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From "Craig R. McClanahan" <craig...@apache.org>
Subject Re: How close 'till release?
Date Fri, 23 Aug 2002 16:27:24 GMT


On Fri, 23 Aug 2002, Wills, Mike N. (TC) wrote:

> Date: Fri, 23 Aug 2002 09:59:35 -0500
> From: "Wills, Mike N. (TC)" <MNWills@taylorcorp.com>
> Reply-To: Tomcat Users List <tomcat-user@jakarta.apache.org>
> To: 'Tomcat Users List' <tomcat-user@jakarta.apache.org>
> Subject: How close 'till release?
>
> How close is Tomcat 4.1 to release?

As others have mentioned, Tomcat 4.1 is following the release policy that
is used for Apache's httpd web server and many other projects.  Basically,
it goes like this:

* Periodically, cut a milestone by incrementing the third part of the
  version number (we're up to 4.1.9 so far).

* Make the milestone available for testing (they get announced on
  TOMCAT-DEV and TOMCAT-USER only) but with no claims for quality.

* If a showstopper problem is found, the milestone is abandoned
  (this has happened several times in 4.1 so far).

* After a while, a vote takes place on TOMCAT-DEV about labelling
  the quality of that milestone (typically, the options are
  Alpha, Beta, or Release).  This label is attached to the version
  number when the milestone is announced more widely.

It took Apache 2.0 roughly 35 milestones (and over two years) to get to
the point where the developers were satisfied with the quality.  I'm sure
it won't take that long for Tomcat 4.1 because we weren't starting from
scratch -- it's mostly incremental improvements on 4.0 code.  But it's
going to take as long as it takes.

> I won't install 4.1 on our production
> system until it has gone to release.
>

I know lots of IT folks who follow this policy, but I have to smile when
people say it.  Given the above release policy, think about what you'd be
doing if 4.1.9 had been voted as "release" quality instead of "beta"
quality.  You'd have installed it, right?  And it would have been
*exactly* the same code ...

The best way for Tomcat *users* to help get Tomcat 4.1 to general release
state is trying it on your real apps, and reporting bugs so we can swat
them.

> Mike Wills
> IT Corporate Support
>

Craig



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