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[Freeciv-Dev] Re: Documentation, Usability and Development

[Freeciv-Dev] Re: Documentation, Usability and Development

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To: Freeciv Developers <freeciv-dev@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: [Freeciv-Dev] Re: Documentation, Usability and Development
From: Vasco Alexandre Da Silva Costa <vasc@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2001 06:10:17 +0000 (WET)

On Wed, 28 Nov 2001, Kevin Brown wrote:

> But this is completely useless unless the changes eventually make it
> into the stable branch!  And the AC people are proof that this doesn't
> happen right now.  It's A LOT more work to maintain multiple feature

Ah... but were those changes stable enough to be added to the stable
branch in the first place? Its a very, very bad idea to keep adding 
features to a product without any quality control. I have no fancy for
feature creep either.

> branches of the same code than to maintain a stable branch and a
> development branch.

I wonder about this. I guess it depends on the patch. If its a narrowly
focused patch it isn't that hard to maintain.

> That's why the development branch needs to be an official branch of
> the main project, and *anything* that isn't strictly a bugfix needs to
> go there first.  There has to be significant motivation on the part of
> everyone involved to move stuff from the development branch into the
> stable branch.  Otherwise most new features will never be seen by the

This just makes a mess of things IMHO. That ball of mess you call
"development branch" with N generations of patches... after a couple of
months do you still remember which patch changed which part? Can you
easily pull things apart?

> general userbase (who tend to use only the stable versions).  That's
> why it makes the most sense to periodically do a feature freeze of the
> development branch, get most of the bugs worked out of it, then switch

Agreed, we should release more often. But IMHO having 2 branches wouldn't
help that. It would make matters even worse because it would further
dilute resources.

> it over to the stable branch, and start a new development branch at
> that point.  This is the method that has been proven to work with
> Linux.  Why aren't we using it?  I mean, the only extra work involved

Ah yes. Linux...
Your role model "Linux" takes way too long between releases. The Linux
method is far from perfect. Besides taking too long, and being focused on
one single person (single point of failure), they add features often without
considering the consequences. Case in point: the bugged as hell 2.4 VM.
Had they actually been more picky on such a critical piece of code as
this, these problems could have never happened at all.

Your role model doesn't even use CVS, or in fact any version control
system... Nothing is perfect.

> is to apply bugfix patches against the stable branch.  Otherwise it's
> business as usual.

> More importantly, why are we still discussing this?  :-)  We had this
> very same discussion a number of months ago, and I'm sure that
> discussion wasn't the first of its kind either!

Agreed. This has been amply discussed already. I am sorry for my rant, but
replying to this already beaten to death topic at 6 AM caused that.

Vasco Alexandre da Silva Costa @ Instituto Superior Tecnico, Lisboa

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