Should developers run current ? (was: XDM and X)

Kris Kennaway kris at FreeBSD.ORG
Sun Aug 5 01:55:22 BST 2001

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On Sun, Aug 05, 2001 at 01:26:34AM +0100, Brian Somers wrote:

> Back in the old days -stable was reserved for bug fixes and some=20
> features/enhancements.  ABI and API changes weren't allowed.  When=20
> someone made a mistake, they got the same clout across the back of=20
> the head that they do now, but things didn't break that often because=20
> relatively less was MFC'd.

This discussion comes up periodically (usually, once per code freeze

I don't think the high rate of MFCs mostly occurs because developers
develop on -stable, it's because the branch can't be allowed to
diverge too much from -current or porting of bugfixes becomes
difficult (especially kernel bugfixes, but also other
actively-developed or heavily modified systems).  Many people feel
seem to that the fact that this divergence was allowed to creep in
between the 3.x/4.0-CURRENT branches contributed heavily to the
continued poor stability of the 3.x branch towards the second half of
its release cycle when it should be expected instead to mature and

If the developers all run -current, and -current is incompatible with
-stable, then -stable also suffers in quality.  There's a balance
which needs to be struck.

I run -stable on several systems and regularly upgrade.  I haven't
encountered sudden instability, incompatibility or sudden onset of
problems.  Personally, I don't think things are so bad in -stable


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