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Subject: Supported vs. unsupported builds

Supported vs. unsupported builds

From: Mike Giacomelli <>
Date: Wed, 2 Sep 2009 14:28:06 -0700

Hi all.

I remember over devcon there was some discussion that our system of unsupported and supported builds, and the parallel system or released and unreleased ports for our quarterly releases doesn't work as well as we would like. Personally, I think allowing advanced but still incomplete ports to languish as unsupported discourages testing and makes it harder to attract other potential device owners who are interested in development.

I would like to propose that we introduce new categories:

1) "Stable" - all the present supported targets. Requires rbutil and well developed drivers. These are prominently displayed on the front page. These are the devices that are included in releases.

2) "Unstable" - all targets with working playback that developers feel are usable but unstable. This classification would be informal, having been agreed on by the individual ports developers that a target is ready for people other then themselves to try without serious risk of damage. These may or may not have official released bootloaders or easy to used install tools, and generally require a more informed user. This might include the AMS Sansas, Gigabeat S, and the various other targets we provide compiled builds and bootloaders for, but currently do not support in the forums. These are less prominently displayed on the front page with a clear note indicating they are incomplete. Furthermore, installation instructions should clearly mention what does not work in the preface.

3) "Unusable" - these are targets with code in SVN that cannot be used for playback because they are missing substantial features (playback, LCD, etc).

Its my opinion that ports with lots of users tend to attract the most attention, so I think letting people know ports are out there and can be used even if they're incomplete or buggy is beneficial to the project. We just need to make it clear what does not work and what we do support in the forums. Essentially this would be what happens now with our unsupported builds forum (see the AMS thread there) except formalized as a step along the way to becoming supported.

Further, I think the front page should be changed to say something like:
Rockbox is an open source firmware for mp3 players, written from scratch. It runs on a wide range of players:

[bullet] STABLE - These targets are well tested, stable and have detailed manuals... list ...[bullet] UNSTABLE - These targets are currently incomplete and considered unstable but may be suitable for advanced users (see whatever )
... list ...[bullet] UNUSABLE - Additional targets are under development but do not yet run rockbox - see CurrentStatus wiki page.

Or at least something to this effect. Thoughts?
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Received on 2009-09-02

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