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Re: Making Autoconf 2.70 happen in the near future

From: Zack Weinberg
Subject: Re: Making Autoconf 2.70 happen in the near future
Date: Mon, 23 Mar 2020 17:08:34 -0400

On Mon, Mar 9, 2020 at 4:22 PM Zack Weinberg <address@hidden> wrote:
> It has been eight years since the release of autoconf 2.69, there’s
> been substantial improvements checked into the development trunk since
> then, and the mailing list regularly gets requests for a new release.
> It is my understanding that the most important roadblock to a new
> release is a lack of developer time to do pre-release testing.
> I have secured partial funding for my time to do this testing (thanks
> to Keith Bostic).  I’d like to discuss a plan; once we have developed
> a concrete plan it will be easier for me to secure the rest of the
> funding.
[draft plan snipped]
> I’d like to ask whether the community thinks there are any important
> holes in this test plan, and whether there’s anything else that ought
> to happen before we could proceed to make a release of 2.70.  I think
> this covers everything in the testing part of the release checklist in
> $srcdir/HACKING, but I don’t know when that was last updated; there
> could be something missing?

Responses so far to this plan have been mostly positive.  I appreciate
everyone who volunteered some form of help with testing; I will get
back to you in due course (which may be a couple of months).  I get
the impression that the community would value an effort to find
unreviewed patches in the mailing lists, downstream redistributors'
packaging, etc., prior to making a new release; this is potentially
quite a lot of work, so I am going to need to discuss it further with
the people paying for my time, but it's definitely on my radar.  Right
now I can only promise to make sure everything that's in the Savannah
bug tracker gets reviewed before the release; if you know of
unreviewed patches or uninvestigated bug reports that you think are
important, *please* put them in the bug tracker!

I didn't get any suggestions of additional autoconf-using software
packages to test.  To my mind, that is the biggest remaining hole in
the plan.  Please suggest any software you know of whose autoconf
usage is particularly complicated or fragile and I'll add it to my
list of things to test.

I think at least one public beta release + widespread call for testing
would be a good idea, once we run out of tests we can do ourselves.

Eric, Paul, as the primary maintainers, I would like to specifically
ask you if you like the plan I've outlined and if you think there's
anything that should be added to it.


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