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Re: Confusing our users - who is supporting LTS?

On 2018-10-26 10:26:09, Thadeu Lima de Souza Cascardo wrote:
> On Wed, Oct 24, 2018 at 09:30:46AM +0800, Paul Wise wrote:
>> On Wed, Oct 24, 2018 at 4:15 AM Sean Whitton wrote:
>> >
>> > On Tue 23 Oct 2018 at 05:06PM +0200, Markus Koschany wrote:
>> > >
>> > > In short: Make it very clear if you want to provide long-term support
>> > > for your project. Talk to the LTS team in case you need help. Nobody is
>> > > forced to do anything.
>> >
>> > This is a good idea, but ISTM the assumption should be that the
>> > subproject does not participate unless it explicitly says that it does.
>> This thread started because users have the opposite assumption. So I
>> think it would be better to be explicit about support teams and
>> timelines.
>> -- 
>> bye,
>> pabs
>> https://wiki.debian.org/PaulWise
> I am guessing one of the other (incorrect) assumption users might make
> is that the "LTS version" is preferred over other versions. That's how
> LTS works for Linux and Ubuntu, for example. So, a user would rather
> install Ubuntu 18.04 that is supported for 5 years than Ubuntu 18.10,
> that is supported for 9 months. The same happens with Linux 4.14 versus
> Linux 4.18.

I agree that is a concern...

> I am not sure it's clear to users that all Debian stable versions would
> have Long Term Support, because the releases are not *labeled* as LTS. I
> know the wiki says:
> "Debian Long Term Support (LTS) is a project to extend the lifetime of
> *all* Debian stable releases to (at least) 5 years." (emphasis mine)
> But I believe the table right below that would still confuse some users
> that would understand that Jessie is supported by LTS, while Stretch is
> not, even though there is a schedule column there.

... but, well, that is pretty clear isn't it? "All" releases are
supported, and "stretch" is explicitely mentioned in the table. I think
we've done our part.

> Using the LTS term in a slightly different way than the "industry
> standard" now means we need to spend a little more effort on users
> education.

I'm not sure we're using it that differently. But it's true normal
stable releases don't immediately get marked as LTS. There are good
reasons for that, and those would be very hard to work around. To get
more explicit, we can answer your questions one by one:

> Should we:
> 1) Start calling the stable releases as LTS releases?

No. That would be very confusing, as the stable releases are (to
simplify greatly) under the responsability of the security team (ST) and
the stable release managers (SRM), not the LTS team.

> 2) Say "supported by Security team" versus "supported by Freexian",
> instead of just saying "supported by LTS"?

Hm... I'm not sure what that refers to or what you're proposing, but LTS
releases are *not* supported by the security team, but by the LTS team.

> 3) Stop using LTS as a "label" for oldstable releases?

I am not sure how that would help anything. :) I do like, however, the
idea brought by Jeremy Stanley in a reply to your email of using the
"Extended Maintenance" label instead of "Long Term Support" because the
latter is usually attached to a *current* release, while the former is
seen as an *extension*.

But renaming the project seems like a huge undertaking and I'm not sure
it would really resolve this conendrum.

> 4) Just advise users all the time that they should prefer the latest
> stable release, as that is going to have the "latest term support"?

Right. So maybe that's a piece that's been missing in our
communications, and that could be the reason why people still think they
should install jessie cloud images. ;)

So maybe we could make some proeminent statement on the LTS and
LTS/Using pages in the wiki?

> 5) Is that not true anymore with Extended LTS and CIP?

Sorry, what is not true? #4? If so, I think people should *still*
install the latest supported Debian release (stable or stretch right
now) and not LTS or ELTS, when deploying new systems.

I think the idea here is that we think Debian rocks. It's solid, stable,
and we love it. But we want to support it for even longer than what our
volunteer team can deal with right now, so we're hiring a bunch of
dedicated fanatics who can figure out how to fit a square peg in a round
hole for you.

But please don't make us any more square pegs and install Debian
normally. Don't break Debian! :)




Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.
                        - Parkinson's law