m.seaman at infracaninophile.co.uk
Mon Apr 19 09:45:57 PDT 2004
On Mon, Apr 19, 2004 at 06:11:27PM +0200, henk at 2complex.nl wrote:
> Hi all,
> I'd like to raise a question on cvsup.
> I'm an enthousiastic user of cvsup to keep up to date.
> I always use to stable-supfile
> Last week I installed a 4.9 machine ran a cvsup.
> Rebuilt the whole world and my kernel and ... ended up with
> 4.10 beta.
> A few aday later ran a cvsup again. Same story.
> I know FBSD is stable but do I have to rely beta's.
Ah... It's that time of year again. We get to do the whole 'what is
4-STABLE' thread for the umpteenth time.
Here's how it works: you're tracking the RELENG_4 code branch, which
gets you system version 4.x-STABLE -- well, most of the time.
Actually, that system version number and tag is pretty arbitrary.
It's just a snapshot out of the ever-evolving set of code which is the
RELENG_4 branch. Every so often the will be a new release made from
this branch. Usually something like 3 times a year. Around that
point the system version will go through all sorts of changes
relatively quickly. It will start as 4.9-STABLE, then become
4.10-BETA. After a while it will become 4.10-RC (as in 'Release
Candidate'), and maybe even 4.10-RC2. Eventually the release
engineering team will be satisfied, and the label will become
4.10-RELEASE. However, that only lasts for a vanishingly short time:
just long enough to create the RELENG_4_10 branch. Then the label
becomes 4.10-STABLE again for the next 3 months or so. (Well, actually
in this case, probably for ever after, as 4.10 is the last release
planned to be made from the RELENG_4 branch.)
Do not be alarmed by the what the label says. There are not massive
changes to the source code happening at the precise instant the the
change from -STABLE to -BETA is made. Those changes will have been
going into RELENG_4 continually throughout the preceeding months.
In fact, what -BETA signifies is an emphasis on testing and bug-fixing
rather than introducing new functionality. That means the -BETA code
is actually probably a bit more stable that the -STABLE code, although
there's really very little measurable difference. With all of the
testing being done, the code should reach a peak of perfection right
around the time that 4.10 is released, although (annoyingly) each
release does tend to generate a small flood of PRs and fixes
immediately *after* it happens.
 If you find this alarming, then you should be tracking one of the
X.Y-RELEASE branches: those only get security and major bug fixes.
Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil. 26 The Paddocks
PGP: http://www.infracaninophile.co.uk/pgpkey Marlow
Tel: +44 1628 476614 Bucks., SL7 1TH UK
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