Upcoming Releases Schedule...

Robert Watson rwatson at FreeBSD.org
Thu Sep 18 19:01:58 UTC 2008

On Wed, 17 Sep 2008, Jo Rhett wrote:

> Please stop avoiding even considering what people are offering to you.

So far, this conversation has largely consisted of you telling us that you 
don't like what we're doing and demanding that we change.  Let's consider 
three more productive avenues by which you can offer assistance with the 
problem of how to increase branch support lifetimes:

(1) Become a contributor to the community by developing and maintaining
     patches against unsupported branches, especially against older releases
     such as 4.x and 5.x where the branches are open for commits but have
     fallen out of support status.  I can't promise the results will
     immediately fall into the official project "umbrella", but consider Colin
     Percival's freebsd-update as an example of what can be accomplished by
     someone outside the project when they find a niche.  What started out as
     an external software project (freebsd-update) is now a core system update
     tool, and Colin has gone from being a random guy with some code to our
     security officer.

(2) Become a contributor to the community by identifying members of the
     existing developer team for whom additional funding would enable them to
     spend more time working on and supporting FreeBSD and providing that
     funding.  Consider approaching the FreeBSD Foundation formally to seek
     matching grant funding for the project.

(3) Become a contributor to the community by working with an existing or new
     company that provides support for FreeBSD commercially, and discussing
     with them ways that they could provide support for branches past their
     official EoL date for the project.  Companies like FreeBSD Mall have
     strong relationships with the project, and in the past have contributed
     significantly to efforts such as release engineering.  It's not hard to
     imagine a company along those lines using something along th elines of a
     support subscription to fund community-centered support for branches.  And
     those companies may be able to help you identify developers who can do the
     work, as well as play an active role in seeking further customers with
     similar interests.

Robert N M Watson
Computer Laboratory
University of Cambridge

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