[Development] Release plan moving forward

Lars Knoll lars.knoll at qt.io
Wed May 10 15:29:53 CEST 2017


> On 10 May 2017, at 13:05, Robin Burchell <robin.burchell at crimson.no> wrote:
> Hi,
> Responding to just the LTS news: I think that this is tentatively good
> news. I worry, though, on a releasing front whether it is realistic to
> consider supporting now two LTS branches, plus potentially 2-3 normal
> branches at the same time, especially since we don't yet have firm proof
> that we are able to even maintain a constant release cadence with the
> branches we have now.

It’s not that bad. Once 5.9 is out, it’ll be the 5.9 and 5.6 branch we need to support, plus dev to maintain. Once 5.10 is out, 5.6 is starting to get two years old, so by then we should start being rather selective in the patches we still back-port. So I don’t see us having to maintain a lot more branches than we currently do.

The 5.9 beta process shows some of the improvements. But yes, we’ll need to show proof that we can get more patch level releases out.

> Can we get into a position where we can make a patch release every
> second month, say, so that security issues and high priority fixes don't
> have to wait half a year or more?

Yes, I believe we will be able to have those with 5.9 and later.

> The part of this that worries me is
> that I see 89 patches on just qtdeclarative/5.6 that aren't yet
> released, some of the highlights of the top of the commit log being:
> * Fix heap buffer overflow
> * Fixed assertion failure
> * Fix for dangling pointers (x 2)
> * Fix crash when ...
> ... and this was without looking for more than a minute or two.
> Right now, I honestly find it a bit difficult to recommend any given
> version -- right now, 5.6 is too old to offer a number of the things I
> would like to have, lags behind in performance, and has a number of
> unreleased fixes, but both 5.7 and 5.8 had their own share of problems
> in my opinion, and 5.9 isn't yet released.

Agree, right now we don’t have a great release to recommend people to use. That’s what I hope we can change until summer with having 5.9 with regular patch level releases and an update to 5.6.


> Just my (personal) $0.02...
> -- 
>  Robin Burchell
>  robin at crimson.no
> On Tue, May 9, 2017, at 03:35 PM, Lars Knoll wrote:
>> Hi everybody,
>> I believe I have some good news to share with regards to our releases
>> moving forward. As you all know, we had quite some trouble getting patch
>> level releases out over the last year, going so far that we ended up not
>> doing patch level releases for 5.8.
>> Fortunately, things are starting to look a lot better now. You might
>> already have noticed the rolling beta releases for 5.9, where we have
>> pushed updated betas out every 1-2 weeks. This shows that things are now
>> going a lot smoother and we are in a much better shape to create releases
>> in the future.
>> Additionally, things have improved on the CI and releasing side. It's
>> nowadays a lot easier to get a qt5.git update through and create new
>> packages from a successful qt5.git integration. In summer, the CI system
>> will get a major HW upgrade giving it a much larger capacity, avoiding
>> capacity conflicts between CI, packaging and release testing.Together
>> with improvements to the  Release Test Automation (RTA) which
>> automatically tests our packages we're actually getting into a good
>> position to do patch level releases with relatively little manual labor
>> from 5.9 and onwards. This means that we should now be in a position to
>> do much more frequent patch level releases from 5.9 onwards.
>> Another thing that has happened is that The Qt Company has been seeing
>> lots of requests for a new LTS release, as Qt 5.6 is starting to feel
>> relatively old. I have also heard this request from a few places in the
>> wider Qt community. Because of the improvements to CI/packaging and
>> releasing, I believe we are now in a good position to make that happen.
>> So we are now planning to make Qt 5.9 a LTS release. It's been 3 minor
>> releases since 5.6 and a lot of good things have happened in Qt, so this
>> should be very good news to those of our users that don't always want to
>> be on the bleeding edge but are looking for a stable version that's
>> supported for a long time.
>> So once 5.9 is out, we are planning for rather frequent patch level
>> releases for that branch for the first 6-9 months. After that, we'll move
>> 5.9 into strict mode where we will also release a little less often, and
>> then have it in a very strict mode for the last year. See the draft QUIP
>> at https://codereview.qt-project.org/#/c/178906/45//ALL,unified for more
>> details on LTS branches.
>> Of course, we will also continue to support 5.6 for the promised three
>> years. We are planning to release 5.6.3 in Summer, after which 5.6 will
>> move into the 'very strict' mode as defined in the branch policy QUIP.
>> After 5.9, we'll be aiming at 5.10 in late autumn, 5.11 next spring. I
>> believe that we will be doing one more final LTS release on the Qt 5
>> series, but most of the work after 5.11 will probably start to be aimed
>> on working towards Qt 6.
>> Now let's not go into discussions what Qt 6 exactly will be in this
>> thread. I believe a lot of work towards defining what we're aiming at
>> with Qt 6 will be for the Contributor Summit in October. But the outline
>> above should give you good overview over the releases planned for the
>> next 18 months.
>> Cheers,
>> Lars
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