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From John Burwell <>
Subject [DISCUSS] 5.0.0 and 6.0.0
Date Wed, 15 Jun 2016 00:39:37 GMT

We have been discussing whether or not the next release would introduce the need to increment
the major revision number from 4 to 5 (i.e. become 5.0.0).  While I think we are very close
to the time to have a 5.0.0 release, I don’t think the next release will introduce any backwards
compatible changes that necessitate.  However, Wido has brought two important questions —
What are our goals for a 5.0.0 release? When do we think we should target its release?  I
think we should address and gain consensus on these issues now rather than allow circumstances
to answer them for us.

Since I joined the community (back in the 4.1.0 days), 5.0.0 was a mythical, someday release
when CloudStack would have a perfect architecture, build process, etc. -- a unicorn jumping
a rainbow.  I realize that I have fallen into the trap of seeing 5.0.0 as some endpoint of
perfection rather than an important milestone in the on-going improvement and evolution of
the project.  Thinking it about is the former rather than the later, I realize that we have
a legacy cruft that we need to discard in order to move forward and architectural design improvements
that we must implement to address emerging infrastructure requirements.  I think we would
be wise to separate these two objectives into a 5.0.0 release (cruft removal/breaking refactorings)
and 6.0.0 (backwards incompatible architectural redesign).  Not only do I see this approach
as a risk mitigation, but also as a way to deliver improvements to users and developers as
quickly as possible.

For 5.0.0, my thought is that we would target the following high-level objectives:

* Drop Java7 and adopt Java8 runtime and language features
* Drop support for any hypervisor versions no longer supported by their vendors or communities
* Drop any plugins which are no longer maintained or for which the community has no means
to test
* Drop support for any distributions no longer supported by their vendors or communities
* Define an official support matrix for the project
* Adopt a formal policy for sunsetting support of components based on the end-of-life dates
set by their vendors or communities
* Refactoring/cleanup of various APIs
* Embedded Jetty/uberjar/unified YAML file configuration

While I am sure there are more clean up items, the focus of the release would be to discard
pieces that are in the way on further improvement.

6.0.0 would be released within 9-12 months of 5.0.0 — giving the community time to build
atop 5.0.0 to redesign/improve the architecture of the system.

I would like to see 5.0.0 released by the end of 2016 or at the beginning of 2017.  Based
on the release plan I previously proposed, we would have the following releases remaining
in 2016 and in early 2017: 

* 4.10 releasing on or about 28 August 2016
* 4.11 releasing on or about 23 October 2016
* 4.12 releasing on or about 18 December 2016 
* 4.13 release on or about 5 February 2017

4.12 seems to be the sweet spot in the schedule to cut the 5.0.0 release described above.
 It would give us sometime to plan and gain consensus around the changes in both the user
and dev communities.  It would also allow the second LTS release to be based on 5.0.0 —
allowing both release cycles to take advantage of the reduced support requirements and Java8
language features. Based on this proposal, the releases above would change to the following:

* 4.10 releasing on or about 28 August 2016
* 4.11 releasing on or about 23 October 2016
* 5.0.0 releasing on or about 18 December 2016 
* 5.1.0 release on or about 5 February 2017

6.0.0 would be targeted for release in 4Q2017 — providing 9-12 months to design and implement
architectural improvements.

Thoughts?  Other paths to 5.0.0 and beyond?
53 Chandos Place, Covent Garden, London VA WC2N 4HSUK

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