Re: Fedora Core 6 HUGE problem - Binary drivers.

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Gilboa Davara wrote:

If you want a stable kernel ABI that doesn't break every 3 months, you
-really- have no business using Fedora.
That's a great description. Can you arrange to have that put in large letters on the home and download pages?

"Fedora is a Linux-based operating system that showcases the
====latest==== in free and open source software. Fedora is always free
for anyone to use, modify, and distribute. It is built by people across
the globe who work together as a community: the Fedora Project. The
Fedora Project is open and anyone is welcome to join."

If do not agree with this "mission statement" and such, you have no
business using it.
It is as simple as that.

That mission statement says nothing about unnecessarily breaking previously working code. That's the part that is a problem for me, which is why I'd suggest that they either point out the strong possibility of that happening in their statement or make it happen less often.

You are looking for stable ABI, slow update rate less breakage.
In short, you are looking for RHEL/CentOS/Etch/SLES.
As I said, you are using the wrong distribution.
The enterprise versions are good for running server software which, like unix kernel design, has been stable and mostly feature-complete for ages. It doesn't work for desktop software which is still evolving rapidly and good versions will come out any day now.

Same goes for driver support. SATA, RAID, SCSI, graphics cards, etc.
You want a stable ABI but new drivers... though.

I need new drivers when I get a new machine. And at that point I obviously don't have anything already running on it that I care about breaking. Once that machine is running correctly, there's no reason to ever make an OS change that could break it - and not much excuse to ever need to reboot it (I'm approaching a 4-year uptime with an RH 7.3 box, although the uptime counter has rolled a couple of times and I've hot-swapped some scsi drives and rebuilt a raid partition or two over the years).

Unless you are willing to port the new drivers yourself (which is not
always possible), you'll have to choose.
Stable ABI with lacking driver support or better driver support with
unstable ABI.

I haven't seen that to be the case. Take firewire drives, for example which were broken for a long interval in the FC5 era with that unstable ABI that you espouse. I ended up switching the machines that needed it to Centos with the Centosplus kernel and despite its frozen ABI inherited from RHEL, the driver actually worked...

... Hey, but if you don't agree with me, it's GPL, you are free to
create your own "bleeding edge desktop, stable kernel" distro. Heck, you
can even use RHEL/CentOS as your base for free!

What's the point of it being a distro if it doesn't come pre-packaged?

What we need is a distro where the kernel and device related utilities never have to be updated other than with security patches but the applications can be kept current without having to build your own distro from parts.

Sorry, I don't agree with you.

Can you describe the target user base you envision that wants their kernel to regularly refuse to work with their devices after an update? Or the one that only wants outdated desktop applications? I have trouble thinking there is a large number in either set compared to the group that would like both a stable OS and current apps on the same machine.

Never the less, if your really believe in that "we" part, you should
really consider creating your own distribution, as opposed to trying to
change Fedora to what it will never be.

It's probably easier to learn the Ubuntu administration style than to re-invent a whole distribution just to be able to continue to use yum and a few RedHat-ism's. But then it will be annoying to maintain servers that use a different style and I'll probably convert them someday too. And then the ones left with RHEL because of support requirements will be really annoying.

An occasional application crash is a lot easier to tolerate (and would be even more so if you had the option to revert to the prior version easily) than a kernel that no longer works with your devices.

Though... at least in my case, if Evolution, VIM and/or firefox stops
working for a long duration, it is just as bad as a kernel crash.

The evolution exchange connector is the only piece likely to break for long periods, and other than that there is equivalent functionality in other programs anyway. But it would be nicer if all packages could be rolled back as well as forward with the package manager.

  Les Mikesell
   [email protected]

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