help me understand latest->quarterly pkg.conf switch

Nikolai Lifanov lifanov at
Sat Jul 25 01:23:16 UTC 2015

On 2015-07-24 17:27, Glen Barber wrote:
> On Fri, Jul 24, 2015 at 05:15:52PM -0400, Nikolai Lifanov wrote:
>> I noticed that in stable/10, /etc/pkg/FreeBSD.conf was switched from 
>> using
>> latest package set to whichever one that is "quarterly" word is 
>> pointing to
>> at the moment. What is the motivation for this change?
> This was not done in the stable/10 branch, it was done in releng/10.2.
>> Quarterly package sets are useful if the end-user is able to pick 
>> which one
>> to pull from and there is some amount of time of support overlap so 
>> that the
>> user has time to validate the new package set and switch his systems 
>> to it
>> (like what is done with pkgsrc). As-is, "quarterly" works just like 
>> "latest"
>> from end-user perspective, but for most of the lifecycle packages are
>> outdated and there is a massive update bomb four times per year.
>> Port branches are still valuable to those building their own packages, 
>> since
>> they can support the previous (unsupported by the project) branch,
>> backporting fixes manually, while validating and upgrading to the new 
>> one.
>> But, what is the value of the quarterly package set as-is and what is 
>> the
>> value of switching to this set by default?
> In general, the quarterly package set is less prone to having build
> failures, since the changes in the branch are (by intent) less
> intrusive, while still receiving security updates.  It is analogous to
> the stable or releng branches in src, and how they compare to head.
> (This will be noted in the final 10.2-RELEASE announcement, as well as
> the release notes, and will also include instructions on how to switch
> to the 'latest' branch if that is what is desired.)
> Glen

Cool, thanks for the explanation!

What would be really amazing to see are quarterly branches that the end 
user can switch between, like${ABI}/2015Q3 ->${ABI}/2015Q4 when he is ready, with at least a little 
bit of overlap.

Thanks Glen!

- Nikolai Lifanov

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