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Subject: rolling stable builds

rolling stable builds

From: Jonathan Gordon <jdgordy_at_gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 18 Oct 2010 00:33:28 +1100

Hi,
Arguably our release system is broken. I say this because too often
when someone reports a bug the first response is "try the svn build"
which basically means we don't have much trust in the releases (or we
dont release often enough.)

So, I've thought about another possible system we could try and see if
it works any better.
At each release we would branch (like today) but instead of that
branch being pretty much locked, we/someone would port (where it is
possible/makes sense) *bug fixes* back into that branch. Then a new
point release would happen every 2 or 3 weeks. Now instead of
releasing a new branch/stable tree every 3/4 months we would do one
when something "big" happens, subject to some sort of consensus.
Ideally we would never create a new stable with more known bugs than
the previous.

This would have a few benefits:
1) people wanting slower moving development branches, but still
wanting bug fixes would have this.
2) for bugs which are feasible, there would be at most 3 week lag
between it being committed and it going into a stable build for users.
This means we would first ask users (if they are using the stable
branch) to use the latest stable first, and only then ask them to try
the svn build (or maybe even nightly/svn from stable)

The downside of course is more work, and it needs a good bunch of devs
actually using the release and the dev branches to make sure neither
breaks.

This idea is obviously not complete so any suggestions would be useful
(and some sort of yes/no to see if this is something we want to at
least try).

Some questions:
How would we decide which bug fixes go through, and who would do the
work? I believe AlexP suggested waiting a few days after a bugfix
before porting it to make sure it doesnt cause more problems that it
fixes.
Who would do the work? Having a fortnightly cron job to do the builds
would be the best, with some way to tell it to hold off a run.
Would language updates go through?

Lastly, http://www.rockbox.org/irc/log-20101012#10:18:53 is the IRC log.

Jonathan
Received on 2010-10-17


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