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Fedora architecture promotion requirements adopted

After extensive discussion, the Fedora Project has adopted a set of requirements that must be met before a secondary architecture can be promoted to primary status. More discussion has inevitably followed; the most controversial item seems to be the requirement that the architecture must support installation with Anaconda.
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Fedora architecture promotion requirements adopted

Posted Apr 24, 2012 23:09 UTC (Tue) by ajross (guest, #4563) [Link]

Not to be too snide, because I'm sure this is a hard set of decisions: but this seems awfully Debianesque. The requirements as stated are all unobjectionable, but of course what we really want to know is whether or not ARM will meet them or not. I don't see how posting that list makes that process any more transparent.

Fedora architecture promotion requirements adopted

Posted Apr 24, 2012 23:15 UTC (Tue) by jake (editor, #205) [Link]

> but of course what we really want to know is whether or not ARM will
> meet them or not. I don't see how posting that list makes that process
> any more transparent.

Hmm, doesn't posting the list more or less show where the goalposts are? As in, "if ARM does all these things, then it can be promoted to a primary architecture". It's really up to the Fedora ARM folks to decide whether they want to do all that (or can do all that), but if they do, they should be able to become a primary. Before this point, there was no clear path to that goal. Seems reasonably transparent ...

At least that's my reading of things ...

jake

Fedora architecture promotion requirements adopted

Posted Apr 24, 2012 23:25 UTC (Tue) by dlang (subscriber, #313) [Link]

too many of these are subjective

the build team must be willing... etc

plus the comment at the end that additional, undocumented requirements may apply.

This is not a firm set of goalposts, at most this is a nebulous statement of intent

Fedora architecture promotion requirements adopted

Posted Apr 24, 2012 23:32 UTC (Tue) by jake (editor, #205) [Link]

> at most this is a nebulous statement of intent

even if that were true, and I don't think it is, would it somehow be better to have no list? would that make it less nebulous?

I have a hard time envisioning a "firm set of goalposts" for a question as complicated as this one ... in my mind, it's *way* better than it was before ...

YMMV,

jake

Fedora architecture promotion requirements adopted

Posted Apr 24, 2012 23:33 UTC (Tue) by dlang (subscriber, #313) [Link]

I'm not saying that it's not an improvement over the nothing that they had before, it is a significant improvement.

Fedora architecture promotion requirements adopted

Posted Apr 25, 2012 3:58 UTC (Wed) by jcm (subscriber, #18262) [Link]

I thought it was vague, as I said before, but I understand why it is so. I disagree with not having more hard-and-fast procedures, but that's just my personal opinion and doesn't matter. As to ARM, we'll be primary architecture in due course, whatever it takes to get there. It's just a slog to figure out everything we need to get done on the way. The main blocker right now is getting the right build hardware in place for PA, which I expect won't happen until the summer - so F18 is unlikely, but we'll keep coming back and re-assessing until we get there. And yes, we're working on being more a core part of Fedora with each passing day.

Fedora architecture promotion requirements adopted

Posted Apr 25, 2012 17:36 UTC (Wed) by rgmoore (✭ supporter ✭, #75) [Link]

Some of those things seem like reasonably firm goalposts. For example "All builds must occur on Fedora-maintained build servers" seems entirely clear. So do the points on binary blobs and excludearch. Even the parts about getting approval of the various Fedora teams seem like they're well defined outcomes; you can get a formal acknowledgement from the team saying they consider the port ready. It's just that they're social criteria rather than technical ones, so the lack of clarity is on how to convince the teams to give their approval rather than when the approval is actually granted.

If there's a nebulous point, it's the "This list is not intended to be exhaustive ... additional criteria may be imposed if felt to be necessary" part. That's just asking to have the goalposts shifted at the last minute. Even that seems as if there's likely to be a social solution; FESCO will know that they'll lose credibility if any additional criteria aren't well justified. That's still not as satisfying as a full set of completely defined criteria with no wiggle room, but I think it provides the ARM team with a good enough target. If they can meet the obviously technical points, it will be hard for the various committees to say no.

Fedora architecture promotion requirements adopted

Posted Apr 25, 2012 9:21 UTC (Wed) by russell (guest, #10458) [Link]

OTOH, if you follow politics or pay attention to management practices, these "goal posts" are a very familiar deflection technique.

Fedora architecture promotion requirements adopted

Posted Apr 24, 2012 23:36 UTC (Tue) by mjg59 (subscriber, #23239) [Link]

It's not intended to be a firm set of "Match three bars and win PA status" rules. The aim is to emphasise that being promoted means being part of Fedora, and you should already have proved that you can work with Fedora. That means convincing the various teams that make up the project that your port is as good as the existing ports, and so this list is effectively just a set of guidelines for which people you need to talk to and what kind of things they're going to need to be convinced about.

The ARM team are working hard and the architecture is already in pretty good shape. I think Fedora 18 may be optimistic, but I'd be surprised if they're not a core part of the distribution in the near future.

Fedora architecture promotion requirements adopted

Posted Apr 25, 2012 1:47 UTC (Wed) by brouhaha (subscriber, #1698) [Link]

the most controversial item seems to be the requirement that the architecture must support installation with Anaconda.
Only "Where technically possible".

Fedora architecture promotion requirements adopted

Posted Apr 25, 2012 3:20 UTC (Wed) by scientes (guest, #83068) [Link]

also the comment on "installer media" and "target media" with anaconda seemed off in scope, as when I installed debian to my sheevaplug, for example (although I did end up doing stuff outside the supported scope), it was a net install booted over tftp (and controller via usb serial), which seems to me like a perfectly acceptable installation method for these devices. (direct SD images can be even simpler)

Fedora architecture promotion requirements adopted

Posted Apr 25, 2012 3:55 UTC (Wed) by jcm (subscriber, #18262) [Link]

Indeed. We already have Lorax support (not my choice of project name), which is the piece that generates the bits consumed by Anaconda (the installer), and also contains separate support for livemedia image creation, for which it drives Anaconda. So, today, we can drive Anaconda to create disk images that work for devices like Trimslice, Highbank, etc. Those are completely standard images that you can dd onto a device and boot, like you would with a virtualized image. The next step is, of course, full Anaconda support, but that will come in time, and after we figure out the impact of the F18 Anaconda reworking and where we fit into that. Got that? There's a class test afterwards...

Jon.

Fedora architecture promotion requirements adopted

Posted Apr 26, 2012 8:57 UTC (Thu) by johannbg (subscriber, #65743) [Link]

"Because if you have hardware that can install via Anaconda and you don't
support installing via Anaconda, you're not Fedora." <---

They are tying the process to a single install application ( regardless of which application it is not what I consider an smart thing to do ) and to what ever install methods it currently is limited to and the will and mood of it's writers ( just look at Anaconda's history with the community accepting outside patches starting with FC1 ).

At the same time invented the term "Install Team" ( which is probably what they are called internally within Red Hat ) in the community which further discourage any community member from either write and or packaging an alternative installer for the project threatening or otherwise discouraging the community that if they ever try such a stunt their effort is in vain and it will never be considered "Fedora"

FESCo could have gone for a broader installing related wording and left Anaconda ( and any other installer out of this for that matter ) but they chose not to and chose to hide the reasoning behind "consistency".

Well here's a news flash to the rest of the world that has not used Anaconda for all those years, the only consistency you find with Anaconda is it's name and that it gets rewritten/reworked every 6 months certainly not in usage...

Fedora architecture promotion requirements adopted

Posted Apr 29, 2012 7:46 UTC (Sun) by jcm (subscriber, #18262) [Link]

In fairness, the wording was supposedly to convey that we're only obligated to support Anaconda on hardware that *can* support it. In the future, we'll have ARM systems that boot using UEFI and are capable of running GRUB2 and standard Anaconda just like x86. Those will support Anaconda. We'll also continue to advance the system image offering for "whole card" installs like the Panda, TS, or even a rPi. Lots of different and fun systems out there and more fun on the way. Like I said, these are just requirements. We'll meet and surpass everything we're reasonably asked to do.

Fedora architecture promotion requirements adopted

Posted Apr 25, 2012 4:00 UTC (Wed) by jcm (subscriber, #18262) [Link]

If anyone would like to join the party, please do: #fedora-arm on Freenode. And we don't bite if you have questions. Yes, we need to get more "developer quickstart" docs in place. I'm working on cloning myself, as are others, but we'll get there. Meanwhile, ping us if you'd like to help out.

Fedora architecture promotion requirements adopted

Posted Apr 26, 2012 13:24 UTC (Thu) by martin.langhoff (subscriber, #61417) [Link]

And ping OLPC's contributors programme if you need hardware to hack on Fedora :-)


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