UP communication complaints.

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Arjen Balfoort
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UP communication complaints.

Postby Arjen Balfoort » 07 Nov 2013 22:17

There have been some complaints on our Facebook page about the way the UP, and the delay of UP's is communicated.
Although the writers are limiting themselves to complaining and are unwilling, or unable to be more constructive about it, I need to ask how you think about the current process, and if you think there are ways that might improve that process.

You can read the comments here:
https://www.facebook.com/solyd.xk/posts ... comments=1

https://www.facebook.com/solyd.xk/posts ... comments=5


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zerozero
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Re: UP communication complaints.

Postby zerozero » 07 Nov 2013 22:32

you can't please everybody all the time.

users should be informed when to expect things like an UP; it's not something that you do while having a shower or preparing your meal.
some people need to schedule events like those into their agendas (and we see in the forum at least indication of that: users saying that they will do the UP in a given date << this is the feedback we have).

delays, warnings not to use the repos in certain periods (due to syncing processes) are information that should be given to the user.
bliss of ignorance

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Re: UP communication complaints.

Postby davo » 07 Nov 2013 23:03

I for one like the way in which everything is communicated, i think you do it very well indeed especially that this information is not just limited to the forum as some other distro's are but its also relayed to users via a number of social networks.

It was one amongst a few reasons that i came to using SolydX the fact that i was made aware when UP's were happening. I was also made aware when to update and when not to i.e. syncing or delays

As zerozero says above "you can't please everybody all the time."

Keep up the great work.
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Re: UP communication complaints.

Postby tdockery97 » 07 Nov 2013 23:06

Seems pretty simple to me. If the Update Manager notifies you of available updates, check to see if there are special instructions on the forums. If not, do the updates.

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Re: UP communication complaints.

Postby dyfet » 07 Nov 2013 23:14

I like the way information is communicated and information about upcoming update packs is handled. No worries.
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Re: UP communication complaints.

Postby fleabus » 07 Nov 2013 23:35

Agree. You can't please everyone, there's always gonna be a gripe or a grumble. I think you communicated this month's delay, for example, very clearly, with no room for misunderstanding. As long as I've been following Solyd I haven't had any question whatsoever about the UPs and when they're gonna happen. Seems to me this fellow simply doesn't want to hear anything until the UP is absolutely ready. Well, he can always change the channel! :lol: The UP was delayed for a very good reason; the delay was communicated in a timely fashion. Done and dusted.

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Re: UP communication complaints.

Postby ChipButty » 08 Nov 2013 01:08

To be sure it is only a couple of complaints and the original guy kind of backed off a bit. If you didn't communicate enough you would also get complaints and a lot more than just a couple. You are communicating just fine in my opinion and as has been said above you can't please everyone. I think it's sensible to give us alerts, warnings, news, etc ahead of time and an idea of when to expect the next update. I can't really see anything wrong with that at all.

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Re: UP communication complaints.

Postby Karl » 08 Nov 2013 01:23

Just a thought...

Maybe lessening the ambitious and admirable update schedule would ease your workload considerably.

Couldn't you issue UP 2013.11.06 the following month i.e. 2013.12.06 - and so on.

Alternatively you could issue an update pack quarterly with programs/applications updates brought to a status one month behind.

I personally couldn't see anything wrong for having changes to programs/applications available a little later.

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Re: UP communication complaints.

Postby ane champenois » 08 Nov 2013 07:18

@ Schoelje: don't worry about that...as ZZ and other say, it's impossible to satisfy everyone.
Perhaps can change the date of the UP and be more fuzzy (first decade of the month for example). I really don' know if it could be useful ...
They did not know it was impossible so they did it.

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Re: UP communication complaints.

Postby Arjen Balfoort » 08 Nov 2013 07:56

Since Santa is providing KDE, the release date had to be postponed. Santa needs to have the updated repositories before he can do his magic. He usually needs a few days to build and upload the packages to the Siduction repositories after which I can update ours.

Our testing is now done in two steps:
  1. Test our own (packages.solydxk.nl), and the updated Debian repository (debian.solydxk.nl).
  2. Test the new KDE when it is updated (also in packages).
Which leaves little time for testing if we want to make the deadline of the 6th of the month.

I propose the following:
We start as we usually do:
  1. Last day of the month: synchronize Debian repository, and prepare the testing environment.
  2. Start testing when done synchronizing (usually the first day of the month).
  3. Start testing KDE when updated.
  4. Release on the 15th, even if we're done earlier.
By extending the period we can take off the pressure of testing (more time, so we don't need to hasten), and decrease the chance that we have to postpone the go-live.

Separating the software packages from the regular updates is more complicated to maintain. Often the regular updates cause changes in the software packages, and I'd like to minimize the update moments to a minimum in that I want to prevent package updates in between UP's.

So, what do you think?


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Re: UP communication complaints.

Postby wizard97_4 » 08 Nov 2013 08:38

[Post written before I see Schoelje's last post] ;)

Maybe sometimes too much infos kills the communication.

The fact that the UP must theorically be released the 6th of each month (which is rarely the case at the moment) is also to meditate.

Why not give a date range, e.g. update available between the 6th and the 15th, time often to let Santa what he has to do...
What I mean is that until tracking the 6th you know that there will be an update before the 15th, maybe the 6th, maybe the 12th... It avoids to specify that the update will be delayed every time, less pressure, more time to test.

Have to or do not have to warn users before an update... which other distro warns users to wait servers synchronization? How do they do with LMDE?
As soon as the Update Manager get blue it is good to update, a message in the forum "SolydXK 2013-XX is out" (not hidden in a category, but make profitable the system of announcements of phpbb designed for this) an article on blogs/social and that's all.

Keep it simple.

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Re: UP communication complaints.

Postby Arjen Balfoort » 08 Nov 2013 09:09

wizard97_4 wrote:Have to or do not have to warn users before an update... which other distro warns users to wait servers synchronization? How do they do with LMDE?
I prefer not to look too much at what others are doing. It might influence my decision making. However, discussing these matters with you guys is always enlightening.

Regarding your remark about warning before an update: since the previous UP, the transition (testing <-> production) is instantaneous, and makes a warning not to use the repositories in the mean time obsolete. Haven't I removed that from the last two UP announcements?


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Re: UP communication complaints.

Postby wizard97_4 » 08 Nov 2013 09:48

Schoelje wrote:I prefer not to look too much at what others are doing.
Sometimes this avoids repeating the same mistakes, and sometimes others also have good ideas.. :)

Regarding the warnings I was referring to this: http://solydxk.nl/up-2013-11-06-0900-utc/
On 08 November 2013 at 09:00 UTC we will synchronize the production repositories.
From that time until I give the green light: please don’t use the repositories to upgrade your system.

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Re: UP communication complaints.

Postby Arjen Balfoort » 08 Nov 2013 10:07

wizard97_4 wrote:
Schoelje wrote:I prefer not to look too much at what others are doing.
Sometimes this avoids repeating the same mistakes, and sometimes others also have good ideas.. :)
I hope you filter out those things for me ;)
wizard97_4 wrote:Regarding the warnings I was referring to this: http://solydxk.nl/up-2013-11-06-0900-utc/
On 08 November 2013 at 09:00 UTC we will synchronize the production repositories.
From that time until I give the green light: please don’t use the repositories to upgrade your system.
You're right, I removed the line from the blog.

Due to the changes we had lately in our repository processes, I'm rewriting the documentation. One of these steps describes communication when the UP has gone to production:
d) Communicate to the public that the new UP is available.

– Create a production breakages thread on the forum for this specific UP.
e.g.: http://forums.solydxk.nl/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=1991
– Add “[DONE]” to the subject of the testing thread, and lock the thread.
– Blog that the UP is ready (link to production breakages thread, and add the UP info page at the bottom).
e.g.: http://solydxk.nl/up-2013-11-06-0900-utc/
– Check Facebook, and Twitter.
– Copy the blog in Google+.
This leaves two moments of communication:
  1. [Always]The UP is in production, and safe to use for the public.
  2. [When needed]The UP has to be postponed for stated reason.


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Re: UP communication complaints.

Postby sjmur » 08 Nov 2013 11:05

The UP method and communication is what attracted me to Solydxk. Since UP's are out on the 6th of each month (from what I can see) how about a post on the new UP 2 weeks before release, then another 1 week and finally 1 post the day before outlining the time it will drop. Other then that, a nice changelog(we have it already) and encase of postponing a release I would suggest trying not to what so ever. Okay so a new version of KDE dropped a few days before the UP pack so it needed time to test. How about sticking to your guns and releasing what the UP pack was to include and holding the new release for the next UP pack. End users wont care about minor updates so dont tell the world that it was 'postponed' for something they might not care about. It's just about consistency :)

But all in all, you cannot please everyone. =]
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Re: UP communication complaints.

Postby ScottQuier » 08 Nov 2013 12:01

sjmur wrote: Okay so a new version of KDE dropped a few days before the UP pack so it needed time to test. How about sticking to your guns and releasing what the UP pack was to include and holding the new release for the next UP pack. End users wont care about minor updates so dont tell the world that it was 'postponed' for something they might not care about. It's just about consistency :)
^^^ +This! In more general terms, software is promoted to production in the next scheduled UP after it's been tested and found viable. Pushing a UP back to accomodate a package or DE or .... creates a certain amount of uneeded and artificial stress.

Going this route will allow you to put a bit more engineering back into the process, making it more proactive rather than reactive. Rescheduling the UP as has happened at least twice now tends to IMNSHO impart a slight tarnish to your hard-earned image of careful fore-thought and planning.

And, simply stepping back one more step from the bleeding edge has the potential, I would think, to have significant impact on the SolydXK stability factor.

Stable and up-to-date (but not bleeding edge) is, I believe, why many (most?) SolydXK users are here.
Scott
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systems is risky at best and entails serious compatibility
problems; usually it's the best way to destroy an install"

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Re: UP communication complaints.

Postby sjmur » 08 Nov 2013 12:17

^ Exactly! That's what SolydXK is about right? It's not bleeding edge to the point of breakages in UPs but we are not far behind the latest BUT are stable. The UP's are why I am here! And what would entice me to hand Solyd to a non tech-savvy friend/family member because I know they are in a stable and maintained environment! I'm just looking at it from an end user's point of view. They really do not care that package xyz.124 came out two days before the normally on time UP pack and that the developers are dashing with trying to include it. Dont do that if you want to say your solid :P
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Re: UP communication complaints.

Postby ane champenois » 08 Nov 2013 13:21

Schoelje wrote: I propose the following:
We start as we usually do:
  1. Last day of the month: synchronize Debian repository, and prepare the testing environment.
  2. Start testing when done synchronizing (usually the first day of the month).
  3. Start testing KDE when updated.
  4. Release on the 15th, even if we're done earlier.
By extending the period we can take off the pressure of testing (more time, so we don't need to hasten), and decrease the chance that we have to postpone the go-live.

Separating the software packages from the regular updates is more complicated to maintain. Often the regular updates cause changes in the software packages, and I'd like to minimize the update moments to a minimum in that I want to prevent package updates in between UP's.

So, what do you think?
Less pressure, less need of communication, less risk of breakage, no more postponing: the way of simplicity. Ok for me :geek:
They did not know it was impossible so they did it.

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Re: UP communication complaints.

Postby fleabus » 08 Nov 2013 14:54

Schoelje wrote: ...Release on the 15th, even if we're done earlier.

By extending the period we can take off the pressure of testing (more time, so we don't need to hasten), and decrease the chance that we have to postpone the go-live.

So, what do you think?
ane champenois wrote:Less pressure, less need of communication, less risk of breakage, no more postponing: the way of simplicity. Ok for me :geek:
^^^ Agree with ane. Schoelje, you've got plenty enough to do, I would hope this would ease the "UP-pressure" somewhat.

-- Dave

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Re: UP communication complaints.

Postby Montala » 08 Nov 2013 15:58

Why not just adopt the "It will be released when it is ready" approach?

I am sure that most users would be more than happy with this, and has already been said, it should help to relieve some of the pressure on the 'testing team' every month.

It is good to see such dedication from those involved, and is to be applauded, not criticised! :)


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