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[ale] Stable, backward compatible APIs



On 08/30/2012 03:58 PM, Lightner, Jeff wrote:
> Of course this is why RHEL is setup the way it is.   You can put your Enterprise on it and trust that you don't have to do a complete revamp of everything every year or so.   (In fact for RHEL5 Redhat announced earlier this year they were extending its life from 7 years to 10 years even though RHEL6 has been out for over a year.)
>
> On the flip side it means some things on RHEL get a bit long in the tooth.  (e.g. BIND 9.3 is the base RedHat uses on RHEL5)  Redhat does backport security and bug fixes from later upstream versions into theirs but still it becomes limited compared to newer things.  But then again for an app like that you can always forego the RHEL provided package and download/build the latest from source.
Ubuntu LTS releases are now for 5 years. The advantage LTS releases
(Ubuntu, RHEL, etc) is a period of stability where the release is
supported. The only real issues are how long should the period last and
how easy is it upgrade to latest LTS release.

A related issue, often new Windows releases have traditionally had more
significant hardware requirements than the older release. This makes
upgrading more expensive than just rolling out a new version because
some fraction of the hardware must be upgraded to run the new version.
>
>
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> -----Original Message-----
> From: ale-bounces at ale.org [mailto:ale-bounces at ale.org] On Behalf Of JD
> Sent: Thursday, August 30, 2012 2:21 PM
> To: Atlanta Linux Enthusiasts
> Subject: Re: [ale] Stable, backward compatible APIs
>
> On 08/30/2012 09:03 AM, Byron Jeff wrote:
>> BTW this is exactly what Miguel discusses in his piece. The bottom
>> line is embodied in the saying "Consistency is the hobgoblin of little
>> minds." The dichotomy between the Linux developer community, which
>> certainly does not consists of little minds, and the general user
>> population, which views most technology as an appliance, are almost exclusively so.
> Odd, I came away with a completely different view of his statements.
>
> I saw him calling for stable APIs and binary compatibility across distro and versions.  A GUI program written in 2002 should work and definitely not crash on an OS in 2012.
>
> I'm not against purchasing software, not at all. However, I am against purchasing software that only works for 1 or 2 yrs.  THAT is the real issue with Linux desktops.  3rd party developers can't trust that their efforts will be rewarded, so they don't even try.
>
> When there is a stable API and binary compatibility going forward, you get ...
> huge marketshare.  Just as the Android folks. Look what they accomplished in 5 yrs. Is that really possible if Android would have dropped important APIs with every major release?  I've run android apps designed for use on v1.6 on 3.x and 4.x devices.  Even if those apps were pretty, they worked.
>
> THAT is what Linux needs on their desktops.  Binary compatibility would be really nice too, but stable APIs matter much more.
>
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Jay Lozier
jslozier at gmail.com