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Track master

By Ev Bogue - July 6th 2016

After three years of using Arch Linux, I think it proves that tracking master on packages is a successful way to use software.

For example, I switched off Debian because they had a version of Redis in their package manager that was two years old.

I recently helped someone get a VPS up and running with Ubuntu and Node.js was version 0.10.x!

This is a mess. No one should be subjected to Node.js 0.10.x when they install the latest version of an operating system.

The solution, as I see it, is to track master. We should always update our software to the latest master and we should track master on everything. Including libraries and other dependencies.

Arch Linux proves that once you start tracking master on packages, an amazing thing happens: you get a resilient OS.

With the invention of technologies to give every object a unique ID, we get an interesting opportunity to harness this. Imagine every single time you do a commit to your software you get a unique hash. Imagine if your project already has a unique hash that is associated with the entire project. Oh! This is how Git already works.

Now you can either track master on a project, or you can be more conservative and lock in at individual hashes and upgrade them when you have time to test.

But I believe Arch Linux proves that once you start tracking master problems are fixed fast because everyone is aware of them almost immediately.

Let's start building software where we track master. Innovation will happen faster.

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← Three years on Arch Linux

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