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Re: branch-2-0 vs CVS HEAD

From: Ralf Wildenhues
Subject: Re: branch-2-0 vs CVS HEAD
Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2005 16:56:11 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.4.1i

* Gary V. Vaughan wrote on Tue, Aug 23, 2005 at 04:03:20PM CEST:
> Albert Chin wrote:
> >On Tue, Aug 23, 2005 at 08:11:48AM +0200, Ralf Wildenhues wrote:
> >>
> >>So my point is: get HEAD stable now, then branch off and make 2.59/1.9.6
> >>compatible there.  Then bootstrap the release with the couple of naughty
> >>system-dependent fixes we know of in those autotools versions.
> >
> >Seems fine to me.
> I'm still uncomfortable with this, because we have been commiting 
> patches to HEAD that were deemed too destabilizing for branch-2-0,
> and I (for one) don't remember what they were...

Surely there are a few patches which seemed unsafe and a few features we
still might want to change.  The first have had quite a bit of testing
exposure.  We can mark a couple of the second experimental and bound to

> We have things backwards right now.  We should be working on getting
> branch-2-0 stable right now, and forward porting any patches generated
> in so doing to HEAD.  The only reason things have tilted the other
> way recently is that we have both been working on big patches that
> were easier to verify by adding tests to the new testsuite. 
> *Conceptually*, even these big patches are for branch-2-0, we just
> happened to develop them in the nicer non-frozen HEAD environment.

I believe you just contradicted yourself.

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.

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

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


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