SIGs/KDE/Update policy

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Fedora KDE Plasma Desktop update policy

We will be shipping one major update per Fedora release. This update will include not only bug & security fixes but new features as well.

Reasons

  • upstream release schedule - it's somewhere in the middle of Fedora release timeframe
  • 4.x.y is the only stable and supported version by upstream
    • it's not easy to backport bug fixes in a such complex codebase
  • users visible changes are slowing down quickly with higher 4.x releases

Background

Currently we are updating all available Fedora releases, with every release from upstream KDE.

This has several drawbacks.

  • Package churn. Both the Fedora Board and FESCO had expressed concern over the number of updates to our packages. This situation is likely to get worse in the future as our current monolithic packages are spit into multiple components. This split is necessated by the creation of a KDE Netbook set of packages, and also to get some requested KDE apps into their own packages.
  • Maintainer time. The aforementioned split of packages will require more time from the maintainers. If we continue to do the work to keep all KDE releases in all active Fedora releases we are stretching our resources to fine. Maintainers should be devoting there time to issues with the current release and Rawhide.
  • Stability. As a Fedora release ages it becomes more stable. This stability is something that users appreciate and want in their systems. By introducing a new KDE release late in the game we can introduce instability in the system, and leave ourselves little time to correct the issues.

Our update process

Our update process is quite complex to assure quality of final -> stable push.

  • the new 4.x packages are built for Rawhide
  • packages are pushed to kde-unstable repository
  • input is requested from the first testers
  • bug tracker is created to collect 4.x bugs and known regressions
  • once most of bugs are fixed -> go/no-go meeting (kde sig meeting)
  • update is pushed to updates-testing repository (usually for a few weeks)
  • we closely tracking bugs and regressions - we have lot of testers
  • once most of bugs/criticals are fixed -> stable go/no-go meeting
  • final updates push

The Plan

  • When Fedora releases we will continue to push 4.x.(y+1) releases through normal updates-testing and updates repos. This releases contain only bug & security fixes and should go out to all users.
  • When KDE release the new 4.(x+1).y release this will follow the above Update Process. However this update will only be made available to users of the current Fedora release via an optional Fedora repo that the user must enable. This will allow the user to decide if they wish to install the update.
  • Users of previous Fedora releases and those who do not install this optional update will need to understand that there will be no further updates to KDE during the life of this Fedora release. Exceptions will be for bug and security fixes that the KDE-SIG is able to backport.