Forum OpenACS Development: Outphasing old versions

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Posted by Malte Sussdorff on
If we outphase a major version of OpenACS (e.g. 5.1.5 will be the last release of 5.1), we are stuck with regards to upgrade to the higher version as the official policy is to only provide upgrades after the BETA release.

This would not be harmful if the time period between the last minor release of the previous major version and the release of the BETA is small. Sadly, experience has shown that it usually is fairly large. This does not encourage the interested people in switching their not so important sites with real data to the next major release and use it in production.

My idea therefore was to release the BETA of the next major version with the last release of the previous major version. If we therefore cut 5.1.5 we would (after the merge thanks to our merge king Jeff Davis) immediately cut 5.2b1.

This means (as we do have our release criteria) that we will not release the last minor version before we can actually cut the first BETA.

What do you think about this suggestion (linking the last minor release with the first BETA of the next version) ?

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Posted by Andrew Piskorski on
Malte, I don't understand what you're talking about. Why is the timing of upgrades from 5.1.5 to 5.2.0 special in any way? Are you suggesting that OpenACS purposely slow down the release of the last 5.1.x version until 5.2 is ready for Beta? Huh? Or are you just trying to emphasize that the faster 5.2 comes out after 5.1.x, the better?

Maybe it's just me, but I think I've completely missed the main thrust of whatever point you're trying to get across...

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Posted by Malte Sussdorff on
I'm trying to say, that there is a time period (between 5.1.5 and 5.2) where there is no possibility to upgrade at all. The longer that time period is, the more likely it becomes that upgrades will fail, as we are notorious for broken upgrade scripts. Therefore my suggestion was to wait to cut the last release until the next beta is available, so we can make sure upgrades work and an upgrade path exists.

After all, there is no incentive to move a (not important, production) site to 5.2 if there is no guarantee that you are able to upgrade from that version to which you upgraded to.

Maybe this makes my aim a little bit clearer.

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Posted by Dave Bauer on
Malte,

What do you wish to upgrade to? I am seriously confused.

If your insallation is running the latest release version, why do you need to upgrade?

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Posted by Dave Bauer on
Malte,

The reason we don't support upgrades to development version is a pratical lack of resources.

The way to reduce the length of time before release of OpenACS 5.2 is to dig in, test, fix bugs, and basically make the release happen. Anyone in the community is encouraged to help out in any way they can, by testing, reporting bugs, submitting patches, cleaning up the bugtracker. Anything. If anyone would like to help, but does not know how, please post to the forums or visit us on IRC at #openacs http://openacs.org/irc/

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Posted by Dave Bauer on
To be clear:

"Supported" in this case means tested and debugged. The OpenACS community is always supportive of anyone who makes an effort to use OpenACS. That means if you upgrade from a development version to a release and have a problem, the community will always be there to answer questions and help out. You might not get a volunteer to log into your server and fix it for you, but there are people in the community that enjoy and challenge and will help those who are willing to dig in, ask smart questions, and learn something new.