[Cerowrt-devel] Perfection vs. Good Enough

Theodore Ts'o tytso at mit.edu
Sun Jan 12 22:14:25 EST 2014

On Sun, Jan 12, 2014 at 04:10:17PM -0800, David Lang wrote:
> the question boils down to
> compared to stock firmware,
> how much of a beneifit is openwrt trunk (and how risky)

"how risky" is I think the biggest question.  You can always make
things better.  But it seems pretty clear the current version is
better than the last stable version, in terms of benefits, right?

So the question is, are people confident that it is more reliable, and
handles various corner cases that users might have in their homes,
better than the last stable version?  If it is, then we should do a
stable release.

Something that might be worth considering is something akin to Debian
"testing".  If a development release has gone for more than a week
without having any release critical bugs filed against it, promote it
to testing.  There will be people like me who aren't willing to run
the development branch on their home router, especially if so often it
ends up taking down their home infrastructure completely.

As a result, I'm currently stuck on a stable release which is almost a
year old at this point.  I'm not willing to take a development
release, because of the potential of instabilities, but I *am* willing
to try out a testing release --- especially if I'm given reassurances
that if I take a backup snapshot of my config files, I will be able to
roll back to the last stable release, or a previous testing release,
and basic stuff such as firewall rules and DHCP MAC address to IP
address static assignments will be preserved.

As long as people understand what risks and shortcomings are with
respect to rolling forward from a previous stable or testing release,
to a newer testing release, and what the shortcomings are with rolling
back to an earlier release while preserving their configuration
information, I suspect you'll find a much larger pool of people who
are willing to test.

Or if I know that I'm going to have to type in all of my configuration
in from scratch, that's might also be fine --- then I'll know to wait
until have an hour or two, just in case I have to keypunch in all of
the Cerowrt config by hand.  (I know about the backup function; I just
don't know how reliable it is across different versions.)  Right now,
one of the reasons why I havne't gone to the development release is
because I don't know what the worst case situation will be if
everything goes south and my home environment goes down for the count.


						- Ted

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