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Test Repo Suggestion

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MisterZ

Re: Packages being worked on by the Repo Team

#1 Post by MisterZ » Sun Nov 25, 2018 4:11 pm

Not a Rant
Geez Folks ... just wasted a bunch of time replying to "Re: Testing Apps/Packages.Pay attention before publish to Test Repos" only to find that a mod got ticked and locked the thread. I'll post here anyway ... sorry to see that ... some really good lessons there ...

Thought to chime-in on this issue:
(1) No one has blamed ANYONE in this thred ... penguin has simply suggested that TEST not be so readily available to an inexperienced user ... I agree and I AM an experienced user! I have posted regarding Test Repos in the past and have borked my stable system once this past year on MX17 after installing Audacity from TEST. Lesson learned!
(2) Contrary to what was said about "warnings" ... NOWHERE in the manual is it EXPLICITLY stated to use TEST without backing up your system first! The only warnings have been posted by admins and devs in this thread and sprinkled in other parts of this forum ... not every end-user joins forums!
(3) This discussion has resulted in some very very valuable info regarding system backups and the many options available ... kudos for that!

Bottom line? The MX manual needs a small revision with respect to using TEST.

To all listening:
(1) If you wish to become a tester, make sure you have a backup system in place or use a designated partition or spare machine as a sandbox.
(2) If you install MX for others, strongly advise them NOT to go any further than STABLE! I have 100+ client installations presently as well as a few local stores with MX pre-installed on some machines. The first thing I do is advise them as to the use of the package manager (briefly explaining why ... they always then ask me how come the options are there?) ... then to make a donation towards further MX development.
(3) Personally, I dislike the fact that TEST and Flatpaks are part of the package manager. Flatpaks don't always work, are a pain to uninstall completely ... TEST shouldn't even be in the package manager, because as penguin said, MX is NOT a rolling release and some users could get fooled ... the next MX version will ALREADY contain the necessary libs from the new Debian Stable to make it easy for MX18 to provide end-users with the convenient assortment of xtra apps folks would like to have post-installation ... not many testers out there anyway willing to bork their production machines ...
(4) MX is a really solid distro and simple to use for the general public with some really sweet in-house tools to make the Linux experience a joy ... keep it simple please!

Cheers

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Stevo
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Re: Test Repo Suggestion

#2 Post by Stevo » Sun Nov 25, 2018 5:48 pm

Aren't regular backups recommended for all users, whether or not they test packages or not? Do we really have to repeat that advice?

We also found that having the test repo option in the MXPI is preferable to what we had before, where many users would just add the test repo in Synaptic and upgrade everything in one fell swoop.

I hope you aren't also mistaking our test repo for the Debian testing repository--they are completely different in concept. Ours contains backports, built against Debian Stable libraries as far as possible. Maybe we can make our warning stronger about what our "test" really means.

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Gordon Cooper
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Re: Test Repo Suggestion

#3 Post by Gordon Cooper » Sun Nov 25, 2018 6:30 pm

Paragraph 4.8.1 of the User Manual states the need for backups. Surely that is sufficient.
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MisterZ

Re: Test Repo Suggestion

#4 Post by MisterZ » Sun Nov 25, 2018 7:14 pm

Paragraph 5.2.2 Community repos could be more explicit for disclaimer/advice for those who wish to dabble in testing something along the lines I proposed above: "If you wish to become a tester, make sure you have backed up your system or use a designated OS partition/spare machine as a sandbox ...". The disclaimer reads nicely here: https://mxlinux.org/community-repo bottom of page ... should be repeated in the advice regarding MX Test in the Manual. MXPI interface could also include "For advanced users" as part of the text header when people see the MXTesting option ...

There are 87 pages in this forum with the key words "test repos" that I browsed through today and quite a few folks had problems of one sort or another ... I always back up any system I use ... the only time I didn't, I regretted it! Half the tech-time I spend is retrieving personal data from folks who DON'T back-up and need to reinstall their OS ... the vast majority by the way ...

Inquiries could easily be answered by pointing these things out in the manual and the interface ... problem solved ... as long as people read ...

Cheers

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Re: Test Repo Suggestion

#5 Post by sunrat » Sun Nov 25, 2018 7:16 pm

Stevo wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 5:48 pm
I hope you aren't also mistaking our test repo for the Debian testing repository--they are completely different in concept. Ours contains backports, built against Debian Stable libraries as far as possible. Maybe we can make our warning stronger about what our "test" really means.
MX Test repo is more like Debian experimental. A stronger warning in MXPI that things may break sounds like a good idea.

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arjaybe
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Re: Test Repo Suggestion

#6 Post by arjaybe » Sun Nov 25, 2018 7:54 pm

Is it assumed that installing from the test repo is to test the package so the devs can decide to move it to stable?
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colin_b
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Re: Test Repo Suggestion

#7 Post by colin_b » Sun Nov 25, 2018 7:59 pm

Stevo wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 5:48 pm
Maybe we can make our warning stronger about what our "test" really means.
As a suggestion, the popular applications tab on MXPI has "Manage popular packages" in big letters at the top. Why not put something like "These packages are for testing and may have issues" at the top of the MX test repo tab?

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Mauser
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Re: Test Repo Suggestion

#8 Post by Mauser » Sun Nov 25, 2018 8:04 pm

The "Test" in MX Test Repo should give a hint on that everything in it is being tested and may or may not work. Do we need big bright flashing lights with a warning sound like this? https://www.soundboard.com/sb/sound/355544

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Stevo
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Re: Test Repo Suggestion

#9 Post by Stevo » Sun Nov 25, 2018 8:36 pm

Yes, we have some people that have reported problems with packages in the test repo---that's why they are being tested. In the vast majority of those cases, we've been able to fix those issues as a result of people testing those applications, often just having them pull in some missing dependency.

How would you suggest we get have a fair number of people testing those new packages if we make them even harder to install and scare them all off with warnings of dire consequences?

Penguin, you aren't one of those guys that keep calling Debian testing "a rolling release" instead of the testbed for the next release, are you?

You know there are simple ways to downgrade back from the test repo versions, right?

MisterZ

Re: Test Repo Suggestion

#10 Post by MisterZ » Sun Nov 25, 2018 8:40 pm

MX strives to take end-users by the hand and offer a Linux (Debian) system that's easy and simple to use. One must ALWAYS take into account the need of the end-user and their abilities. Many of them come from other platforms and are using Linux for the very first time and need assurances that they won't end up doing something silly ... without the flashing lights and sirens of course. Grandma and Grandpa first-timers should have absolutely NO problem fulfilling their computer needs after an MX install ... once beginners are properly advised through the Manual or the MXPI gui that certain aspects are for advanced users, do you think they would muck around? ... I don't think so! Said all I've had to say on this thread ... thanks for the listen everyone.

Cheers

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