Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wanting to test a new version

Package management should make it easy to test some packages. E.g. I would like to try Firefox 3.6.

If I try to use the rawhide repository, it has a dependency problem. I skip packages with dependency problem. It offers to install 14 packages, upgrade 18 packages and skips installing Firefox!

I want to test Firefox, not upgrade Python from 3.6.2 to 3.6.4!

I can and do test the beta version by downloading it from the Mozilla site.

Often end-users will want to test and try packages like firefox, openoffice for small improvements which matter to them. They will not want to figure out the dependency issues of testing a Fedora 13 package on Fedora 12. Nor are they likely to search the OpenOffice or Fedora sites for the beta versions.

Since end users are likely to remain within a distribution, wider testing of common packages needs help from package managers by Fedora and Ubuntu.

Package managers should allow a test version of a common package to be installed easily without getting rid of the stable version and allow users to test and provide feedback on the features that matter to them.

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