[arch-dev-public] For how long should we support a smooth update?

Pierre Schmitz pierre at archlinux.de
Sat Dec 11 12:23:27 EST 2010

Hi all,

because our development is always moving forward we sometimes need to
break compatibility with old installations of Arch. For example
switching to xz as compression for all packages of course requires a
version of libarchive which can handle it. Allan's request for bumping
glibc's kernel dependency is similar (but also a special case). Or
imagine some special treatment in install files when updating from old
package versions. We have also had some repository changes which made
updates from very old setups difficult or broke old install isos.

I would suggest to decide on a maximum age within which an update
should be supported. What about one year? That would mean updating a
system which hasn't been updated for more than one year or installing
from an ISO image older than one year might not work.

The benefit of such a defined "rule of thumb" would be that code and
packages can be simplified and we are not hold back by keeping very old
backwards compatibility.

A side effect of this rule would be that keeping your system up to date
is a requirement for using Arch. This is no big deal though and should
affect virtually nobody.

What do you think? Would you agree in general? Is a year too short or
too long?



Pierre Schmitz, https://users.archlinux.de/~pierre

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