Suggestion for release names?

Polytropon freebsd at
Thu Feb 4 11:12:11 UTC 2021

On Wed, 3 Feb 2021 13:34:30 -0700, @lbutlr wrote:
> I know the subject of user confusion on STABLE and RELEASE has come
> up in the past, but I found out that releng is also confusing as I
> was recently talking to someone who only ran releng versions of
> freebsd because he thought that was an English only version of
> Release.

RELENG means release engineering - unfortunate misunderstanding.

> I know this is probably futile and there's little reason to change,
> but I think all three animus could be better.

The "problem" is that those termini technici all carry a
well understood meaning, which now is to be considered
history (i. e., "for historic reasons"). Even worse, if
you try to do a mapping of

	RELEASE-p<n>    |
	RELEASE         |          | home user
	PRERELEASE      |          | embedded
	RC<n>           | is to be | desktop
	BETA            | used for | server
	ALPHA           |          | tester
	STABLE          |          | developer

this will be very hard and probably won't work. ;-)

Note that especially tha ALPHA, BETA, PRERELEASE and RC
tags are not always used.

> STABLE -> "PreRelease" or "Candidate" (although RC is already used,
> so many not that)

Both suggestions already have been in use: -PRERELEASE and -RC<n>
are point during development on the way to RELEASE.

Also STABLE isn't really a pre-release or release candidate.
It's more a "step during development" that contains stuff
that will probably be in the next release, as well as being
the source for special security patches that should be
backported to earlier versions still under support.

> RELEASE -> "" or "Production" or 

Tht term RELEASE indicates that this is what has been released
on the installation media - today, files from the Internet, but
historically RELEASE was what you got on the CD set. :-)

> Releng  -> Development

That doesn't fully match the path of RELENG (release engineering).
Like in a distillery, the development happens at the top, at HEAD
or CURRENT. Those versions can add and remove (!) features, will
sometimes not even build properly, and can be subject to significant
changes. What has been approved, will then be in STABLE, which also
means that the ABI will be stable. From that level, work will be
done toward the next RELEASE, and also the patches for already
existing releases are generated (RELEASE-p<n>).

> I'm not proposing the these are the names that should be picked,
> but I think names could be picked that make it clearer that RELEASE
> is the 'real' version for most everyone and not stable and spells
> out more clearly what releng is.

Maybe the following documentation parts should be more prominently
presented on the home page?

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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