[asterisk-dev] Release Schedules and plans for Asterisk 1.8

Russell Bryant russell at digium.com
Mon Dec 21 16:08:18 CST 2009


Back in October, I posted a proposal for some updates to our release 
policies [1].  Specifically, the proposal clarified the following topics:

1) Note expected release timing for Asterisk 1.6.2.

2) Define release types (standard and LTS) so that release maintenance 
time frames are specified from the beginning of a release.

3) Set End of Life dates for current Asterisk releases.

4) Propose that our next release be an LTS release, and be called 
Asterisk 1.8.

5) Clarify the anatomy of an Asterisk version number going forward.

Since then, I spoke about this proposal at AstriCon in the Asterisk 
Project Update presentation.  (Video was taken of this presentation, but 
I can't find it posted anywhere.)

I also posted a text version of the content from the AstriCon 
presentation on the Asterisk project blog [2].

Since that time, I have received a lot of positive feedback on the 
release plans.  I have hesitated on discussing 1.8 too much more since 
then for a couple of reasons.  First, I wanted to allow ample time for 
feedback.  Second, I wanted to focus on getting 1.6.2 out of the door 
before turning focus to the next major release.

Asterisk has now been released, so it's time to revisit this 
topic.  Regarding release maintenances time frames (standard and LTS and 
how they apply to current and upcoming releases), I have received almost 
entirely positive feedback.  I would like to proceed as previously 

There was one suggestion to kill off 1.6.X releases early, but that is 
not something I am willing to do.  The Digium team is committed to 
supporting the Asterisk 1.6.X releases for the time frames noted in the 
release schedule chart in [1] and [2].  One thing I would be happy to 
discuss is extending support for a particular version of Asterisk if 
some group of community members were interested in taking on the task of 
backporting patches and making releases as needed.  Support from the 
Digium team would be minimal, but I would be happy to provide the 
infrastructure to make this possible.

Testing was also mentioned in the original -dev list thread.  I 
absolutely think testing is critical for any release.  When it comes to 
Asterisk 1.8, we will be dedicating some of our commercial testing 
resources to the testing effort, as we are working on moving away from 
separate code bases for commercial products.  In fact, there has already 
been a _lot_ of internal testing on some of the major changes that will 
be in Asterisk 1.8 since they originated as commercial endeavors.  I 
would also be interested in a big community push on testing the betas 
and RCs of Asterisk 1.8.  That is something we can discuss in more 
detail when that time comes.

Another suggestion that was received was to limit the restriction on new 
features in a release branch.  I would be happy to consider that. 
However, I want to be very strict about it.  At least for now, I want to 
specifically approve any such proposed new feature.  I also want to 
document some strict guidelines as to what types of features could even 
potentially be considered.  I do understand and agree that a strict 
"absolutely no features" rule is artificially limiting, though.

As we look forward to the release of Asterisk 1.8, a planned time frame 
is important.  My current goal for Asterisk 1.8 is to have Asterisk 
1.8.0 by the end of Q2 in 2010.  My reasoning is that our last LTS 
release, Asterisk 1.4, was released 3 years ago.  Furthermore, Asterisk 
trunk (to become 1.8) has already had 9 months worth of new development. 
  The CHANGES file [3] is already quite extensive, and that does not 
cover some of the invasive and important architectural changes that have 
occurred, including, but not limited to, the move of the ast_channel 
object to astobj2.

If the release of Asterisk 1.8.0 is to occur by the end of Q2, then we 
need to look at a feature freeze by the beginning of Q2.  Until then, 
all changes are on the table for consideration.  I have my own list of 
things that I _really_ want to get done before that time, but it is also 
important to me to not let that schedule slip as best we can.

I have written some text about different Asterisk versions and their 
schedules that I will post to asterisk.org as soon as I can figure out 
this new version of Drupal.  :-)  The content reflects what you can find 
in [1] and [2], but will reside in a more "official" place than a 
mailing list post and blog post.

So, as I mentioned before, we already have 9 months worth of development 
under our belts for this next release.  Let's push as hard as we can 
over the next few months to finish whatever it is you would like to have 
in for 1.8.

Thanks for your time.  As always, comments or questions are welcome.


[1] http://lists.digium.com/pipermail/asterisk-dev/2009-October/040082.html


[3] http://svn.digium.com/view/asterisk/trunk/CHANGES?view=markup


Russell Bryant
Digium, Inc. | Engineering Manager, Open Source Software
445 Jan Davis Drive NW - Huntsville, AL 35806 - USA
Check us out at: www.digium.com & www.asterisk.org

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