getting rid of "testing"

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getting rid of "testing"

Ansgar Burchardt-8
Hi,

what do people think about getting rid of current suite names ("stable",
"testing", "unstable") for most purposes?  We already recommend using
codenames instead as those don't change their meaning when a new release
happens.

Related to that I would like to be able to write something like

  deb http://deb.debian.org/debian debian11 main
  deb http://security.debian.org/debian-security debian11-security main

in sources.list as codenames confuse people.

Ubuntu already has no suite names, only codenames, but having to map
"Ubuntu 18.04" to "bionic" instead of just writing the version in
sources.list is annoying (I always have to look up the codename to be
sure as I don't use Ubuntu that much).

Ansgar

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Re: getting rid of "testing"

Andrey Rahmatullin-3
On Tue, Jun 25, 2019 at 08:08:22AM +0200, Ansgar wrote:
> Hi,
>
> what do people think about getting rid of current suite names ("stable",
> "testing", "unstable") for most purposes?  We already recommend using
> codenames instead as those don't change their meaning when a new release
> happens.
Are you supposed to change the code name manually if you want to stay on
testing after a release happens?

> Related to that I would like to be able to write something like
>
>   deb http://deb.debian.org/debian debian11 main
>   deb http://security.debian.org/debian-security debian11-security main
>
> in sources.list as codenames confuse people.
Yes please.

--
WBR, wRAR

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Re: getting rid of "testing"

Bagas Sanjaya
In reply to this post by Ansgar Burchardt-8
what do people think about getting rid of current suite names ("stable",
"testing", "unstable") for most purposes?  We already recommend using
codenames instead as those don't change their meaning when a new release
happens.
Hi Ansgar, Regarding suite names (stable, testing, and unstable), there are for convenience if you rather just want to stick to particular distribution. If suite names are removed, you have to update sources.list whenever a new release is made in order to keep up to date to your chosen suite. If you e.g. track buster (which at the time of writing is in testing) instead of testing, you are tracking buster until EOL. PS: I'm not Debian User or Developer, so my opinion can be misleading. Regards, Bagas
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Re: getting rid of "testing"

andreimpopescu
In reply to this post by Ansgar Burchardt-8
On Ma, 25 iun 19, 08:08:22, Ansgar wrote:
>
> what do people think about getting rid of current suite names ("stable",
> "testing", "unstable") for most purposes?  We already recommend using
> codenames instead as those don't change their meaning when a new release
> happens.

AFAIK "unstable" is always symlinked to "sid", so it wouldn't make a
difference and also manages expectations ;)

"stable", besides significantly changing it's meaning at release may
also be actively harmful if one dist-upgrades by mistake[1] with
'stable' in sources.list.

While dist-upgrades are significantly smoother the Release Notes still
have important items that must be taken care of before/during/after
dist-upgrade.

Depending on your intention using "testing" may or may not be what you
want to have in sources.list even through releases.

Users that dist-upgrade early or install the next release while it's
still in testing for $reasons (e.g. hardware support, newer software
that is not available in backports, etc.) should always use the codename
to avoid surprises at release (as per above for "stable).

Those who want to stick with "testing" no matter what I believe[2] are
actually looking for a rolling distribution so it would probably make
sense to rename "testing" to "rolling"[3][4].

[1] because 'apt-get upgrade' doesn't install new packages many users
have developed a habit to always run 'apt-get dist-upgrade', e.g. to
upgrade their kernel package (in case of ABI change).

Users are slowly migrating to 'apt upgrade', but running 'apt-get
dist-upgrade' on stable just to get security upgrades will not disappear
anytime soon.

[2] based on more than 10 years experience on debian-user.

[3] or remove the "testing" symlink/name and add the "bob" rolling
release that was proposed in
https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2011/06/msg00136.html

[4] or "roling" to emphasize that it's incomplete :p

Kind regards,
Andrei
--
http://wiki.debian.org/FAQsFromDebianUser

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Re: getting rid of "testing"

Bastian Blank
In reply to this post by Ansgar Burchardt-8
On Tue, Jun 25, 2019 at 08:08:22AM +0200, Ansgar wrote:
> what do people think about getting rid of current suite names ("stable",
> "testing", "unstable") for most purposes?  We already recommend using
> codenames instead as those don't change their meaning when a new release
> happens.

Even if we stop advertising them, could we keep them as a generic set of
aliases?[1]

> Related to that I would like to be able to write something like
>   deb http://deb.debian.org/debian debian11 main
>   deb http://security.debian.org/debian-security debian11-security main
> in sources.list as codenames confuse people.

Can you please elaborate on the "confuse people"?

I think adding such names would be a good idea, as long as we stay on
simple versions.  Or we use "debian-11", then it does not look that ugly
to do "debian-23.42".[2]

What would you do about sid?  It got no version.

On related notes:
For Azure we currently plan (yeah, still not finished as MS does not
provide input, be we still need to change it):
- debian-10
- debian-11
- debian-sid

Regards,
Bastian

[1]: I think apt would need to learn about aliases.[2]  As would dak, to
maintain them automatically.
[2]: Maybe we could even use them for bullseye/updates ->
bullseye-security and keep the former as alias without apt complaining
about it.
--
There's coffee in that nebula!
                -- Capt. Kathryn Janeway, Star Trek: Voyager, "The Cloud"

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Re: getting rid of "testing"

Andrey Rahmatullin-3
On Tue, Jun 25, 2019 at 09:46:00AM +0200, Bastian Blank wrote:
> > Related to that I would like to be able to write something like
> >   deb http://deb.debian.org/debian debian11 main
> >   deb http://security.debian.org/debian-security debian11-security main
> > in sources.list as codenames confuse people.
>
> Can you please elaborate on the "confuse people"?
I guess only (most?) Debian contributors and hardcore Debian users
remember the order of the codenames and their mappings to current
stable/oldstable/testing and to numeric versions.

--
WBR, wRAR

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Re: getting rid of "testing"

Simon McVittie-7
On Tue, 25 Jun 2019 at 13:11:09 +0500, Andrey Rahmatullin wrote:
> On Tue, Jun 25, 2019 at 09:46:00AM +0200, Bastian Blank wrote:
> > Can you please elaborate on the "confuse people"?
>
> I guess only (most?) Debian contributors and hardcore Debian users
> remember the order of the codenames and their mappings to current
> stable/oldstable/testing and to numeric versions.

Yes, exactly. This is a frequent request from those of my colleagues
who mostly use other distributions, but occasionally have to interact
with Debian, and can't remember whether stretch is older or newer than
jessie. This is going to be particularly bad after the buster release,
when buster and bullseye are current, and even worse after the bullseye
release, when buster, bullseye and bookworm will all be relevant.

Ubuntu is easier in some ways (because the alphabetical codenames go in
a logical sequence) but harder in others (because the distinction between
LTS and non-LTS isn't obvious from the codenames).

Back when the release team decided on a per-release basis whether this
was a "major" or "minor" release, we had the excuse that we had to use
a codename for testing because we didn't know whether etch would be
released as Debian 3.2 or Debian 4.0; but now that we've decided that
every release is a major version, we can predict well in advance that
Debian 10 will be followed by Debian 11 and Debian 12, so there doesn't
seem a whole lot of point in obfuscating it.

With more emphasis on the version numbers, my non-Debian colleagues would
still have to learn (or look up) which release is the current stable,
but given that information they would immediately also know which release
was the previous one (subtract 1) and which release is under development
(add 1).

Referring to testing in speech/writing as something like Debian 10
alphas/betas/pre-releases (to express that it *will be* Debian 10, but
it isn't really Debian 10 *yet*) might make more sense to non-Debian
people, and might have the desirable side-effect of having more Debian
contributors get the message that it's a means to an end (making
the next release happen) rather than a product in its own right. In
machine-readable contexts like sources.list it's probably best to use
something like debian10 (or deb10, as in stable updates' version strings,
or just 10) so that it doesn't have to change on release day.

    smcv

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Re: getting rid of "testing"

Paul Wise via nm
In reply to this post by Ansgar Burchardt-8
On Tue, Jun 25, 2019 at 2:08 PM Ansgar wrote:

> what do people think about getting rid of current suite names ("stable",
> "testing", "unstable") for most purposes?  We already recommend using
> codenames instead as those don't change their meaning when a new release
> happens.

I use these (testing, etc) so getting rid of them would be annoying.

> Related to that I would like to be able to write something like
>
>   deb http://deb.debian.org/debian debian11 main

Already kind of possible:

deb http://deb.debian.org/debian Debian9.9 main

> Ubuntu already has no suite names, only codenames, but having to map
> "Ubuntu 18.04" to "bionic" instead of just writing the version in
> sources.list is annoying (I always have to look up the codename to be
> sure as I don't use Ubuntu that much).

They do have the 'devel' suite, but it is not a proper one:

https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+bug/1821272

--
bye,
pabs

https://wiki.debian.org/PaulWise

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Re: getting rid of "testing"

Martin Bagge / brother-5
In reply to this post by Bastian Blank
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On 2019-06-25 09:46, Bastian Blank wrote:
> On related notes: For Azure we currently plan (yeah, still not
> finished as MS does not provide input, be we still need to change
> it): - debian-10 - debian-11 - debian-sid

And docker hub have some similar things with the version tags.

stable, 9 and stretch are the same target.

And for those not familiar with the docker targets:
$ docker run debian:stable cat /etc/debian_version

More info https://hub.docker.com/_/debian/

I can see good reasons for having the classic names still (testing,
unstable and so on) - the great benefit would be to have the version
numbers available as well. Different audiences in target I think.

- --
brother
http://sis.bthstudent.se
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Re: getting rid of "testing"

Adam D Barratt
In reply to this post by Paul Wise via nm
On 2019-06-25 09:39, Paul Wise wrote:
> On Tue, Jun 25, 2019 at 2:08 PM Ansgar wrote:
>> Related to that I would like to be able to write something like
>>
>>   deb http://deb.debian.org/debian debian11 main
>
> Already kind of possible:
>
> deb http://deb.debian.org/debian Debian9.9 main

With the caveat that as soon as 9.10 happens, the 9.9 symlink will cease
existing.

Regards,

Adam

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Re: getting rid of "testing"

Adam Borowski-3
In reply to this post by Ansgar Burchardt-8
On Tue, Jun 25, 2019 at 08:08:22AM +0200, Ansgar wrote:
> Hi,
>
> what do people think about getting rid of current suite names ("stable",
> "testing", "unstable") for most purposes?  We already recommend using
> codenames instead as those don't change their meaning when a new release
> happens.

And for this exact reason so many people want "testing" not "buster".

This way they get 5-days-newest versions of everything, without having to
suffer broken uploads, broken dependencies, etc.

Using "buster" would mean that at some moment their updates suddenly stop,
and they have to manually migrate to the next version.

> Related to that I would like to be able to write something like
>
>   deb http://deb.debian.org/debian debian11 main
>   deb http://security.debian.org/debian-security debian11-security main
>
> in sources.list as codenames confuse people.

Hell no!  Even though I'm among most active DDs around, I just had to look
up whether "debian11" means Buster or Bullseye.

It's same eg. for processor names: "Skylake" means Skylake, which is used
within 6 or 7 different numbering schemes.  Even people who care what
processor that is will so often need to look up versioning numbers -- as the
public names are about marketing segments and so on, not about how a
processor behaves.

A code name is also so much easier to talk about, especially in speech -- a
codename is one or two fairly unique syllables, while a number is longer,
and it's usually surrounded by other numeric values within other semantic
domains.


Meow!
--
⢀⣴⠾⠻⢶⣦⠀
⣾⠁⢠⠒⠀⣿⡁ Packager's rule #1: upstream _always_ screws something up.  This
⢿⡄⠘⠷⠚⠋⠀ is true especially if you're packaging your own project.
⠈⠳⣄⠀⠀⠀⠀

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Re: getting rid of "testing"

Ian Jackson-2
In reply to this post by Ansgar Burchardt-8
~Ansgar writes ("getting rid of "testing""):
> what do people think about getting rid of current suite names ("stable",
> "testing", "unstable") for most purposes?  We already recommend using
> codenames instead as those don't change their meaning when a new release
> happens.

Others have pointed out that "testing" has a specific value.  Also,
these suite aliases have a documentary value.  It can be helpful to
say things like "when this is languishing in oldstable ...".

So I would prefer to keep them.

> Related to that I would like to be able to write something like
>
>   deb http://deb.debian.org/debian debian11 main
>   deb http://security.debian.org/debian-security debian11-security main
>
> in sources.list as codenames confuse people.

Yes, please, absolutely.  And this should be the default.

I know the codenames thing is fun but it is seriously inconvenient
when talking to anyone who is not completely steeped in Debian stuff.
Even Debian people sometimes make slips - and I'm sure they are more
common because we're having to constantly do these kind of codename
lookups.

I agree entirely with Simon.

The syntax "debian11" is precisely right.  Please don't add a hyphen
to it, as hyphens are already used for separating things like
-security.

I don't think I have any software which would go wrong if there were
an extra hyphen but I would be amazed if there weren't a ton of ad-hoc
scripts out there that would be fine with the transition from
`bookwork' to `debian11' but would Go Wrong with `debian-11'.

For now, the `debian11' can be an alias.  At some future point this
should become the canonical suite name, replacing the codename.  But I
think this should not be done retrospectively to old suites, because
there is software outside the archive that wants to name things by a
single canonical name, and changing that name for an existing suite
will cause trouble.

Ian.

--
Ian Jackson <[hidden email]>   These opinions are my own.

If I emailed you from an address @fyvzl.net or @evade.org.uk, that is
a private address which bypasses my fierce spamfilter.

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Re: getting rid of "testing"

Teemu Likonen-2
Ian Jackson [2019-06-25 11:09:06+01:00] wrote:

> ~Ansgar writes ("getting rid of "testing""):
>>   deb http://deb.debian.org/debian debian11 main
>>   deb http://security.debian.org/debian-security debian11-security main

> Yes, please, absolutely.  And this should be the default.

> The syntax "debian11" is precisely right.  Please don't add a hyphen
> to it, as hyphens are already used for separating things like
> -security.

> For now, the `debian11' can be an alias.

As a mere user I'd say this is the best approach: add debian10, debian
11 etc. alias or perhaps later make it the proper name.

My first Debian was Woody. I remember that Sarge was after that, then
Etch or Lenny (I think), but it all started to blur at that time. Now I
know that I'm using Debian 9 but don't remember its name. I don't
remember what was the name of the previous version.

I think it's best to use version numbers for communication with users
and to configure Debian (like sources.list).

Anyway, thank you for this excellent operating system.

--
/// Teemu Likonen   <https://github.com/tlikonen> //
// PGP: 4E1055DC84E9DFF613D78557719D69D324539450 ///

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Re: getting rid of "testing"

Ansgar Burchardt-5
In reply to this post by Paul Wise via nm
On Tue, 2019-06-25 at 16:39 +0800, Paul Wise wrote:
> On Tue, Jun 25, 2019 at 2:08 PM Ansgar wrote:
> > what do people think about getting rid of current suite names ("stable",
> > "testing", "unstable") for most purposes?  We already recommend using
> > codenames instead as those don't change their meaning when a new release
> > happens.
>
> I use these (testing, etc) so getting rid of them would be annoying.

The "stable" suite names are more annoying than
unstable/testing/experimental as they require updates to suites at
release time that are not related to the release.  That shouldn't be
necessary.

For "testing", "unstable" one could probably introduce some `Alias`
field in Release, but I also like minimalist solutions (which already
seem to work well for Ubuntu).

> > Related to that I would like to be able to write something like
> >
> >   deb http://deb.debian.org/debian debian11 main
>
> Already kind of possible:
>
> deb http://deb.debian.org/debian Debian9.9 main

Yes, but it gives warnings for issues that I believe should be an error
instead. (And currently a good reason for TLS to talk to mirros so a
MitM that is not a mirror operator cannot give you oldstable when you
want to use unstable.)

debootstrap gives an error for this:

+---
| $ /sbin/debootstrap --print-debs Debian9.9 . http://ftp.de.debian.org/debian unstable
| [...]
| E: Asked to install suite Debian9.9, but got stable (codename: stretch) from mirror
+---

As Adam already pointed out having the point release in there also
makes "Debian9.9" rather unhelpful.

> > Ubuntu already has no suite names, only codenames, but having to map
> > "Ubuntu 18.04" to "bionic" instead of just writing the version in
> > sources.list is annoying (I always have to look up the codename to be
> > sure as I don't use Ubuntu that much).
>
> They do have the 'devel' suite, but it is not a proper one:
>
> https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+bug/1821272

That is what Debian9.9 (and similar) are currently as well.

Ansgar

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Re: getting rid of "testing"

Michael Stone-2
In reply to this post by Ian Jackson-2
On Tue, Jun 25, 2019 at 11:09:06AM +0100, Ian Jackson wrote:
>~Ansgar writes ("getting rid of "testing""):
>> Related to that I would like to be able to write something like
>>
>>   deb http://deb.debian.org/debian debian11 main
>>   deb http://security.debian.org/debian-security debian11-security main
>>
>> in sources.list as codenames confuse people.
>
>Yes, please, absolutely.  And this should be the default.

+1

Having "stable" in sources.list is broken, because one day stuff goes
from working to not working, which requires manual intervention, at
which point someone could have just changed the name. Having codenames
in sources.list is broken, because even people who have been developers
for two decades can't remember which release is which without looking it
up. (Which is harder than it should be; maybe we should have had
/etc/debian-releasenames or somesuch from the beginning. lsb_release -a
is helpful when available but doesn't have context, and many users don't
know it exists.)

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Re: getting rid of "testing"

Paul Wise via nm
On Tue, Jun 25, 2019 at 8:04 PM Michael Stone wrote:

> Having "stable" in sources.list is broken, because one day stuff goes
> from working to not working, which requires manual intervention, at
> which point someone could have just changed the name. Having codenames
> in sources.list is broken, because even people who have been developers
> for two decades can't remember which release is which without looking it
> up. (Which is harder than it should be; maybe we should have had
> /etc/debian-releasenames or somesuch from the beginning. lsb_release -a
> is helpful when available but doesn't have context, and many users don't
> know it exists.)

Personally, I can remember the names and their order much better than
which version goes with which codename or suite :)

--
bye,
pabs

https://wiki.debian.org/PaulWise

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Re: getting rid of "testing"

Michael Stone-2
On Tue, Jun 25, 2019 at 08:07:51PM +0800, Paul Wise wrote:

>On Tue, Jun 25, 2019 at 8:04 PM Michael Stone wrote:
>> Having "stable" in sources.list is broken, because one day stuff goes
>> from working to not working, which requires manual intervention, at
>> which point someone could have just changed the name. Having codenames
>> in sources.list is broken, because even people who have been developers
>> for two decades can't remember which release is which without looking it
>> up. (Which is harder than it should be; maybe we should have had
>> /etc/debian-releasenames or somesuch from the beginning. lsb_release -a
>> is helpful when available but doesn't have context, and many users don't
>> know it exists.)
>
>Personally, I can remember the names and their order much better than
>which version goes with which codename or suite :)

Well, every problem domain has its rainman :) For the rest of us,
there's google.

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Re: getting rid of "testing"

Bastian Blank
In reply to this post by Michael Stone-2
On Tue, Jun 25, 2019 at 08:03:49AM -0400, Michael Stone wrote:
> Having "stable" in sources.list is broken, because one day stuff goes from
> working to not working, which requires manual intervention, at which point
> someone could have just changed the name.

Once I had unattended-upgrades do the upgrade to the new stable for me
over night on quite a few systems, almost everything still worked.

Regards,
Bastian

--
There is an order of things in this universe.
                -- Apollo, "Who Mourns for Adonais?" stardate 3468.1

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Re: getting rid of "testing"

Michael Stone-2
On Tue, Jun 25, 2019 at 02:38:43PM +0200, Bastian Blank wrote:
>On Tue, Jun 25, 2019 at 08:03:49AM -0400, Michael Stone wrote:
>> Having "stable" in sources.list is broken, because one day stuff goes from
>> working to not working, which requires manual intervention, at which point
>> someone could have just changed the name.
>
>Once I had unattended-upgrades do the upgrade to the new stable for me
>over night on quite a few systems, almost everything still worked.

"almost" covers quite a lot of territory, and is the reason it's best
not to have the upgrade happen accidentally.

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Re: getting rid of "testing"

Alf Gaida
Only a few remarks as former simple user and now maintainer:
* Please don't mix things: release names has a value, distribution names
like oldoldstable, oldstable, stable, testing, unstable has their value too
* the value is that they never change - they are convenient. Especially
if one use unstable most of the time, please think of such things like
`apt policy $foo` - it is highly unlikely that a sid user want to use
old stuff, but will ask from time to time about versions ...
*  using the release names is convenient to set up systems before the
release is done - i can set up a "buster" system now and have to change
nothing when it become stable. The other way around is not a good way to go.

At all - using distributions like "testing" or "unstable" should mean
that the users/admins in charge can handle it - if not they should learn
it or never ever do such things again. Might sound stubborn, but hey - i
learned it this way. As a user of a rock stable "Sid" system i see no
big problems for ten years now - ok, maybe to resist this: Hmm, what
will happend if i will hit <y><enter> now ...

Cheers Alf

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