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From: Johannes Brunen (jbrunen_at_[hidden])
Date: 2004-06-28 04:34:37

On Sun, 27 Jun 2004 19:05:45 -0700, Robert Ramey wrote

> Here is the current scenario.
> a) The announcement gets posted - release 1.32 scheduled for date x.
> b) Each developer decides - uh oh I better get in my changes before date x.
> c) Of course these changes take longer
> d) and break some other things
> e) which takes longer still
IMHO, point d) touches a weak point: There are two kind of libraries in a system
like boost. At first, there are core libraries which are used by many other libraries.
Changes at these libraries are potentially dangerous and must be well-considered
since they can broke a lot of stuff. They should early checked into CVS to get
time for stabelizing the base. Secondly, there are libraries which 'only' provide
a special feature like the boost graph library the circular_buffer library. They shouldn't
be expected to lead to regressions of other boost libraries. I think that they could be
handled differently than the core libraries.

> a) the release manager or the core influential developers keep an eye on the
> current state of the CVS tree and tests.
> b) When things look "pretty good", branch for release without warning. None
> of this loading my latest feature in to make the schedule.
> c) the Main tree goes on as usual
> d) pending issues in the release branch are addressed by nagging the person
> responsible.
> e) the new version is releases with a number like 1.31.1 or maybe even 28
> July 2004.
> f) any changes between branch and release should be just bug fixes which can
> then be merged back into the development tree.
> Under this system, releases would occur more frequently - on the order of 6
> weeks. If you're ready to check in your latest feature and the new release
> branch catches you with your pants down - well too bad. But it's no big deal
> because the next release will be in 6? weeks anyhow which is close to what
> its going to take to shake out the repercussions of your check in anyway.
We should seriouly consider such a release process. Howerver, then the CVS
main tree must always be in a nearly 'Release-Ready' state. But IMO that
is anyway a good idea.

> But I
> think it's really hard to get such a large number of people working
> independently on exactly the same schedule.
Yes ...

> Almost all libraries are accepted subject to some changes being made. Many
> such changes seem simple but end up rippling through the whole library. This
> takes time.
This is IMHO an indication of a flaw in the current boost review process.
A library should be only accepted after the list of requested changes has been
made. Additionally, I think a library should be accepted only if it is compatible
to the current CVS main tree.

> Once a library is accepted, then one can get serious about making it pass
> with a larger number of compilers. This also takes time - a lot of time
Passing compilers which weren't supported during the review process under no
circumstances shouldn't delay the integration of the library into the boost
main pool. Supporting a special compiler is only a nice to have feature.
This means not that it not worth spending the effort supporting important
platforms. However, in the first iteration I just expect a library to be
written in ANSI C++ and to be usable on platforms which support it.

> These changes end up having a ripple effect and can result it changes like
> moving things in namespaces and subdirectories. While this is going on, the
> system is broken and really not suitable to be subject to the daily testing
> routine.
This is IMHO an indication of a flaw ... (s.a)

> So it seems attractive to deal with all this stuff before one does
> the initial check in to CVS. This way one can start with a relatively clean
> start.
I second this.

With best regards


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