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It's Looking Like Debian 9.0 Stretch Won't Support OwnCloud

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  • #11
    The Freedombox guys are looking at Seafile as a replacement. I swapped my personal server over recently, and it seems much less janky.

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    • #12
      Originally posted by anda_skoa View Post

      Ah, ok, that is not as bad it sounded then.

      I guess it then comes down how often they release a major version.
      If they do it once a year then skipping one would amount to not updating for two years, which would probably too long for most software.

      But if they were on a 1 to 3 month cycle then the expectation to be able to skip at least every second major version would be reasonable IMHO.

      Cheers,
      _
      Releases are done on a roughly 4-month schedule, subject to delays.
      All opinions are my own not those of my employer if you know who they are.

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      • #13
        Originally posted by Ericg View Post
        Debian [...] strips out the bundled libraries that ownCloud makes modifications to and are bundling for a reason, thus introducing new bugs and problems.
        Bundled libraries are a major pain in the lower back, and there are very good reason not to bundle libraries, especially for security reasons.

        For some insight, the according entry in the Gentoo Wiki might hold forth, and also this interesting blog post by a Gentoo developer flameeye, called Bundling libraries for despair and insecurity. He also discusses why people bundle and for what reasons they are usually wrong.

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        • #14
          Originally posted by Ericg View Post

          Releases are done on a roughly 4-month schedule, subject to delays.
          Hmm, then this is very close to being unreasonable to not be able to skip at least one release.

          That's roughly three upgrades a year and with their track record of upgrades not working reliably probably not something sysadmins will want to do more than twice in the worst case.

          Also makes their support time of 18 month ridiculous, since by then they would have released about 4 versions which you can't skip, but have to manually upgrade through all of them.

          Cheers,
          _

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          • #15
            Originally posted by gerddie View Post

            Bundled libraries are a major pain in the lower back, and there are very good reason not to bundle libraries, especially for security reasons.

            For some insight, the according entry in the Gentoo Wiki might hold forth, and also this interesting blog post by a Gentoo developer flameeye, called Bundling libraries for despair and insecurity. He also discusses why people bundle and for what reasons they are usually wrong.
            I didn't say they were right, I just said they did it. ownCloud has made modifications and optimizations to libraries that, for one reason or another, were apparently not able to be upstreamed. Obviously they want to keep their changes, otherwise they wouldn't have made them, and so their only option is bundle it.
            All opinions are my own not those of my employer if you know who they are.

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            • #16
              Originally posted by boltronics View Post
              What a frustrating mentality ownCloud seems to have in this case. It seems the ownCloud developers want to be able to update their app whenever they feel like, as opposed to whenever a new distro release is cut.

              The problem is that people who use the Debian stable packages want that long term stability. They don't want libraries installed multiple times cluttering up their system, making library fixes more difficult to deal with and bloating packages by bundling everything together. They want their packages to have ideally been tested for months, not thrown together at the last minute and shipped with issues (which happened numerous times last year from my experience).

              What I don't get is why so many web developers think they are so special that admins, package maintainers and other stakeholders should submit to their will, simply because they are developing a web application? It seems at times that they just don't have a clue, and instead of getting one, prefer to simply make trouble for everyone else "because all my cool web dev friends do it this way" or whatever the excuse is, so everyone else must be wrong. The nonsense has to stop.
              I have done a bit of (quick) reading the thread(s) pointed to by the article and the references these posts contain. Here is what I have read into it:

              OwnCloud (from the project's point of view) seems to require a similar special handling that FireFox requires with two exceptions: 1) The OwnCloud package doesn't need renaming and 2) OwnCloud major updades may not be skipped due to database incompatibilities (which is allowed in FireFox). OwnCloud developers have stated that they are fixing 2) starting with the (current) 9.0 release for (hopefully all) future releases.

              The supported Debian version(s) provide OwnCloud 7.0.z so the maintainer(s) worked on packaging 9.y.z. Of course they want to provide a data migration path for their users and (to maybe some lesser extend?) be compliant to Debian packaging guidelines (more on that later). Also of course they don't want to package all intermediate major versions of OwnCloud (from the OwnCloud homepage: "As an extreme example, to upgrade from 7.0 all the way to 9.0, upgrade 7.0.x to 7.0.13, then upgrade to 8.0.11, 8.1.7, 8.2.4, then 9.0.1.") and do all the upgrade steps mentioned (I have not spent any time on understanding OwnCloud, so maybe it might be sufficient to package the core module if that is what is responsible for upgrading the database tables, encryption and format). Instead the maintainers changed some of the code to read and convert the 7.0 database format directly into 9.0 and of course that code wasn't perfect (they are humans after all). Basically every developer on the owncloud mailinglist that commented on this approach dissed it (I did not see any constructive response on how to improve the approach, only comments of the type "this must not be done because otherwise user data will be at risk" - but please remember that I only skimmed the archives).

              Wrt. packaging rules, OwnCloud does seem to have some configurable values directly inside the code instead of dedicated config files. For the current developers changing this does not seem to be a priority but they do not mind someone providing patches as the project is open source.

              So for me this doesn't look so much like a "we don't want anyone to threaten our business model" but more like a "we don't want users to risk their data with the Debian upgrade 7 to 9 upgrade code, even if that means they loose OwnCloud completely" (the last is my interpretation).

              Corrections/additions welcome!

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              • #17
                Originally posted by NatTuck View Post
                The Freedombox guys are looking at Seafile as a replacement. I swapped my personal server over recently, and it seems much less janky.
                Does it also do calendars and contacts? I've been testing out Cozy since if you're not going to get distro-supported packages, there's no reason to put up with PHP and you may as well dive down the rabbit hole that is modern web development that depends on Pip/NPN/GEM and a compiler on your server. :<

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                • #18
                  Originally posted by Pajn View Post

                  Web developers does not think so, PHP developers does. Please don't mix PHP developers with serious web developers.
                  I disagree. This is also common with Python and Node.js web developers.

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                  • #19
                    Originally posted by Ericg View Post
                    Not quite. OwnCloud explicitly does not support skipping versions during upgrades. If you are on version 8.0 and want to upgrade to the latest 9.0, you need to do 8.0->8.1->8.2->9.0. Debian, unfortunately, wants to let people go from 7.0 (or earlier) straight to 9.0, which is an explicitly unsupported usecase.
                    That's just a technical issue, and is possible to address. Presumably DB changes are the main concern. Rails has a system that keeps track of DB table changes in the database so it knows what updates need to be applied, and I'm sure ownCloud could do something similar if keeping track of DB changes throughout various releases was deemed too difficult.

                    Originally posted by Ericg View Post
                    Debian also lags behind on security updates
                    Correction: a few packages lag behind on security updates. Most of the ones linked on the list had some reasonable excuse. eg. the glpi didn't say what the security issue was because it points to a broken link, making it difficult to fix. ownCloud... well we know about ownCloud. The WordPress example I looked at was fixed in about a week from the upstream commit, not whenever WordPress released it in a build. Not great, but not the massive problem it's being made out to be.

                    Originally posted by Ericg View Post
                    and strips out the bundled libraries that ownCloud makes modifications to and are bundling for a reason
                    No, sorry. Either get your changes upstream, or fork. If upstream is too slow to cut a release with the fixes, add your patches to the deb package. That way, it's completely transparent what changes where made, why they were made, and people know not to complain to upstream if the changes cause problems.

                    Originally posted by Ericg View Post
                    Web applications are the very peak of "Release early, release often."
                    Again, why the special treatment? This is not some software development company we're talking about... this is software a lot of people run on their own hardware, and have to administer themselves.

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                    • #20
                      Darn it... typing this out one more time since my original reply got eaten when I hit post.

                      Edit: Or not. Stuck in a moderation queue without warning I guess.
                      Last edited by boltronics; 29 March 2016, 08:59 AM.

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