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Re: branch-2-0 vs CVS HEAD

From: Bob Friesenhahn
Subject: Re: branch-2-0 vs CVS HEAD
Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2005 10:24:42 -0500 (CDT)

On Tue, 23 Aug 2005, Ralf Wildenhues wrote:

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

Hear! Hear!

Release branches are supposed to be there to support releases, not hard-core development. Instead, the 2.0 branch has been used for hard-core development with an immense amount of patching. I think it may be 1-1/2 years old now. In my opinion, if after creating a release branch, a stable release can't be prepared within a couple of weeks, then there is something *dreadfully wrong*. The software should be stabilized *before* the branch is created. The 2.0 branch should have been aborted at that time.

During this whole time, the 2.0 branch has acted like a parasite and has sucked much of the life out of the project. Because of the extreme delay with the 2.0 branch, it became necessary to continue maintenance of the 1.5.X branch (which was supposed to stop at 1.5.2, not continue on to 1.5.20). And of course there was also significant development on HEAD. So the end result is that we have *three* libtool projects requiring *three* times the maintenance, and *three* times the volume of patch emails. Only very dedicated maintainers are able to keep up with three similar projects at the same time.

I totally agree that the quality of the test suite defines the quality of the product, provided that the product passes the test suite. Quite often, things which are not tested, are broken. A better test suite leads to a better product. If HEAD has a much better test suite than 2.0 and is passing its tests on many platforms, then it is naturally a better product.

Bob Friesenhahn
GraphicsMagick Maintainer,

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