[tbb-dev] [Tails-dev] Should we delay Tails 3.2? [Was: Tor Browser release is postponed by two days]

intrigeri intrigeri at boum.org
Thu Sep 28 05:43:24 UTC 2017


>>>>> TBH this has always seemed odd to me. I remember argument for this being about us
>>>>> behaving like good Free Software community members by coordinating releases.
>>>>> I wonder if they really care, especially given our users' position. So, let's
>>>>> ask them!
>>>> I don't know whether they care but that argument has some weight for me
>>>> at least.
>>> Same here.

> I would really want to understand this (and possibly agree as well :)). Why do both
> of you (and others?) feel this is important? This is not a rhetorical question,
> I simply don't get it. If your explanation depends on the QA status, please also
> include the case where QA passed so you answer can be applied for the Tails 3.2 case.

Thank you for pushing me to think about it deeper than expressing
raw feelings.

My general answer is: what a downstream does has all kinds of impacts
on their upstream, and that impact can be problematic especially when
downstream diverges in some way (be it by patching code, by changing
default settings, by releasing in an uncoordinated manner, etc.)

For example:

 - Releasing upstream's work before they do can create confusion for
   users wrt. version numbers and released / not released status,
   which can result in additional support work upstream (e.g. "why
   can't I install Firefox x.y? Tor Browser already has it").

 - Releasing upstream's work before they do can dilute
   their communication.

 - Releasing upstream's work before they deem it ready for prime time
   can result in bad user experience, and some users might erroneously
   (but understandably) think the root cause is upstream, which
   results in bad feelings/press about upstream.

 - Similarly, modifying upstream's code or default prefs can create
   confusion for users, erroneously attributed bad UX/feelings/press,
   and additional support work upstream.

 - See the last bullet list on
   https://tails.boum.org/contribute/derivatives/ :)

I suspect you'll easily find a bunch of other such problems if you
pretend *you* are the upstream, and then someone releases something
that's almost Tails but not quite, with either modified code/prefs or
a different release schedule, and despite their good faith and
attempts at clear communication, no matter what a bunch of people will
be confused, will get it wrong, will ask questions in the wrong place,
will write misleading stuff on Twitter, will write mistaken rants
on Reddit.


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