Home > Fedora, Fosstafarian, linux, Linux > Fedora does it right, again

Fedora does it right, again

January 12, 2014

There’s a lot of news coming out of Raleigh lately, and you know for sure that I have a lot to say — good things, of course — about Red Hat and CentOS joining forces. But for now, perhaps the most informed commentary on this issue comes from Karsten Wade in his personal blog.

So if you can hold that thought, I want to touch on another issue before it gets too late.

You’ve read this here before, but it bears repeating: The six-month distribution release cycle is a myth. For whatever reason, tying a distro’s development to a set date twice on the calendar, rather than letting the development process work out the details of when a distro should be released, leads to unrealistic expectations, at the very least. At worst, it results in broken pieces in the new release.

TL;DR: Distros should be released when they’re ready.

Yes, there are extremes to this rule, and we’re looking at you, Debian. But the fact remains that headaches for developers and users can be avoided by letting the process take its course and allow a reasonable amount of time to provide for a solid distro. This is surely not too much to ask, in contrast to the alternative: being shackled by a six-month cycle that geometrically increases pressure to release with a lesser regard to quality in order to make the deadline.

So it comes with a great deal of surprise — the good kind — that the Fedora Project’s Jaroslav Resnik wrote in his blog that as the schedule-wrangler, he gets asked the question. Letting him describe it, “Is Fedora 21 going to be released in the old model way, or new one? Hard to answer right now. But there’s one date – F21 is not going to be released earlier than in August (and I’d say late August).”

His blog item outlines why we’re not going to get Fedora 21 in May or June — as the six-month cycle would have it — and the reasons why are rational and commendable. In fact, there’s surely no harm in waiting for certain programs vital to the distro be ready before unleashing it on the public. Jaroslav’s explanation provides a good insight into why it’s good to not be bound by the calendar.

Plus — and this is pure speculation — if Fedora has something special for Fedora 21, I for one am glad to give them a little more time to provide it.

So thank you, Fedora, for getting it right yet again.

One regrettable item related to this issue is that the Fedora Project dropped its semi-annual brouhaha otherwise known as the release name discussion and election. Fedora will no longer have an accompanying release names with each subsequent number, which is unfortunate because it was one of the fun things to look forward to with each release. My guess is that Beefy Miracle had put this process off the rails, though it’s good that Schrodinger’s Cat got in before they curtailed the names.

See you next week, if not sooner.

This blog, and all other blogs by Larry the Free Software Guy, Larry the CrunchBang Guy, Fosstafarian, Larry the Korora Guy, and Larry Cafiero, are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND license. In short, this license allows others to download this work and share it with others as long as they credit me as the author, but others can’t change it in any way or use it commercially.

(Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and develops business software at Redwood Digital Research, a consultancy that provides FOSS solutions in the small business and home office environment.)

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Categories: Fedora, Fosstafarian, linux, Linux Tags: ,
  1. January 12, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    I really agree with release when ready. When I see Fedora or someone else delay a release, I don’t see it as a setback, I see it as responsible. I love new features in GNU/Linux Distro’s, I get excited about them, but I find myself constantly returning to Debian Stable, though I confess I have backports pinned to automatically be installed when available. My test computer is for a new distro, or Debian testing or unstable. I’m amazed at folks like Vast One who shows what you can do with a vision, Phillip of Crunchbang (How’s that for a title?). I’m getting long winded and a little off topic, like your article this week, as always of course!

    • January 12, 2014 at 10:09 pm

      That’s a good point, and I wish more people would see it as responsibility more than failure when a “deadline” isn’t met. I didn’t mention this because I couldn’t find anyone to confirm it (and Mr. Google wasn’t all that helpful, either), but I suspect that one of the reasons that Fedora 21 may be taking a little longer might have to do with Wayland. I don’t want to start rumors — it’s just a hunch. But still, it’s best to release when ready. Thanks, Paul.

  2. January 13, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    I’m not exactly sure what he means by “old model way, or new one”:

    “Is Fedora 21 going to be released in the old model way, or new one? Hard to answer right now. But there’s one date – F21 is not going to be released earlier than in August (and I’d say late August).”

    • January 13, 2014 at 2:37 pm

      I think it’s a language issue, since English is not his first language. My take on this — and I guess I should ask him — is that “old model way” is six-month deadline, and the “new one” could be something more flexible. Bear in mind that Fedora blew their last two “deadlines” with software issues, one of which was Anaconda.

      • January 13, 2014 at 6:11 pm

        I’d be happy to see Fedora release every 9 months.

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