When "a day" means "1 days and 24 hours"

Yesterday I upgraded from openSUSE 12.2 to 12.3. Instead of being a happy day however, it was rather stressful and full of confusion due to a silly mistake on the main website. I’m posting this both as a rant and in hopes that the website developers can fix it so others won’t have the same experience during the next release.

Each month before a new version of openSUSE is out, the website has a banner saying “X days left”. As of two days ago and until yesterday, the label has been saying “1 day left”. I noticed that and logically assumed that the release would be during the next day. I even asked on #suse and someone gave me a link to a countdown timer, which said the release is at 4pm UTC. So I prepared my PC and laptop for the upgrade, and once it was 16:00 I visited opensuse.org to get the DVD image. However, I was surprised to notice that the timer had now changed to “24 hours left”. I asked on IRC again as to why the DVD isn’t up yet, but the answer got turned around; 12.3 was being released tomorrow. I already had my machines ready for upgrade, so after realizing the situation I went ahead and grabbed the torrent from another website, upgrading successfully during the course of yesterday.

My message to the admin which handles that tag is: A day does not mean “1 day and 24 hours”. If the timer is saying 1 day for an entire day, it means the release is in 24 hours from then. Saying “1 day left” for an entire day then “24 hours left” means two days, and only deceives the user and can put them in bad situations like this. I actually joked about it after that, saying “after those 24 hours are over, is the timer going to say 1440 minutes left?”. It is however true that I should have read the exact release date… I read it’s on 13 but assumed the difference was due to time lines.

I’m sorry I got upset about it on IRC, but I didn’t even know if I’ll have to keep my machines suspended for an entire day in case I couldn’t get the image earlier. It would help for things like this to be clearer in my opinion. So yeah… just my experience and advice for the future, in case the timer is incorrect and it wasn’t just me misinterpreting it.

Patience is a virtue. I had downloaded the ‘build 94’ live image and upgraded to the final from there. Now that the final is out I am using bittorrent to download the dvd image for any subsequent installations.

I don’t think it was a mistake (in the sense of being wrong), though perhaps it was a mistake in the sense of being confusing.

I think they are using “1 day” to mean “a time between 1.0 days and 1.99999 days”. That is, the time is a real number, and they are taking the integer part of that number.

I do agree that is confusing. Most people would probably read “1 day” as “at most one day” rather than “between one and two days.”

It wasn’t necessarily patience, but I already had my machines ready for upgrade and got totally surprised. I downloaded the DVD image from opensuse.org today to compare the file names and MD5 checksums, and the one I got last night is the same DVD so I have the official 12.3 otherwise.

On 03/13/2013 09:56 PM, nrickert wrote:
> I do agree that is confusing. Most people would probably read “1 day”
> as “at most one day” rather than “between one and two days.”

it is not at all confusing…

i’m not saying you were not confused, i’m saying it is possible to
not be confused, because the release day and time has been set for
months and months as March 13, 2013 at 1400 GMT, see (for example)
http://turing.suse.de/~coolo/opensuse_12.3/ (and other places)

no matter at all what those “count down jpgs” say…don’t even look
at them, look at the calendar/clock on this wall and you will know
when to fetch: http://www.timeanddate.com/time/map/

openSUSE®, the “German Engineered Automobile” of operating systems!

I find it very annoying too. That banner is just not right, unless there are suddenly more then 24 hours in a day.

The page were you can get 12.3 did state the right time and date, I will admit that.

To me (but that is very personal) it sounds as very irresponsible system managent when you have several machines running, that you then plan to upgrade all of them asap (and when I read you, you mean with asap: the very second) after a new relaese is out.

When I had several systems (and I do have them), I would first wait a few weeks until the dust settles down. Then I would try somewhere in a sandbox environment to see what it does to my environment, my applications, etc. And then maybe, I would install system by system, leaving enough time in between to catch bad surprises.

And that only when I would upgrade. I normaly keep a version until it goes out of support and then probably skip versions.

I know that such a focus on stability and availablity as I have is not needed in all cases, but your behaviour is realy something without any patience.

Of course you may act as you want with your systems, but …

On 03/14/2013 11:46 AM, hcvv wrote:
> I know that such a focus on stability and availablity as I have is not
> needed in all cases

i agree it is not needed in all cases, but if more folks around here
moved with such deliberateness and thought, there would be a lot less
panic cries with subject lines like: HELP - URGENT!!

unfortunately too often followed not long thereafter with an
infantile like “I’m going back to Ubuntu/Mint/Windows/Mac/[whatever].
You can keep this sorry ¤%#@!!!” (and, they never seem to have time
finish that last sentence with: “on which i refused to read any
documentation or follow any advice from the old people because it
should be free AND easy AND user friendly AND do what I expect it to
do, no matter what!!!”


In the case of 12.3, there were a bunch of important fixes I wanted to get urgently. I also do upgrades as quickly as I can so I won’t have to worry that something might go wrong and break my system. But that’s just me… theoretically it is safest to do it slowly.