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From: Christian Larsen (contact_at_[hidden])
Date: 2008-08-26 13:19:45

Robert Ramey skrev:
> Christian Larsen wrote:
>> Yes, that's right. But still I don't see how that would make it
>> possible to keep a stable interface, and make point releases of that.
>> Unless
>> all developers agree to only merge non-interface breaking changes into
>> "ReleaseReady".
> You're correct that this depends upon developers not merging
> interface breaking changes into "ReleaseReady"
> We recently had a discussion about just this topic. I expressed
> the position that such interface breaking changes should be
> considered bugs. I also pledged to personally consider
> such changes in the serialization library as bugs and treat them
> as such. Much to my amazement, the idea that all boost
> developers should adhere to such a position was considered
> by some to be a bad idea. To me it is the bedrock of serious,
> quality software.

I completely agree, and that's also how I like to think of Boost, as
serious, quality software. Not having a stable interface gives the
impression that Boost is "hobby" development only, and can't be used for
serious purposes. But that's really a shame, as I consider the Boost
developers as some of the best in the world!

I'm starting to think that what is referred to as hotfixes in this
thread is actually just patches lifting the released version up to the
improved level of the "ReleaseReady" branch for specific libraries. And
that being the case, I must say I like the idea of providing hotfixes.
In that case it's basically what I was hoping to see, just that getting
a fresh checkout from SVN might be easier than applying a lot of patches
manually. Now I can have the option of doing it either way. :)

> Christian Larsen wrote:
>> Many users would appreciate bugfix-only releases,
>> because they may not be able to/have the time or money/whatever reason
>> to update to a new interface that often.
> When I find that a library author changes the interface - and I have to go
> back
> to change my code, the whole justification for using the library in the
> first place
> goes out the window. I either save the original copy of the library, or use
> another library with a stable interface. I don't have time to chase after
> everyone elses vision of perfection.

Exactly. At my work place we're still using version 1.33.1 (!) of Boost
for this very reason.

> Christian Larsen wrote:
>> on how things could be done resulting in what many
>> people would like: point releases with a stable interface and
>> bugfixes, at little cost for developers and release managers.
> I would make a distinction between an interface change
> and a bug fix which just changes the implemention. The former
> should never occur. And if it does it shouldn't be in a point
> release or hot fix. Its a major change which should result
> in updated docs, release notes, tests, etc. Only the later
> is appropriate for point release, hot fix or whatever.

That's what I meant. In fact I think we're pretty much in agreement on
this now. Especially after Beman Dawes explained the reasoning behind
the current release process to me in the other thread...

Best regards,

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