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Proposal: Time-based patch releases

From: Hyrum K. Wright <hyrum_wright_at_mail.utexas.edu>
Date: 2007-12-08 16:25:15 CET

I've been making a lot of noise lately about releasing 1.4.6. The
reason is that I feel that our users deserve the fixes we've made since
1.4.4, some of which are fixes for data corruption bugs. I know people
are working on 1.5, but we have gone far too long without even a patch
release of 1.4.x. (1.4.5 doesn't count, as it only had one security fix.)

We need a system which gets bug-fixes into the hands of our users
quicker. The idea is similar to attracting new committers: if we act
reasonably quickly on patch submissions, we are likely to continue to
see patches. If we release bug fixes quickly, we are likely to see more
bug reports, which is a Good Thing.

So the proposal[1] is this: patch releases every two months, regardless
of the number of bugs fixed for the release. (If nothing in STATUS has
been approved in the two month window, we'd just skip that release.)
Having such a policy would take the guess work out of when to do a patch
release, give people deadlines for reviews of STATUS, and get bug fixes
into the hands of our users quickly.

The only downsides I see to this proposal are associated with the
overhead in creating a release. One is that the RM would have more
work, and I'll volunteer to help share in that role if needed. The
other is the increased testing and signing role of committers. I think
both of these can be mitigated with more automation, and neither are
serious impediments to time-based patch releases.



[1] Thanks to Lieven for initially mentioning this in IRC the other day.

Received on Sat Dec 8 16:28:19 2007

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