Is anybody using the versions files released by release team?

Hi distributors,

GNOME release team is wondering whether anybody uses the versions files that we release. As part of modernizing our release infrastructure, we are considering eliminating these files and would like to know how they are used.

Hi Michael;

They are not used for the Debian/GNOME tracking pages (but we do depend on the structure of Index of /teams/releng/ , Index of /core/ and Index of /apps/).

Back in the day I know the SuSE team, at least, used the versions files.

Hm, interesting. We had been planning to stop updating that /core/ index too, but I didn’t ask about this because I assumed nobody was using it.

We stopped updating /apps/ a long time ago. You can stop watching that one.

In NixOS, we do not use the versions file (I was not aware of it) but we do use cache.json files:

In Gentoo I use the versions file for declaring the minimum versions of our GNOME meta packages that ensure a full core set (or our interpretation of it) for a given version of said meta package.
So whenever I update that package for a new version, I would have the matching versions file open and update the minimum requirements based on that. I haven’t managed to do that in a while though, but would be a bad surprise to not find them anymore once I get to it again.
It also gives a strong hint about removed or added core components (especially removals).

I wasn’t aware of the /core/ index, which seems to effectively achieve the same thing for this purpose (but not so easily the one below).

Our version scraper (one predating a repology based one) also uses the cache.json files to do less crawling from the mirrors for the latest version check; it also works based on the versions file - three columns of output - rows are what is listen in GNOME versions file, columns are 1) the version number from versions file for that package; 2) the latest version from the same release series based on cache.json download and parsing; 3) the version we have (either in stable or testing, depending on how the script was called).

The removal of apps from there has been annoying in not being able to track the matching release series numbers for these.

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