2016-02-24

EPEL Proposal #3: EPEL Structured releases

This started off as a a rawhide post, but I realized it needs to be its own post

A staged/forked environment. This version is a lot more complicated and deals with extra release management. Currently, Red Hat does regular point releases (.1, .2, .3) of their main OS. In these point releases, various items get major updates or backports to bring new functionality to the base operating system. In this version, EPEL ties into this staged environment by using a similar method as Fedora does.

Using a directory tree structure like:
EPEL/archives/{5.x, 6.x, 7.x}
EPEL/archives/updates/{5.x, 6.x, 7.x}
EPEL/current/5 -> 5.11/
EPEL/current/5.11/{x86_64,ppc64,x86_32}/
EPEL/current/6 -> 6.7/
EPEL/current/7 -> 7.2/
EPEL/updates/5 -> 5.11/
EPEL/updates/6 -> 6.7/
EPEL/updates/7 -> 7.2/
EPEL/updates/testing/{blah, blah}
EPEL/rawhide/{5, 6, 7}

Then packages would be built in rawhide first. When a new release (say 7.2 to 7.3) occurs, then the builders rawhide trees are updated to the code in the latest. The packages are built against that and hopefully tested to see that they still work. Packagers should have been building any large changes they needed to make in the rawhide tree already but a last minute notification date is done. The go-live for this tree will be either when CentOS gets its build out of that tree or 30 days if CentOS is able to release sooner. On that date the rawhide trees will be branched to /EPEL/current/{6,7}.n (eg 7.3) and updates to those packages will now be sent into EPEL/updates/7.3 . After another 30 days, the 7.2 tree will be moved to EPEL/archives/7.2 {probably really /pub/archives/epel/7.2 }

Pros: this gives a place where newer packages can be built and tested to see what may break in the next major build. it also gives a better release cycle that people can plan against.

Cons: this makes the previous post look simple to implement.

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