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"the stable branch" terminology

On Thu, 06 Aug 2009, Dirk H. Schulz wrote:
> According to documentation there is only two branches: stable and
> -current. (Here is were I read:

It's all a bit confusing.  I think what you are missing is that "the
stable branch" does not mean "the branch whose name is 'stable'"; it
means something like "the branch that is designated as being updated
for security or other important reasons, and which is recommended for
general use, but which does not necessarily contain the very latest
versions of anything".

There are several named branches, and an unnamed branch which is
sometimes called "-current" or "HEAD".  One of the named branches is
referred to as "the stable branch"; right now, the branch whose name is
"pkgsrc-2009Q2" is the stable branch, but in a few months time a new
"pkgsrc-2009Q3" branch will be created and that will become the stable
branch.  Sometimes, people talk about the "2009Q2" branch when they
really mean the "pkgsrc-2009Q2" branch.

> And using "cvs update -dP" should update the stable branch to the
> current release of it.  How come that I am sitting on an outdated
> release of it and "cvs update" does not change that to something
> current?

If you have a checkout of some point along the history of a branch, then
"cvs update -dP" will update to the most recent point in the history of
the same branch.  If your branch is so old that it is no longer being
maintained, then there will be no relevant updates, and you should
switch to a different branch.  As you discovered below, that's what
happened to you.  To find out what branch you are on, look for "Sticky
Tag" in the output from "cvs status".

> After digging through documentation I ran "cvs update -rpkgsrc-2009Q
> -dp" and that seems to have switched everything to the current
> release (now is 1.42). Do I have to do that at every
> beginning of a new quarter? Or is there some setting to automate
> this?

Yes, the "-rpkgsrc-2009Q2" part of the above command switches to the
"pkgsrc-2009Q2" branch.  You will have to do something like this
every quarter (unless you choose to follow -current, which I
do not recommend for inexperienced users).

--apb (Alan Barrett)

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