[tor-dev] the consequences of deprecating debian alpha repos with every new major branch

nusenu nusenu-lists at riseup.net
Sat Jun 30 14:42:00 UTC 2018


- more outdated relays
(that is a claim I'm making and you could
easily proof me wrong by recreating the 0.3.3.x alpha
repos and ship in them and see how things evolve 
after a week or so)
- more work for the tpo website maintainer
- less happy relay operators [3][4]
- more work for repo maintainers? (since a new repo needs to be created)

When the tor 0.3.4 alpha repos (deb.torproject.org) first appeared on 2018-05-23
I was about to submit a PR for the website to include it in the sources.list
generator [1] on tpo but didn't do it because I wanted to wait for a previous PR to be merged first.
The outstanding PR got merged eventually (2018-06-28) but I still did not submit a PR to
update the repo generator for 0.3.4.x nonetheless and here is why.

Recently I was wondering why are there so many relays running tor version (see OrNetStats or Relay Search)
(> 3.2% CW fraction)

Then I realized that this was the last version the tor-experimental-0.3.3.x-*
repos were shipping before they got abandoned due to the new 0.3.4.x-* repos
(I can no longer verify it since they got removed by now).

Peter made it clear in the past that the current way to
have per-major-version debian alpha repos (i.e. tor-experimental-0.3.4.x-jessie)
will not change [2]:

> If you can't be bothered to change your sources.list once or twice a
> year, then you probably should be running stable.

but maybe someone else would be willing to invoke a
"ln" commands everytime a new new alpha repo is born.

tor-alpha-jessie -> tor-experimental-0.3.4.x-jessie

once 0.3.5.x repos are created the link would point to

tor-alpha-jessie -> tor-experimental-0.3.5.x-jessie

It is my opinion that this will help reduce the amount of relays running
outdated versions of tor.

It will certainly avoid having to update the tpo website, which isn't a big task
and could probably be automated but it isn't done currently.

"..but that would cause relay operators to jump from i.e. 0.3.3.x to 0.3.4.x alphas
(and break setups)!"
Yes, and I think that is better than relays stuck on an older version because
the former repo no longer exists and operators still can choose the old repos
which will not jump to newer major versions.

[1] https://www.torproject.org/docs/debian.html.en#ubuntu
[2] https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/14997#comment:3
[3] https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-relays/2018-June/015549.html
[4] https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/26474


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