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Re: branch-2-0 vs CVS HEAD

From: Gary V. Vaughan
Subject: Re: branch-2-0 vs CVS HEAD
Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2005 16:22:21 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla Thunderbird 1.0 (X11/20050305)

Hallo Ralf,

Ralf Wildenhues wrote:
I believe you just contradicted yourself.

I'm good at that :-) But you have to really pay attention to catch me out! :-p

If you put big patches into a release branch, you're by definition _not_
stabilizing it!  More to the point: both the recent commits to HEAD as
well as their backports to branch-2-0 will most likely introduce new
bugs, huge as the patches are!  I'm especially afraid of the bugs
introduced by the backporting process.

That is true post release.  However, we haven't yet made a release and
unfortunately some of the bugs we are shaking out required big patches
to correct them :-(

Now, our branch-2-0 testsuite is much inferior, so it's less likely to
_find_ some of these bugs.  Add to that the fact that I for one do not
know of one single bug present in HEAD but not in branch-2-0.


This is why I would branch the next stable off of HEAD.  And I wouldn't
do it _yet_, but only when all known regressions from HEAD are fixed and
we can start undoing whatever made CVS Autoconf/Automake necessary.  And
when we finally do that, we have a chance to *really* make it a couple
of weeks (2!) from branching to releasing an alpha, and then 2 more to

It's the "find whatever needs CVS Autofoo" and "find experimental changes" parts of this plan that bother me...

Remember that we agreed once that a stable branch per definition should
not need to see any increases in the serial number of the m4 macro files?
This was a prerequisite to having the stable branch not overtake another
development branch.  This was one reason I have rejected all interface
changes to branch-1-5.  For example, with branch-2-0, we cannot hold
this promise any more and at the same time get our current changes

Again, I think that is only true after a release has been made.  It will
be ugly to bump the serials on HEAD just to make sure they are higher than the numbers used in the first actual release from branch-2-0, but
it is a small price to pay for ferreting through ChangeLogs, cvs logs
and mailing lists trying to figure out what we need to pull from HEAD to
make it look like branch-2-0!  (Once we have agreed on a policy for this
we ought to document it in HACKING btw.)

By my own arguments I can see that it follows that backporting the new
autotests to branch-2-0 is perhaps the best compromise?

Gary V. Vaughan      ())_.  address@hidden,}
Research Scientist   ( '/
GNU Hacker           / )=
Technical Author   `(_~)_

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