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Re: [gpsd-dev] Thrashing on master

From: Gary E. Miller
Subject: Re: [gpsd-dev] Thrashing on master
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2015 13:45:29 -0800

Yo Bernd!

On Sun, 22 Feb 2015 09:34:38 +0100
Bernd Zeimetz <address@hidden> wrote:

> Hash: SHA256
> On 02/13/2015 10:51 PM, Eric S. Raymond wrote:
> > Thank you, that was a useful explanation.  I think we can maybe do
> > some things to help you.
> > 
> > Would it be helpful if pure bug fix commits were textually marked
> > in some obvious way?  I can try doing that, and noting when I think
> > they have no prerequisites back to the last stable release.
> > 
> > A recent example of such a commit would be 'Fix some untested cases
> > in JSON AIS dumping.'
> yes, even better would be the mention the bug number or url to all
> commits which are part of the bug fix.

Nice info to know, but are you really going to backport some bug fixes
and not others?  Untangling that dependency would be a PITA.

> Still it would be easier if it would be obvious to see how many
> commits are part of a bug fix or to look at a merged topic branch.

Focusing on specific bugs is like studying for a test you already know
the questions on.  In real life a bug report is just the top of the
iceburg that tells us where a real mess is.  You can't just chop off
the top of the iceburg, you need to destroy the hole thing.

> I think more releases are not necessary, better would be some kind of
> stable release with point releases like the kernel and postgresql do
> it. For example 3.11 will be part of jessie - which means it should
> be bug free for at least 2 years, longer would be even better.
> Introducing completely new releases is a no-go, but fixing bugs is
> not a problem at all.

So if we have named 3.12 to instead be 3.11.1 it would go into jessie?

I'm all for that.

It is not like gpsd changes a lot between releases.  95% of gpsd
releases are bug fixes, with the occasional upgrades like AIS messages.
And very few things get removed, so 3.12 is a drop in replacement for

Worse, when AIS gets improved it sometimes shows up bugs in the
core logic.  A commit for a new AIS feature often is also a hidden
bug fix.

> > I will go review the Debian bugs database for GPSD bugs now.
> I don't think there is something interesting in there right now.

Yeah, mostly because we encourage people to ditch the pretty old 3.09
that wheezy ships with for a new gpsd built from source.

3.09 on RasPi is flagrantly broken and anyone that tries it knows it.
3.11 is a bit flakey and 3.12 works nicely.  But we will be hearing
about the 3.11 problems for years to come because there is no way you
can backport all the bug fixes in 3.12 to 3.11 without essentially
receating a slightly broken 3.12.  

And all that effort comes at a huge cost of maintainer time.  Much more
efficent to just validate that 3.12 works for jessie as a drop in 
replacement and ship it.

Gary E. Miller Rellim 109 NW Wilmington Ave., Suite E, Bend, OR 97701
        address@hidden  Tel:+1(541)382-8588

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