[mono-packagers] release frequency

Paul paul at all-the-johnsons.co.uk
Tue Dec 9 05:54:48 EST 2008


> Paul can correct me on this, but I believe Ubuntu is not the only
> distribution on a 6-month schedule - Fedora's last four releases (and
> their next one) seem to be released in late May and late November. For
> Ubuntu, releases are in late April and October.

Fedora does 3 a year, though depending on the release schedule, it can
be miss (it's every 4 months, but they're not released jan/may/dec
exactly, so there can be over-runs, show stoppers and the such).

What's the release schedule for Mandriva these days?

> Given the need for thorough testing, and the frequent major changes
> between upstream versions, even if the dates matched up perfectly, I
> doubt we'd ever be able to include a "current" Mono in a stable release
> (i.e. by the time we have a version packaged, tested, and integrated
> into the distro, and the distro released - a new version will be out and
> people moaning that we're obsolete). Certainly not with 4 major releases
> a year.

Well, 2.0.1 was shipped by default with F10, but that was by the skin of
it's teeth!

> The question from where I'm sat, then, becomes "who benefits from your
> 3-month proposal"? If no distribution is releasing that frequently, then
> where is the advantage in integrating a Mono release into a development
> distro (cooker, rawhide, factory, whatever) when you know it will never
> be part of that release?

A 3 month turn around is quite useful, but only depending on the release
dates. For example, f11 is pencilled in for March 2009. If we have a
full 2.2 release by early-mid Feb 2009, then there is a really good
chance of f11 shipping with 2.2. Obviously, YMMV depending on distro

> Here's my counter-proposal: In keeping with the majority of
> distributions running on a 6-month (or approximately 6-month) schedule,
> how about releasing major Mono versions on a 6-month basis as well? A
> major Mono version every 6 months which warrants the packaging work
> involved - with as many intermediary bugfix-only releases in between as
> are deemed necessary. Packagers then know which "major" release they
> need to work with, work towards, and test - and at worst they only
> differ by minor point releases (where some or all of the point release
> fixes may end up being used anyway).

The only thing which causes me a headache with packaging mono is fixing
the plethora of $(prefix)/lib problems for non-x86 architecture ;-) -
the actual build process is very easy.

> Now, time for some stats. Here's a table of major distro releases, the
> Mono versions included, the release date, and the age of the Mono
> release on that date. It should help to give an indication of which
> distros need how much time to work, and point towards a good date for
> major Mono releases:
> Fedora 7  | 2007/05/31 | 1.2.3   | 4 months
> Fedora 8  | 2007/11/08 | 1.2.4   | 4 months

Both F7 and F8 are no longer supported at all.

> Clearly the turnaround is longer for Ubuntu than the others. There are a
> few reasons for this, which can generally be summed up with "more
> complex packaging, more QA, more architectures" - our cooperation with
> Debian is invaluable, but also makes us weak to the sometimes (always)
> protracted delays between Debian releases. I've declined to list Debian
> in the table since, despite being one of the oldest Mono-containing
> distributions, it's essentially impossible to predict or work towards
> Debian release dates.

(speaking personally) I have always felt Debian is the achillies heal of



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