[Pool] Off by a second leap second failures

Harlan Stenn stenn at ntp.org
Sun Jul 12 04:02:21 UTC 2015

Hal Murray writes:
> stenn at ntp.org said:
>> There has currently been no discusison about how often point patches
>> should be released.
> My 2 cents...
> Patch releases should be reserved for bug fixes.  They should be drop
> in replacements with no user visible changes.  (User in that context
> means sysadmin.)
> Of course, there are exceptions.  I think the recent smear option is a
> good example.  Normally, I'd expect new features to be part of the
> next stable release.  If you don't have enough time to thoroughly test
> all the other changes, then a patch release might make sense.
>> You may also note that 4.2.8 is getting more frequent patch releases.
>> Some people really like that.  Some people really dislike it.  I'd
>> like to see a stable release every year or so.
> Do the people who want more frequent patch releases really want patch
> releases or more frequent stable releases?  What do they want in their
> newer releases?  Would they be happy if you just announced an
> occasional -dev release as a good one?

Security issues change everything.  It's my preference to not mix
security updates with other updates.  Sometimes that works out well,
sometimes not.

One big company told me:  We'd rather there were no security issues,
ever.  If a security issue happens, we'd like as much notice as
possible, as soon as possible.  As far as a feature release goes, it
takes us a good 6 months' time to check those out, so we'd rather they
never happened either, because they take time and money.

I've had folks tell me that they think that the only things that should
go into a patch release are bugfixes, no enhancements, and that we
should never knowingly break backward compatibility in a patch release.
Usually we can do this.   Usually.

I'm not seeing a good reason to delay enhancements until the next major
release.  This would mean stuff like the 'apeers' command in ntpq would
either not come out for a while, or we'd have released 4.2.8 over the
winter and released 4.4.0 this spring.  Was the leap second reporting
stuff fixed in bug 2846 a bugfix or a feature?

I'm not seeing the value of strict rules about these things.

I figure there is no way to please everybody.

It's more than announcing a -dev release as a -stable release.  When
prepping a -dev release to become a -stable release, we go thru feature
freezes, deciding what bugs must be fixed before the -stable release,
and then when those are done we start an RC cycle, and ideally when a
month has passed with no significant bug reports against the latest RC
we release it as the next -stable release.

Patch releases to -stable have been on an as-needed basis.  If folks
report bugs and do not request that they block -stable then I decide if
it will go in to -stable or -dev.

We have some wiki topics to discuss these things - mostly nobody says
anything so I do what seems best.

I do hope we can start on NTPv5 before the end of this year.
Harlan Stenn <stenn at ntp.org>
http://networktimefoundation.org - be a member!

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