Upcoming Releases Schedule...

Robert Watson rwatson at FreeBSD.org
Sun Sep 21 08:57:57 UTC 2008

On Sat, 20 Sep 2008, netgeek wrote:

>> Don't get me wrong: I would love to see us support all releases for 24 
>> months (or even more) after they ship.  I think our users would appreciate 
>> that also.
> Perhaps there is a middle ground here?  What about a statement that each 
> major branch (6.x, 7.x) will be supported for at least 24+ months from its 
> last production release?  Smaller periods of support could be given to minor 
> releases along the way (7.2, for example), but at least companies would know 
> that if they installed a 6.x version, they'd have support for a couple of 
> years, even if that might mean upgrading to a newer minor version if there 
> was a problem.

This is precisely what we already do -- we guarantee we will support the last 
release on a branch for 24 months after the release.  The point of concern 
being discussed is that we can't tell you for sure which minor release will be 
the last release at the time that release goes out the door, because the 
extent to which we keep releasing on old branches depends in large part on how 
the new branch looks.

Right now, it sounds like 6.4 will be the last minor release on the 6.x 
branch, but I think it would be a mistake to commit to that decision until 7.1 
has settled in for a few months and we believe firmly there is a good 
migration path forwards to the 7.x branch.  7.0 was arguably one of the most 
stable .0 releases we've ever done (perhaps the most stable -- 4.0 was pretty 
good though), so it seem almost certain 7.1 will be really stable, but stable 
is what happens when people install it and it works well in practice, so 
there's always a wait-and-see element.

Robert N M Watson
Computer Laboratory
University of Cambridge

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