[development] no 4-7-0 branch for core yet?

Chris Johnson chris at tinpixel.com
Mon Feb 20 20:08:42 UTC 2006

Morbus Iff wrote:
>> between 4.6 and 4.7 should really be major release number changes, e.g 
>> 4.6 -> 5.0, not point releases.
> I disagree. If I can simplify the last six months of work:
>   FormAPI or, as I prefer, FAPI.
>   Security/validation related to FAPI
> This is a framework/API "developer feature", and not something that the 
> end-user will ever care to appreciate. Taking FAPI out of the equation, 
> I don't really see the number of *important* features that would make 
> justify a 5.0 release.

Whether the changes are to the end user is only a part of the equation.  The 
revision number of the software should provide a general guideline to all 
audiences as to how much of a change a particular release contains.  End users 
who can "see" the change are only one member of  the set of all audiences.

Members of those audiences might include:
1.  Drupal core developers
2.  Drupal module developers
3.  Drupal theme developers
4.  Consultants
5.  Site developers
6.  Site administrators
7.  IT administrators
8.  Site owner entity management (e.g. NGO boards or for-profit management)
9.  End users
10. Etc.

All of these people need to know something has changed.  One might argue that 
End Users themselves have the least need to be notified, since they will 
either "see" the difference -- or they won't.

Morbus' argument that most of the 4.7 changes are "developer features" (and 
therefore the revision number need not reflect their scope) leaves out the 
other audiences.

Consultants need to know how big a change it might mean to their current 
clients.  Site developers need to know which version to target for a site that 
has to go live in 4 weeks, and they need to know how much effort it's going to 
take to upgrade from 4.6 to 4.7 to correctly make that decision.

IT administrators and Site Owners need to know that 4.6 to 4.7 is a big change 
so that they can manage their resources, schedule their upgrades and plan 
their next 6 to 12 months of system, network, site and related software activity.

Drupal sites don't exist in a vacuum, especially not anymore.  Managing a 
Drupal-based website often means more than worrying about the Drupal version.

Bryght is plugged in technically and won't have a problem.  But it's just as 
possible that other organizations have made similar large commitments to using 
Drupal, and they may not be as plugged in.  They need a BIG Red Sign in the 
form of a major release number to let them know that 4.7 is dramatically 
different "under the hood" from 4.6, and that upgrading is going to take lots 
of manpower.

The Form API change should have made 4.7 be named 5.0.  It's too late to 
rename it, but the revision numbers should be in accord with that kind 
thinking, contrary to what Morbus argues.


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