ARRRRGH! Guys, who's breaking -STABLE's GMIRROR code?!

Wayne Sierke ws at
Sat Sep 16 21:44:49 PDT 2006

On Fri, 2006-09-15 at 02:09 +0200, Karol Kwiatkowski wrote:
> On 15/09/2006 01:37, Benjamin Lutz wrote:
> > On Friday 15 September 2006 01:15, Kris Kennaway wrote:
> >> Anyone who is confused but doesn't attempt to enlighten themselves by
> >> reading the provided documentation deserves to stay confused :)
> > 
> > What if they're unaware of their own confusion?
> I guess they get what they deserves ;)
> Is there a be better source of enlightenment than a handbook?
> To quote[1]:
> ------------------------------------------------------>%
> What Is FreeBSD-STABLE?
> FreeBSD-STABLE is our development branch from which major releases are
> made. Changes go into this branch at a different pace, and with the
> general assumption that they have first gone into FreeBSD-CURRENT for
> testing. This is still a development branch, however, and this means
> that at any given time, the sources for FreeBSD-STABLE may or may not
> be suitable for any particular purpose. It is simply another
> engineering development track, not a resource for end-users.
> ------------------------------------------------------>%
Perhaps the flow of FAQs and confusion resulting from the misnomer might
be stemmed somewhat if something like the following were appended to

        Note that "-STABLE" refers to the stability of the FreeBSD API,
        not to the run-time stability of the branch. The FreeBSD API
        (normally?) only changes across major version releases.

Someone with a more intimate understanding of how it all works could
probably write a better version of that.

I suspect that the confusion for new users isn't helped by the following
statement from the 'version-guide' article:

        1.3 STABLE versus CURRENT
        During the lifetime of each major release, an individual branch
        may also be termed STABLE. This indicates that the FreeBSD
        Project believes that the branch is of sufficiently proven
        quality to be used by a wide range of users. Branches that need
        further testing before being widely adopted are named CURRENT.

The crux of the confusion is exemplified here by the terms "wide range
of users" and "widely adopted" used in reference to the suggested target
audiences for STABLE and CURRENT, respectively. While the explanations
themselves are not specifically inaccurate, they are easily
misinterpreted or, rather, difficult to interpret correctly, for a new
user trying to understand it all. It simply reflects the confusion
caused by the use of the STABLE tag.

All-in-all, I think Marc G. Fournier had the best suggestion:

> Or rename it what it is:
> 6.x-BETA
> Where x == the next -RELEASE ...
Which has at least the following benefits:
        1. highlights that the software is BETA (and thus in need of
        testing - in both senses)
        2. shows that the software is version n+1 (n == existing
        3. avoids the confusion of the -STABLE tag (both for new, and -
        dare I say - existing, users)


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