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Fedora Project Developer Proposes Layered, More Agile Design to Distribution 74

Karrde712 writes "Fedora Cloud Architect Matthew Miller announced a proposal on a plan to redesign the way that the Fedora Project builds its GNU/Linux distribution. Fedora has often been described as a 'bag of bits,' with thousands of packages and only minimal integration. Miller's proposal for 'Fedora.Next' describes reorganizing the packages and upstream projects that comprise Fedora into a series of 'rings,' each level of which would have its own set of release and packaging requirements. The lowest levels of the distribution may be renamed to 'Fedora Core.' Much discussion is ongoing on the Fedora Devel mailing list. If any Slashdot readers have good advice to add to the discussion, it would be most useful to respond to the ongoing thread there." A full presentation on the plan will be given at the Flock conference next month, and draft slides have been uploaded. A few more details about the discussion are below the fold.

Karrde712 continues, Discussion on the list has questioned whether this is meant to be a return to the old "Fedora Core" and "Fedora Extras" model of Fedora's early life, to which Miller responded: 'I'm aware of this concern — I was there too, you know. As I was talking about the idea with people, it kept being hard to not accidentally say "core". Finally, as I was talking to Seth Vidal, he said, in his characteristic way, "Look, here's the thing. You should just call it Fedora Core. If you don't, people are going to be grumbling in the back corner and saying that it's really Core, and the conversation becomes about a conspiracy about the name. Just call it Fedora Core, and then have the conversation about the important point, which is how it's different."'

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Fedora Project Developer Proposes Layered, More Agile Design to Distribution

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  • by msclrhd ( 1211086 ) on Tuesday July 23, 2013 @06:00AM (#44359369)

    Packaging in this sense is referring to grouping the built binaries and other files into a set of installable files that you can install (i.e. the rpm files in Fedora, deb files in Debian and msi files on Windows). These take care of specifying the dependencies and upgrades.

    The discussion in TFA is how to group those packages so they are more manageable. For example, a core layer is critical for running the OS (containing the kernel and other essential software), like the projects built in the Linux From Scratch manual.

    This then allows those groups to update and release independently of each other. These updates ensure that the packages in the group work well together. That is, you usually need to make sure that gcc, binutils and glibc all work well and update together so they would be in a group together.

  • by mattdm ( 1931 ) on Tuesday July 23, 2013 @12:20PM (#44361973) Homepage

    It would be hard to imagine a better recipe for epic failure. It seems that the proponents don't realize that the less baggage it carries, the more robust and easy to use a distro becomes.

    I have to say, I'm not entirely sure you've read this proposal. Or maybe there is something that could be more clear? The audience here is really Fedora developers, so it's likely that some things aren't immediately apparent if you're more removed from that. Overall, this is a proposal for significantly less baggage.

    And "excitement" is definitely not needed. An operating system isn't an electrical appliance needing new excitement and frills to shift product off the shelves each season. Boredom is a sign of stability and reliability, and those two are without doubt most important features a distro designer can provide.

    Well, Fedora isn't ever going to be that completely safe kind of boring. For that, we have our downstream distributions, which are awesomely boring in all the way you describe. Fedora isn't supposed to be that, and is supposed to be in place where we are generating excitement, whether that's at the OS core or further out. But in general, the idea here is to separate out that "no frills" core from the language stacks and other areas where "be up to date" and "make available the exact things we need" are the demands. Then, we can address these needs differently.

    If you're just interested in the base, awesome: we will put that together for you in a well-defined way and let you do whatever you want on top of that.

    Having the separate ring 1 lets us focus on making that a coherent base which can be enhanced in an cohesive way which doesn't break everything for users as we go from release to release.

Nothing is finished until the paperwork is done.