[arch-dev-public] going to start a new ArchLinux?

Andreas Radke a.radke at arcor.de
Tue May 8 18:42:06 EDT 2007

congratulation. we have won!

our gcc-gcj is broken due to a major feature addon the developer made
right before he orphaned it. we (Hussam who does i686 rc packages and
me) are no more able to build OpenOffice.org standing a few days before
the 2.2.1 release candidate. this is not to blaim that developer but for
any other developer and all users not using the testing repo.

but this is only the peak of all the chaotic "development" as we call
it. untill now we used have one ArchLinux tree now having two
architectures officially supported (i686+x86_64) based on simplicity and
pacman repo manager as its basic parts. Having the latest stable package
version was the goal. we have put more and more packages into the
current+extra repos. important packages we want to test for a while in
our "testing" repos. sadly it's not worth the name. almost nobody uses
it. even not all developers as highly recommended. continously we put
packages with major issues into the stable repos.

we from the x86_64 port are only 2 guys rebuilding and maintaining
~2500 packages. we have not the power and possebility to change
anything important.

from my point of view we have passed a point where this concept won't
work anymore. we have a poor developement infrastructure compared to
other distributions. we slow down our package release process due to
many developers beeing busy with other things (real life and more). but
then we force us to push things very quickly into the repos to satisfy
our own old goals.

well. not more with me beeing responsible for the Arch x86_64 port.

some ways are possible: 

1) improve the infrastructure and increase the manpower of developers
and packagers for all supported dramatically. we are trying that for
over a year now without any noticable real success.

2) dramatically lower the work(=less binary packages) for the devs to
give them time for making packages of a better quality. doubt came up
as Arch should remain a supported binary distribution in most parts.

3) new goals for ArchLinux: accept to have not well tested packages
when we want to keep the update speed or accept a lower speed on update
to get new packages better tested.

4) split the goals we have! let's have one more conservative stable
rolling rellease tree for higher quality and one on the bleading edge
front accepting it might break sometime.

I've brought it up several times: i'm no more willing to be the dump
rebuild monkey.

wha i suggest is a mix of 3) and 4). 

there is only one working other distribution based on pacman out
claiming having a stable tree. I've talked to several devs and users
and they can imagine that a stable distribution by ArchLinux can become
a successor.

I'm going to start a new project based on what we now call ArchLinux
for a new more stable but easy to maintain distribution. I would like to
do this for ArchLinux. But I have also no problem if you totally dislike
that and say it's a NoGo under the name of ArchLinux.

Everybody who wants to help out or has something to say may post
here or contact me on one of my instant messenger accounts you find in
the forum.


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