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lousinni
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2006 5:14 am    Post subject: Gentoo "stable" Errors - General Questions Reply with quote

Greetings!

I have some questions regarding guidelines for errors that occur on Gentoo stable machines.

I am currently having a problem with cyrus-sasl ( forum discussion can be found at https://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-510366.html and bug report at https://bugs.gentoo.org/show_bug.cgi?id=152544 ) but that is not the focus of my questions.

I deal with a fairly large number of machines, both personally and professionally. I needed to perform some new Gentoo installations as well as update several existing installations. On the newer installations, I was emerging postfix, which, based on my USE flags, had cyrus-sasl as a dependency. On the existing machines, I was performing the revdep-rebuild for the openssl update, and of course, revdep-rebuild caught cyrus-sasl as one of the packages requiring rebuilding. None of the emerges succeeded. Please note that many of these machines serve a very basic purpose and do not have many packages installed, with very few, if any, additional USE flags set by me.

I was only doing this on a small subset of machines before proceeding with the overall larger upgrade of all the machines, so this is not a critical problem, but I'm sure that not being able to emerge the cyrus-sasl package (or really any package for that matter) is causing some frustration for at least a few people.

The Gentoo forums and Bugzilla are awesome, and developers and users have already provided fantastic suggestions on how to fix this. (Again, please reference the forum discussion and bug report I listed above.)

If you look at the bug report, you will notice that the bug was first filed on 2006-10-23 05:23 PST. An acknowledgment of the bug was made on the same day at 12:54 PST, stating a patch was on the way. However, notice that an actual patch was finally submitted nearly twenty-three hours later after a patch was promised. Finally, please notice within the bug report that on 2006-10-25, someone requested for the patch to be submitted to portage.

Today is 2006-10-28 (in Pacific time), and after an "emerge --sync", cyrus-sasl still fails to build. Checking the changelogs for the package ( http://packages.gentoo.org/search/?sstring=cyrus-sasl and more specifically http://sources.gentoo.org/viewcvs.py/*checkout*/gentoo-x86/dev-libs/cyrus-sasl/ChangeLog ) shows no modifications since 2006-10-23.

I'm lucky. I've been using computers for over twenty years (basically since I was a toddler), programming for about fifteen years, and using Linux for almost nine years now with Gentoo being my distribution for about the last three. I personally have over one hundred machines (I'm crazy, and please don't ask about electric bills), nearly every architecture supported by Linux, connected to the Internet by several lines (T1 and DSL).

While I can fix nearly any problem that comes up, there are times when an error will appear and it is more than inconvenient. For Gentoo unstable, errors are understandable (although, to be honest, my Gentoo unstable machines are just as fantastic as stable), but errors in Gentoo stable, particularly those that remain for days, are not.

Please don't get me wrong. Less than two days for a usable patch is fantastic and must be applauded.

My questions (Sheesh! Sorry.)

Understanding that I, and many other users, are using Gentoo stable, what is the generally acceptable way of handling "zero hour" errors, meaning something just sync'ed in portage isn't quite right, whether it be a digest authentication failure or an actual package that is broken?

I can post bug reports, I can ask questions on forums, I can (possibly) mask problematic packages, I can write and submit patches to fix (or attempt to fix) the issues, but how does one actually go about fixing something that may be critical and do it in a timely fashion, especially when one may only know how to maintain a system but not necessarily know how to delve into the inner workings of a package and prepare a proposed patch?

For future reference to beginning Gentoo users, perhaps users new to Linux in general, what are some tips and tricks (other than 'Use another distribution') to avoid running into a problem such as the inability to emerge cyrus-sasl for days using the widely known mechanisms (the commonly used "emerge" command as opposed to the manual use of patches and overlays) and keeping Gentoo stable, well, stable?

Kind Regards,
Chris
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Corona688
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2006 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quite a few gentoo users are also coders. We fix our own bugs when possible, and pass on the benefits to the rest.

Unfortunately it's not possible to have Stable tested for all configurations, just the default configuration; in a binary distro, there are no other configurations, in Gentoo, there's 2^useflags combinations.
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djay
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2006 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Corona688 wrote:
Quite a few gentoo users are also coders. We fix our own bugs when possible, and pass on the benefits to the rest.


Totally agree. Kudos to Gentoo and community.

Corona688 wrote:
Unfortunately it's not possible to have Stable tested for all configurations, just the default configuration; in a binary distro, there are no other configurations, in Gentoo, there's 2^useflags combinations.


Although this is also true, I'd guess that "stable" would mean "not many bugs/problem" and not "no problems". But despite that, I would also expect real fast response on bugs for some package which is marked stable. That is the purpose of stable right?

On the other hand, I suppose that triage of bugs is on package maintainer. So, maybe if bugzilla would automatically set bugs in stable packages to high importance, that would may help getting to them faster.

Just my humble opinion
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vibrokatana
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2006 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you cant renice developers, if you could I would do it to myself :twisted:

The problem is that alot of bugs submitted in bugzilla are marked as not going to be fixed because users submit every error they get with their insane configurations.

Also take into consideration that many of the developers are not being paid, they do it when they can. You will run into stability issues sometime within the lifespan of a product. gentoo is going through a growth spurt and needs some time to stretch its muscles some.
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Corona688
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2006 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vibrokatana wrote:
you cant renice developers, if you could I would do it to myself :twisted:

The problem is that alot of bugs submitted in bugzilla are marked as not going to be fixed because users submit every error they get with their insane configurations.
this bug gets funnier every time I read it. Search for the GAPING_SECURITY_HOLE useflag. He's using it.

And yet just because you have a different configuration doesn't make it wrong. Crazy is one thing, different another.
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