Fast releases demand binary updates.. (Was: Release schedule for 2006)

Jo Rhett jrhett at
Thu Dec 22 13:09:33 PST 2005

> On Sat, Dec 17, 2005 at 02:00:21PM -0800 I heard the voice of
> Joe Rhett, and lo! it spake thus:
> > 
> > Increasing the number of deployed systems out of date [...]
On Sat, Dec 17, 2005 at 08:37:25PM -0600, Matthew D. Fuller wrote:
> This doesn't make any sense.  If you install a 6.0 system, in 6 months
> (assuming you installed it right when 6.0 was cut, for simplicity), it
> will be 6 months out of date.  It's neither more nor less out of date
> if the current release is then 6.1, or 6.2, or 8.12; it's still 6
> months back.
No, you're missing the point.  More core OS upgrades means less incremental
patches (which are easier to apply than a full update).  That means that
more systems will fall out of date because of the time-consuming nature of
full operating system upgrades.

> A case could, in fact, be made that more common releases lead to far
> FEWER deployed systems out of date, since it makes it far easier for
> those who already use binary upgrades instead of source to get things
> faster.

Huh?  That's backwards.  If we can't schedule the downtime for a full
operating system upgrade (which takes far longer than it should) then the
system won't get upgraded.  Small incremental patches can be built on
central systems and rsynced outwards fairly easily in comparison.

> Now, this is not to say that easier incremental binary upgrades are a
> bad thing, but bad analogy doesn't help anybody...

Not to be rude, but I think your definition of analogy is wrong.  There was
no analogy in my comments - no parallelism at all.  I was focused on the
single topic, and not referring to anything else.

Back to the point, the comments aren't "bad".  Your idea that binary
operating system upgrades from ISO are "easier" demonstrates that you're
talking about home computers, not production servers.  I'm talking about
production environments, which I made very clear in my description.

...few have CDs
...many don't have local consoles, or local staff
...many don't have local disks at all (flash-based systems)

"Install new OS from ISO" is completely impractical in all of these
environments.  "Install from source" is impossible in most.

Jo Rhett
senior geek
SVcolo : Silicon Valley Colocation

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