Subject: Release mechanisms (Was: "Re: Find a way for a monthly distribution")
To: None <>
From: - Greg Earle <earle@isolar.Tujunga.CA.US>
List: current-users
Date: 07/26/1994 21:32:55
>There's a _hell_ of a lot to do to build a 'distribution'.  First of all, you
>have to coordinate between the various ports that are going to be a _part_ of
>the distribution.  Then you have to branch the tree, and start having the
>people responsible for the ports have people alpha test them.  You kill bugs,
>eventually it becomes beta-testing.  You kill more bugs, and tag it as "final."
>You have everybody build binaries and kick them out the door.
>You _must_ have a release be as well-tested as possible.  Why?  Because it will
>persist nearly _forever_.  Almost a year after it was released, people are
>still installing 0.9.  It'll be the only thing available on some FTP sites for
>several months after 1.0 is released.

Perhaps Chris (or someone else) could clear up something for me.  Chris talks
about a release cycle in the above quoted text in terms that I am familiar
with.  Declare an Alpha, code freeze it, test it out, then make changes/fixes
and at some point, declare a beta, code freeze it, test it out, etc. all over
again, and at some point declare an FCS (First Customer Ship) release.

It hasn't been clear to me what is going on with NetBSD that parallels the
above paradigm.  Pardon any unintentional naivete and/or stupidity on my part,
but I've been sitting back, letting "sup" do its nightly thing, hopefully
keeping my source tree up-to-date by doing so; on the other hand, suddenly and
without much fanfare I'm seeing mumblings of "Oh, btw, it's now 1.0-Alpha" when
describing some unnamed version of -current.  I can't recall seeing an official
"If you've sup'ped up through to today, or if you've started from scratch and
downloaded some src tarballs and unbundled them, you've got an Official NetBSD
1.0-Alpha system (with Secret Decoder Ring (-: )".  I've seen mentions of 0.9c
instead.  I certainly haven't seen any "If you've sup'ped up through to today,
... dot dot dot, you've got an Official code-frozen NetBSD 1.0-Beta system". 
And now all of a sudden, Chris and Adam are saying "1.0 - not Alpha, not Beta,
(not even Vons or Ralphs (-: ) but the Real Thing" is coming out in a couple of
weeks.  I guess I'm confused by this, especially since I've read every piece of
current-users mail that comes through my mail spool since 'way back (-:

I would appreciate it if someone could straighten this out for me and anyone
else that might be confused by how things stand.


	- Greg