Rich0's Gentoo Blog

Archive for September 2010

An Appeal to Devs – Please Use News

with 8 comments

Well, I spent half of today rebuilding my system, and upgrading mysql.

I figured that I might use the opportunity of my newly-found spare time while running revdep-rebuild to perhaps put out a general plea for developers to make use of the news feature in portage.

Upgrading to mysql 5.1 requires doing a full dump of your databases, some manual cleanup, an upgrade, and then some manual restore steps. Oh, and that dump has to be done BEFORE the upgrade or you end up having to revert back to 5.0 (which I ended up doing). Usually mysql upgrades are relatively painless, but jumps between major versions (0.1 level) are often not.

The upgrade also breaks anything that links to libmysql, which is quite a bit on a system that runs any number of services (mail, mythtv, ulog, etc).

It might have been nice if a news item were published a day or two before stabilizing mysql 5.1 so that users might have some advance warning and could plan accordingly.

Now, this upgrade didn’t rise to the level of some of the past breakages that actually were very painful to recover from and could result in unbootable systems/etc. Still, it never hurts to give users notice. The beauty of news items is that they only pester users who will actually be impacted by them. I don’t think anybody running mysql would mind a reminder that an upcoming upgrade requires careful planning – this is far more relevant to users than half the stuff we put in elogs/etc.

On the other hand, I do appreciate the mysql upgrade guide on the gentoo website (might not hurt to update it a tiny bit), and Peter Davies’s blog entry from 1.5 years ago was very helpful. If these had been pointed out before stabilizing the build the stable experience would have been a little smoother.

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Written by rich0

September 4, 2010 at 12:58 pm

Posted in gentoo