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pacify gnu.emacs.help readers w.r.t. state of Emacs 21

From: Kai Großjohann
Subject: pacify gnu.emacs.help readers w.r.t. state of Emacs 21
Date: 07 Nov 2000 07:56:04 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.0808 (Gnus v5.8.8) Emacs/21.0.90

Regarding Emacs 21, two questions often spring up:

* When does it come out?
* Can I get access to the development sources?

I'd like to tell them (the gnu.emacs.help readers) something along the
following lines:


* When does Emacs 21 come out?

  It might help to understand the development process.  In the
  beginning of a new version, lots of people add new features and fix
  bugs, as they think of them and discover them.  Then comes a feature
  freeze where no new features are added; bugs are fixed and default
  behavior is tweaked at this point.  When the developers can't find
  any more bugs, pretest starts.  This helps to find more bugs.  After
  some bug fixes, a new pretest version is announced.  This is
  repeated until the pretesters can't find new bugs.  When the pretest
  is finished, the new release is put on the ftp server and announced.

  Some weeks ago, feature freeze has happened, but the pretest hasn't
  started yet.

  The pretest for Emacs 19 took X weeks, the pretest for Emacs 20 took
  Y weeks.  Naturally, nobody knows beforehand how many bugs will be
  found by the pretesters, but this might give you some idea.

* Can I get access to the development sources?

  Right now, only the developers have access to the sources, and you
  can become a developer when you have something to contribute to
  Emacs.  Since contribution is normally done by adding new features,
  now is not the right time for such contributions -- remember that
  Emacs 21 is in a bug-fixing phase.

  However, this development model will change after Emacs 21 has been
  released.  Then, the current development sources will be available
  via anonymous CVS (and possibly CVSup).


I suppose there are factual errors in there (please tell me about
them).  Suppose they are corrected, what do you think of such a
posting to gnu.emacs.help (plus comp.emacs, maybe)?

I think telling people this doesn't hurt anyone, but `them people'
needn't feel so out of the loop.


The arms should be held in a natural and unaffected way and never
be conspicuous. -- Revised Technique of Latin American Dancing

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