5.0 and or 4.8 (was Re: [development] Drupal x.x.0 freeze date)

Bèr Kessels ber at webschuur.com
Sun Apr 30 07:40:12 UTC 2006

Now that this has been brought up, I'd like to put forward my thoughts or 

* split out 4.8 and 5.0 
* hard freeze date for 4.8
* roadmap for 5.0

Split 4.8 and 5.0:
 We all have Great Plans for 4.8. Those Great Plans are all of the magnitude 
of Fapi. Stick two such overhauls in one release, and we **know** its not 
going to be possible to release anytime soon. That is a pity for all the 
small changes (ajax, freetagging, etc) that people want, but are unavailable, 
because we cannot release 4.8 because all the Big Plans are holding it up.

4.8 for all the usual stuff. (pragmatism)
5.0 for the big re-hauls, gigantic plans and huge patches. (freedom)

Two possible problems, though: People are too busy with one (4.8) to put full 
attention on another (5.0). And patches will often need to go into two 
branches: more work, more maintenance. 
I think both are small problems compared to the amount of freedom (5.0) and 
pragmatism (4.8) we gain trough this; There are enough people out there 
anyway, but 5.0 will need no/less testing until its somewhere stable. So it 
needs far less people. Patches that need to be maintained in pairs: I don't 
think that will be the case often. After all: what good will "a small theming 
improvement on aggregator output" patch do in 5.0, if in 5.0 the "big theme 
overhaul to make all output structural, like fAPI" patch is already in? 
Patches will be so different that those that apply to both branches have to 
maintained separate anyway.

Hard freeze date for 4.8.
> What does everyone think of hard feature freeze on September 1st? That
> gives us approximately 4 months of development time.
 Neil proposes Sept. 1st. to be a hard freeze date. 
If we don't have to worry about huge patches, that FUBARed core, this is 
doable. If we are going to implement all the wild plans, in a single branch 
(when we do not split 4.8 and 5.0) this is not going to be possible. 
Esp small bugfixes and features will become unmaintainable, because core 
changed completely every month or so :). And off course, having two or three 
Huge projects breaking everyhing requires an unknown amount of time to 
stabilise (fAPI is *still* not really stable). No roadmap is needed, for 4.8. 
It can simply be a 'What is in by Sept 1st, is in. The rest is not. 

Roadmap for 5.0
 Because the 5.0 does not aim at a release date, but at a set of goals (world 
domination ;) ), I think it will be a good idea to make a roadmap for this. 
Obviously we'd need a gatekeeper to maintain that roadmap, to provide it from 
growing unworkable big. If the release for 5.0 will be aimed around a year, a 
year and a half from now, that roadmap can still be big enought to put all 
our big ideas in.

This, BTW is how a lot of projects work towards big releases. 

| Bèr Kessels | webschuur.com | website development |
| Jabber & Google Talk: ber at jabber.webschuur.com
| http://bler.webschuur.com | http://www.webschuur.com |
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