teeth. From leftover files and configuration entries to kernel updates changing the bootloader's settings.

Redhat was never a clean implementation (1)

HighOrbit (631451) | 1 year,9 days | (#44361719)

Back in the day (circa 2001, so RH 7 thru 7.3) before RH adopted YUM and the entire distrubtion fit on 1 CD, I was constantly frustrated by the unexplainable need of RH to make packages depend on completely unrelated stuff. I swear you couldn't install a 10kB console text editor without installing 50MB of dependencies. What possible reason could a console editor require libjpg? Things like that were common. IIRC, before YUM you had to type in every single package name x 20 or so packages (with exact versions like libjpg-rh7.1.2.3.0-i386.rpm); this was a serious hassle.

When it became time to move to another system, I went with Debian (woody I think) because the implementation was cleaner to begin with and APT was a godsend for dependency resolution. I say the implementation was cleaner, because even when reduced to using dpkg instead of APT, I usually only had to type in two or three dependencies, whereas I remember many more installing the same on RH.

So, yes. If I was still using RH/Fedora, I would love a clean and elegant (agile if you like buzzwords) implementation without all the extraneous crap.

Getting to the root of the thread! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44364747)

Just so long as the "ring0" base system is based on Red Hat technology, right? Any distros (hey Debian) who follow this plan are going to find themselves working indirectly for Red Hat and killing off the distro model of linux distribution. It will also be near impossible for any new players (hello Canonical) to offer different "core" level technology since all of the ring0 stuff is tightly dependent on each other (hello GnomeOS). This ploy is only going to help Red Hat in the long run to the detriment of the diversely vibrant Linux ecosystem.

Again, with feeling now.

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