[packagekit] RFC: Add a GetTestingUpdates method?

Jud Craft craftjml at gmail.com
Sat Dec 13 08:23:22 PST 2008

No offense meant, but to be frank:  too deceptive.

You are making this too easy to stumble upon:  for example, this
doesn't fit any of your suggested PackageKit audience user profiles at
all.  This seems more like a late addition to your cases, based more
on the fact that there is a shortage of Fedora testers, rather than
the benefit that this will bring a casual user (which I am led to
believe is PackageKit's intended audience).

In addition, does this functionality map to other distributions?  Do
Ubuntu and SUSE use Fedora's idea of stable, testing repositories?  (I
recall that Ubuntu's may; SUSE's repositories are numerous and too
complicated to actually remember. :)  )  If it cannot be generalized
it may not be a good functionality to expose through PackageKit.

If it can, and you want to, then the user interface should make it
explicit that what you are doing could possibly damage your Linux
system.  Saying "We have some new updates for testing!" is ambiguously
without any sense of risk at all; any user might assume they want any
update they can find.

In addition, "for testing" is ambiguous because it mixes Fedora
terminology with casual terminology.  Telling a user to "come test an
update" won't reveal to them at all the idea of Fedora's probably-good
but somewhat-experimental package pool.

So it needs to be explicit that you are enabling experimental updates,
and the goal is to provide user feedback on those updates.

I think this is important; I think it is very important that the user
be easily able to test new updates and provide feedback in an
integrated way to those who must approve those updates.  But this
current idea needs a lot more refinement to be useful, rather than a
trainwreck; and perhaps it may not be what PackageKit (in its
generality) should be doing at all.

Perhaps this should be a Fedora specific project -- a Fedora suite of
tools that enable a user to easily monitor testing updates they have
installed, provide feedback on them, and switch back to stable
updates; this TesterKit could itself call PackageKit for package
management, without diluting PackageKit's brand of general purpose,
easy-to-use ideas.

My warnings may not be necessary; but speaking with the perspective of
a dumb user in mind, rather than a Power Linux User, this seems like a
good idea that is being stuffed into a bad implementation.

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