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Re: Do pretests reach end users?

From: Dmitry Alexandrov
Subject: Re: Do pretests reach end users?
Date: Sun, 05 Jul 2020 07:23:49 +0300
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/28.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Phillip Lord <phillip.lord@russet.org.uk> wrote:
> Dmitry Alexandrov <dag@gnui.org> writes:
>> Eli Zaretskii <eliz@gnu.org> wrote:
>>> Dmitry Alexandrov <dag@gnui.org> wrote:
>>>> Emacs pretest release?  Is that a thing for systems other than Microsoft 
>>>> Windows and Guix?
>>> it's a tarball [with sources]
>> https://alpha.gnu.org/gnu/emacs/pretest/windows/emacs-27/emacs-27.0.91-x86_64-installer.exe
> Yes, I release this (in a rather erratic fashion) as well as Emacs-28 
> snapshots

My gratitude for that (though I never happened to use them).

>> From all of the above we can surmise that main pretesters are Windows users, 
>> who somehow learn (from Reddit-like resources?) about pretests and download 
>> them from gnu.org.

> To be honest, I suspect GNU/Linux gets more people testing it, because the 
> users of that platform are more likely to test things. It's also relatively 
> easy to build there -- once you have it set up "git pull;make -j" and run 
> from in source rather than installing and you are done.

Sure.  Thatʼs exactly why I supposed, that hardly anyone use the pretests as 
@eliz@gnu.org explained them: people are either on whatever their distro ships 
or build from master.

>>> So I don't see how all this could help making a release faster.
>> It can help persuade people in charge (such as you :-) to take advantage of 
>> the control over GNU distributors they have — and shorten the release cycle.
> I think this is a secondary argument. It would be good to have pre-releases 
> (and snapshots) available to install because it is a good thing in itself.

Indeed.  There is zero hope for major distros to ships nightly snapshots, 
though.  So until Emacs cycle is completely revamped only pretests and release 
candidates are in question.

> If it shortens the release cycle that is a bonus.

Shorting the release cycle is a _mean_ to achieve that — that was my point.

To recap: maintainers are unanimously unwilling to package a piece of software 
labelled ‘pretest’, that should be downloaded from a server named ‘alpha’.  You 
can either (a) persuade all of them, that this is not what it means, but 
actually a pretty stable thing for the year 2020, or (b) simply stop calling it 
‘pretest’: the final result is identical.

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