freebsd 7 release process

Ken Smith kensmith at cse.Buffalo.EDU
Fri Jan 25 06:29:15 PST 2008

On Fri, 2008-01-25 at 10:49 +1100, Aristedes Maniatis wrote:
> How can non-committers like myself keep up to date with the progress  
> of freebsd releases? I read stable, current and cvs mailing lists.  
> I've even looked at the qa mailing list but it looks completely  
> abandoned (perhaps the links to it should be removed from the web site).
> I see this page:
> but it tells me that we are just waiting for Robert Watson to complete  
> testing of the MAC framework changes. Nothing in commit logs or  
> mailing lists correlates to that so I assume it is incorrect.
> Really, all I want to do is to get a handle on the known outstanding  
> bugs, but the FreeBSD bug tracking system is very crappy (compared to  
> almost all other open source projects I use or am involved in) and has  
> no way to look at bugs by reported-in version or target release. So my  
> question is: how do other people know what is happening? Does re have  
> a mailing list somewhere I can read?
> I know many people are putting in vast amount of effort here, so this  
> is not a criticism of the delays. Just without any regular bulletins,  
> emails to the mailing lists, bug tracker or web site updates I can't  
> tell what bugs are left, what are fixed and what I need to be aware of.

Yeah, sorry.  I've got communication issues that run so deep at this
point I've basically given up on "fixing it" for this release and will
try again from scratch next release.  [ Anybody wanna be a secretary?
No pay, no benefits, and likely no praise/recognition other than me
saying "Thanks" periodically but you'll make lots of people happy.
Applications welcome.  :-]

I'll see if I can do a sweep through mailing lists with a quick note and
fix up some of the Web stuff this weekend, I actually have a bit of a
breather because 6.3-REL is done and I'll need to wait for Monday to do
the 7.0-RC2 builds.

Quick summary we're shooting for getting 7.0-RC2 done Real Soon Now
(originally targetted this weekend but three things came up through the
past day or two that will delay it to Monday-ish) and we hope that's the
last of the RCs.  Release about two weeks after RC2.  Status updates in
general should have been more regular (sorry!) but in-depth ones are
actually harder and less "useful" than it seems.  We've *thought* we
were ready to proceed with -RELEASE for a while now.  To me that's what
Release Candidate *means*.  But what's been happening lately has been a
relatively critical bug pops up on a mailing list, a developer
immediately notices and starts working it through, and a day or two or
three later it's patched and a day or two or three after that it's
MFCed.  It's not like we need to "advertise" for someone to fix the
thing, and it progresses as fast as can be expected given "develop fix,
test, get a reviewer or two to look at it, commit to head, wait a bit,
then MFC it".  But it adds days...  We wouldn't have entered the RC
phase if we knew there were as yet unresolved bugs so big we wouldn't
release until they're fixed (you can't set timetables of peoples' work
in an all-volunteer project) so at this point we're just reacting to new
ones that are deemed so critical they need to be fixed before release.
Hence lack of an "items list" in the form you're asking about.  If one
existed we wouldn't be in this phase of the release.

That said we do know there are still bugs.  But we are an all volunteer
project.  If I waited for all the bugs to be fixed we'd never do a
release.  Except for the small handful of bugs that have cropped up and
are "in progress" 7.0 is actually in pretty good shape, especially for a
".0 release".

                                                Ken Smith
- From there to here, from here to      |       kensmith at
  there, funny things are everywhere.   |
                      - Theodore Geisel |

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