Re: How much to remove from UPDATING (was: Re: git: ff0c7816db69 - main - Remove UPDATING entries from old branches.)

From: Warner Losh <>
Date: Mon, 28 Nov 2022 03:12:08 UTC
On Sun, Nov 27, 2022 at 7:17 PM Warner Losh <> wrote:

> On Sun, Nov 27, 2022 at 2:35 PM Alexander Leidinger <>
> wrote:
>> Quoting Warner Losh <> (from Fri, 25 Nov 2022 09:41:28
>> -0700):
>> > Please revert this. We keep older updating entries on purpose. You
>> purged
>> > way too much. Let's chat about how much to remove in arch@. They are
>> for
>> > more than just source updates, so your reasoning is wrong. They are also
>> > there for users updating their products which can have a larger leap in
>> > time. We've traditionally kept closer to 5-10 years here for that
>> reason.
>> Reverted.
>> UPDATING as far back as stable/10 (= 4 major updates) is a little bit
>> excessive (more than 9 years of development work so far), isn't it?
> Yes. It's about one release too old, maybe two. More on one or two in a
> bit.
>> I don't get the "more than just src updates" part. If we don't talk
>> about the source code, isn't src/UPATING not the wrong place to store
>> it?
> More than just 'make buildworld updating' or ''updating a system from src'
> is what I mean.
>> In terms of updating products, I understand that updating them every 2
>> years may be a little bit expensive/excessive for some vendors, but
>> taking every UPDATING from every stable branch in-between doesn't look
>> too much time consuming to me. And compared to the huge amount of
>> changes between N-2 and N... taking UPDATING from all stable branches
>> in-beteen is nothing. Nevertheless, 4-5 years I consider OK-ish,
>> nearly 10 years is ... ugh ... a life-time or two in the computer
>> world. If we look e.g. at the PlayStation (yes, just one of the
>> products which has FreeBSD inside, but personally I consider it one of
>> the more stable ones than some network products which have a shorter
>> shelf-time than the PS-line from an OS-version-tracking point of
>> view), there are around 6 years in-between models, and they surely
>> haven't started developing a month before the release date.
> So, let's look at what it's used for to see how much we need. If you
> look at it that way, you'll see that we're not crazy lagging.
>> So where do we draw the line for UPDATING, 2 major versions (~4
>> years), 3 major versions (~6 years)? ~10 years (~5 major versions)
>> looks overly excessive to me. That's not something you want to try to
>> catch up, that's rather a new development than a catch-up
> OK. Traditionally we've lagged a major release or two from what's
> officially supported by the project. Right now the 10.x stuff is definitely
> too old. The 11.x stuff is borderline (but likely relevant), the 12.x stuff
> is still quite relevant.
> We need to look at who is updating. Many people have only recently
> updated from 11. Almost everybody has updated from 10 by now. Lots
> of people are using 12 and it's still supported.
> Most of the folks that have source products with lots of changes have
> updated to at least 12 as far as I've been able to tell. But many haven't
> jumped to 13 or current yet.
> There are many people still updating their VMs from 11. Traditionally, they
> wait until after 11.x goes unsupported before they update. It's only been
> unsupported for just over 1 year. In the past, this is where upgrading is
> hitting full speed (I've received feedback in the past at conferences that
> people often put it off for up to 18 months)... 10.x has been unsupported
> for more than 3 years, so historically everybody has moved on. So the

I can't do math.... More than 4 years...

> 10.x entries are definitely stale... The 11 entries are on the edge...  I'd
> normally have removed the 10.x entries when 13 was branched, but
> I was asleep at the wheel this time.... Though looking at the logs, I've
> been not so great about this. Better at some times, worse at others....

So in my opinion, 10.x entries should have already been gone. 11.x
> entries are likely useful enough to keep, but they are waning fast. 12.x
> entries are likely being used all the time by people upgrading from
> still-supported
> releases. We've traditionally weighted towards retention because the
> cost of retention has been super low.
> This suggests we delete up to the 11 branch point now, and to the 12
> branch point when 14 branches in 6 months or so...

13.x was branched about 6.5 years ago. When 14 is branched, it will be
7 years and we'll removing the to the 12 branch point which will be
four and half years. This seems like a good range to oscillate between.