[arch-general] Discussion on usage of [testing] repo - minimal requirements?

Heiko Baums lists at baums-on-web.de
Mon Oct 24 08:23:39 EDT 2011

Am Mon, 24 Oct 2011 11:24:26 +0200
schrieb Tom Gundersen <teg at jklm.no>:

> On Mon, Oct 24, 2011 at 5:41 AM, Oon-Ee Ng <ngoonee.talk at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > A user basically is using [testing] without fulfilling the above
> > requirements. Should the user be advised not to use [testing] or is
> > this counter-productive to the purpose of [testing]?
> It is very important that people use testing [0], so we should really
> encourage _more_ rather than less of that, IMHO. Rather than advice
> the user to stop using testing, I'd advice them to sign up to the
> mailinglist :-)
> Maybe this requirement should be communicated more clearly (e.g. a
> comment in the standard pacman.conf)?
> Cheers,
> Tom
> [0]: a lot of the non-trivial bugs against my packages are discovered
> after they move to core, probably because the people with the right
> hardware/use-cases are not using testing.

I agree with the Wiki. From the developer's point of view it's of
course better to have more users using [testing].

But when I switched to Arch Linux some years ago I was used to using the
"testing" tree from Gentoo because without "testing" you wouldn't get a
lot of packages there. It's because a lot of packages have never been
moved to the stable tree.

But when I switched to Arch Linux and used the [testing] repo, too, I
once had a serious issue, which has broken my system. As a result, I
had to reinstall Arch Linux completely. Maybe the reinstall wouldn't
have been necessary if I wasn't new to Arch Linux.

After several years I can't tell you anymore what has happened exactly.
But since then I know that Arch's [testing] repo is completely different
from Gentoo's "testing" tree.

On the other hand I never had any serious issues with packages from the
stable repos. And if there was a new package which didn't run anymore
it was only this single package. And until the bug is fixed I can still
use the old version.

So [testing] is definitely not for users who need a stable production
system or for new Arch users. Those users should stay with the stable
repos. That's what they are meant for.

People should use [testing] only if they know what they are doing, if
they don't rely on a stable system, and if they want or are asked to
help testing the packages.

[testing] is not meant for having a bleeding edge system. Packages
usually only stay in [testing] for a few days. So people still have a
bleeding edge system if they are using the stable repos.

The same question regularly appears on AUR at packages which depend or
are based on another package in the repos and a new version of this
dependency is put to [testing].

So, please, don't encourage every user to using [testing], and stay with
what the Wiki says.


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