[ntp:hackers] The Distinction between Development and Stable

Brian Utterback brian.utterback at oracle.com
Tue Mar 29 17:09:40 UTC 2011

I have the same sort of problem with the current system in use for
stable and development.

I realize that there can be different ways of distinguishing between
stable and development. But just by the names we can guess that stable
undergoes little movement, with only bug fixes.

For my particular situation, I have a slightly expanded definition that
meets my needs. In my case, the determining factor is whether or not a
particular change introduces a backwards compatibility. As long as no
change requires operator intervention on upgrade, then I can accept it.

But this is a wider range of changes than I would expect from the more
common terminology. Others might have a narrower definition of what
changes are acceptable.

But I know that there have been a number of changes in stable in the
past that have not met either set of criteria.

And from what Reg is saying, sometimes simple bug fixes do not get back

So, it would seem that it would make sense to define and publish exactly
what the aim of the two distributions is and the criteria for changes to

On 03/28/11 18:39, reg at dwf.com wrote:
> I am unhappy with the current system for updates to ntp.
> Perhaps I just don't understand the system, and
> I hate to complain when everyone working on the system is
> a volunteer, but I think this is significant.
> The problem is with their being a Development and a Stable Distribution.
> In the past we had a single line of development for ntp.
> Then the distinction between Development and Stable was made, with
> the implication that only serious errors would be corrected in both
> Stable and Development, and all other changes would be made in Development
> only.  This clearly is not what is going on.
> My assumption was that folks using the Development branch would discover
> any problems with the patches applied there, before they became a part
> of the Stable branch.  And there was an inherent implication that
> the Development branch would be 'swept' into the Stable branch at
> reasonable intervals.  My assumption for the timing of a 'sweep' would
> be the next Release Candidate of the Stable release.
> This does not seem to be the case.
> I have some patches in the Development version of ntp that have been
> sitting there for a year.  It would seem that the ONLY way a patch
> is going to make it into the Stable version of ntp is to put it there
> directly, which then opens the question of WHY we have both Distributions.
> There seem to be lots of changes being made to Stable, yet the
> changes which have been tested for a year in Development are still
> there.
> Do I make one GIANT update to the ONCORE driver (it would be over
> 1000 lines) of the differences between Development and Stable and
> submit it?  I had assumed that BK had some sort of 'pull' mechanism
> and that this would be invoked every now and then, but that
> does not seem to be the case.
> So, do I misunderstand the update process, or do I need to make
> the GIANT update???


Always code as if the guy who ends up maintaining your code will be a
violent psychopath who knows where you live. - Martin Golding
Brian Utterback - Solaris RPE, Oracle Corporation.
Ph:603-262-3916, Em:brian.utterback at oracle.com

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