[Squeakfoundation]updating to next version after declining alpha

Andreas Raab andreas.raab at gmx.de
Sat Mar 22 03:29:21 CET 2003


Three notes on this. First of all, the rollover message has some rather
scary implications. It implies that you _will_ receive "test pilot" updates
when you advance your system to alpha vs. that you _may_ receive final fixes
if you choose the other way. I would suggest to change this towards
something indicating that if you go into a final branch you're really
entering a dead end versus going onto alpha you _may_ update your system to
the next version at a point of your choosing. Note the subtle difference ;-)

Secondly, it should be pretty straightforward to flip from a final branch
over to the next alpha - after all, all that's needed is setting the system
version right. A simple thing that could be done is to install a "next
version identifier" which contains the next future version a system could be
advanced to. If you choose to, then all that happens is that you are set to
the next update branch. This would allow people to stay with (for example)
3.5 until 3.6 is finalized, then switch to 3.6 (at which point the next
future version is 3.6alpha) and update through everything (during which
there may be other future versions such as beta and gamma). When you receive
one of these advance messages choosing the "dead end" would just install the
next future (perhaps this is a better way of distinguishing the streams - a
"live" and a "dead" one; with the dead one only containing retrofitted stuff
from the live one).

Also, concerning feeding back fixes into "final" branches I think that a
Very Useful rule of thumb should be that any fix going into final should be
resiliant to updating through the point at which it appears in the next
future version (testing this is almost trivial). For 95% of the fixes this
will be the case anyway. For the remaining 5% an explicit warning in the
update that "installing this update/fix will remove your ability to advance
to X.Y" might be appropriate. If the above mechanism would exist, the update
could simply reset the next future version.

BTW, this entire thing is an issue I am quite interested in myself. With the
rapid releases you are aiming at it's a real pain in the neck to jump
versions. I was going to switch Croquet to 3.4 but now you're talking about
finalizing 3.5 already so I'm going to wait for this. Unless, of course,
there's going to be a 3.6 a month after that in which case I might wait for
it ;-)

  - Andreas

> -----Original Message-----
> From: squeakfoundation-bounces at lists.squeakfoundation.org 
> [mailto:squeakfoundation-bounces at lists.squeakfoundation.org] 
> On Behalf Of Doug Way
> Sent: Saturday, March 22, 2003 2:51 AM
> To: Discussing the Squeak Foundation
> Subject: Re: [Squeakfoundation]updating to next version after 
> declining alpha
> On Friday, March 21, 2003, at 05:39 PM, Joshua 'Schwa' Gargus wrote:
> > Still, I don't like the idea of 3.5 final possibly being a short
> > dead-end branch, especially when it is not made clear to users that
> > this is the case (a newbie would have no way of knowing that loading
> > updates to 3.5 after the branch to 3.6 might make it impossible to
> > later update to 3.6).  At the least, the rollover message could
> > warn that to accept further 3.5 updates voids the guarantee that
> > a later update to 3.5 will work fine.
> I could improve the rollover message next time to include that.  (I 
> assume you meant "a later update to 3.6 will work fine" above.)
> Actually, the current message sort of implies that anyway, it 
> says that 
> you will only be allowed to receive final fixes for the 3.5 
> release, if 
> you choose not to advance to the next alpha.  Here's the 
> 3.5beta split 
> message:
> "Do you wish to advance to version 3.6alpha?
> [Yes] Your system will be marked as 3.6alpha, and you will
> subsequently receive ''test pilot'' updates for 3.6.
> [No] Your system will be marked as 3.5beta, allowing you
> to receive only final fixes for the 3.5 release."
> I could add it to something like "Your system will be marked as 
> 3.5beta, allowing you to receive only final fixes for the 3.5 
> release.  
> You won't have a further opportunity to update to 3.6alpha."
> Or, technically it should be "You may not have a further 
> opportunity..." because in some cases, if no changes go into the beta 
> for whatever reason, we can add another opportunity to advance when 
> going to gamma.  This happened with 3.4beta->3.4gamma/3.5alpha.
> Anyway, I'm not going to spend a lot of time thinking about whether 
> there's a better solution to this, because I can't imagine one right 
> now that's not a lot of effort. :-)  Perhaps sometime in the 
> future if 
> we have a generic uninstall capability.
> - Doug Way
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