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Re: Confusing our users - who is supporting LTS?

On Fri, Oct 26, 2018 at 11:05:18AM -0400, Antoine Beaupré wrote:
> On 2018-10-26 10:26:09, Thadeu Lima de Souza Cascardo wrote:
> > 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.

I agree here, my suggestions below were just asking how could we make
things better or even more clear to the uneducated user, who comes from
these other projects, which have a different release/maintenance
process. I would refute some of the suggestions myself, but thought
about suggesting anyway because I didn't want to assume how other people
would feel about them.

> > 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.

I meant that we would say that stable is supported by the security team.
And instead of saying that Jessie was supported by the LTS team, we
would say supported by Freexian. The table at
https://wiki.debian.org/LTS doesn't even say "supported by LTS team",
but "supported by LTS", which might be confusing to these users. So,
maybe just fix this nitpick?

> > 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.

Ubuntu started supporting an EOL release with "Extended Security
Maintenance". So, maybe start using something like those two projects
have been doing?

> > 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?

Agreed. Advising new users that they should be using the latest stable
release if they have no explicit need to use any older ones.

> > 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.

Yeah, not true that Stretch would have a latest term support compared to
any earlier release. So, if one needs something that lasts 12 years,
should one be picking up Stretch, Jessie or Wheezy?

> 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! :)

I am not trying to make them, just realized that some user confusion
might have come from that, and trying to share this, so we can think how
to make it less confusing to the users.

By the way, love the work you all have been doing, Debian rocks, Debian
LTS rocks, keep the good work!


> https://wiki.debian.org/DontBreakDebian
> Thanks!
> A.
> -- 
> Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.
>                         - Parkinson's law

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