Freddie Cash | 19 Jan 01:00 2012

Re: FreeBSD has serious problems with focus, longevity, and lifecycle

On Wed, Jan 18, 2012 at 12:27 PM, Doug Barton <dougb <at>> wrote:
> On 01/18/2012 11:46, John Kozubik wrote:
>> - mark 9 as the _only_ production release
> What I've proposed instead is a new major release every 2 1/2 years,
> where the new release coincides with the EOL of the oldest production
> release. That way we have a 5-year cycle of support for each major
> branch, and no more than 2 production branches extant at one time.
> History tells us that 2 production branches is a goal we can achieve,
> with the focus shifting more heavily towards only bug/security fixes in
> the oldest branch after the new production release branch is cut. If we
> combine that with the ideas that are being put forward about teams that
> "own" a production branch, and a more frequent stripped-down release
> process, I think this is a very workable model.

This is similar to how Debian works (the other OS we use the most often).

They have "testing" (aka -CURRENT) where all the new development takes
place, that will eventually become the next major release; "stable"
(aka production -RELEASE) which sees minor (actually, point) releases
every few months; and "oldstable" (aka legacy -RELEASE) which sees no
development beyond major security/bug fixes.

There's approximately 2 years between major releases, at which time
"oldstable" is EOL'd, "stable" becomes "oldstable", "testing" becomes
"stable", and development continue with the new "testing".

I can see something like that working for FreeBSD, as you've outlined
it above.  It seems to work well for them, although it's not a perfect
comparison since the Debian devs don't do a lot of development on
their own, it's more integration and testing work with software from a
bunch of other, independent projects.

What would be really nice, though, to help with the above, is a
branched ports tree that followed the same release schedule.  Perhaps
it's time to dust off my coding skills and jump back into port


Freddie Cash
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