[asterisk-dev] Proposal for New Major Version Process Change

Joshua C. Colp jcolp at sangoma.com
Wed Jul 8 07:20:29 CDT 2020

Greetings all,

I've given this some thought in the past and thought with the impending
branching of Asterisk 18 I'd get some input on a change to the process. The
new major version process has evolved over time but hasn't really been
changed lately. Let's look at what it is like in practice today:

On July 15th under current process both the 18 branch and 18.0 branches
will be cut. The 18 branch will continue to receive all bug fixes, but the
18.0 branch will only receive changes as a result of issues found through
testing 18.0 or through big fixes to new functionality in it. This means
that when 18.0.0 is actually released it is generally a few months behind.
In the past this was to give it time to stabilize as it were. This presents
the following issues:

1. It leaves a confusing area for developers where we have to ask "should
this go into 18.0?"
2. It confuses users because if they upgrade to 18.0.0 then it is likely
the other current releases have bug fixes they don't have, which has caused
issues for users in the past.

I don't think this is the best situation for either.

I'd like to propose that instead of cutting the 18.0 branch on July 15th we
simply cut the 18 branch, and that it continues to receive all bug fixes.
Approximately a month before a target release of 18.0.0 we create the first
release candidate, 18.0.0-rc1. At this time we also create release
candidates of the other branches. All release candidates will then be left
available for a prolonged period of time to give people ample time to test.
On the release date all will be released, ensuring that all branches
including 18 have the same set of bug fixes as appropriate to their version.

This removes the confusion for developers over whether to include a fix,
since the 18.0 branch won't exist until rc1 at which point normal cherry
pick rules apply. This also eliminates the confusion experienced by users
since all releases will be on the same page at the same time at release.

What do people think? Do we believe that a month out is ample enough? The
18 branch itself will exist, so that can be used for early testing (and
likely will be). If a month isn't enough it could be moved out further.
Really I think thanks to the testing that happens and the code review I
don't think we need as long of a stabilization period as has been needed in
the past, so this helps shrink it.


Joshua C. Colp
Asterisk Technical Lead
Sangoma Technologies
Check us out at www.sangoma.com and www.asterisk.org
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