From: "fbsd_user" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> On Mon, Aug 09, 2004 at 05:15:45PM -0400, Ara Avvali wrote:

> 5.3 stable release tentatively scheduled for Oct 3

>> Is this considered to be stable? I mean as stable as 4.10?

The 5-STABLE branch is intended to be considered stable; that is
suitable for use as a production server.  The FreeBSD project will
certainly be doing its utmost between now and October to make that
into a reality.  In the past the FreeBSD project has generally
delivered on that promise, but it can take a few releases from the new
stable branch before everything is bedded down properly.

Now, the jump between 4.x and 5.x in terms of the changes made to the
system is much larger than previous major version bumps, and the
length of time between the creation of 5-CURRENT and 5-STABLE has been
correspondingly longer.  That all means that there's more to go wrong,
potentially with this upgrade.

It is inevitable that 5.x will have bugs and it will take some more
development beyond the creation of 5-STABLE to put the desired degree
of polish on it.  That's why the project has taken a range of new
steps in order to smooth over the transition.  Some of those steps
you've seen already -- the whole series of "Technology Preview"
releases is aimed at getting 5.x out there on a reasonably large
selection of machines so that as much debugging as possible happens
before the official STABLE release.

The other measure is extended suppport for the 4-STABLE branch, or
rather 4.x-RELEASE derived from it.  4.11-RELEASE will presumably be
the last full scale release from the 4.x branch.  That means that as
well as the extended support for 4.8-RELEASE announced some months
ago, there will be the normal 1 year's support for 4.11 that should
last up to 2005/2006.

Only the most conservative of FreeBSD users may well choose to stick
with 4.x for much longer.  Most people, I think, should be able to
upgrade to 5.x without too many problems.

After 4.11-RELEASE presumably the project will drop back to "normal",
making 3 releases a year from the -STABLE branch, instead of the 6 or
more releases (from STABLE and CURRENT) there have been recently.
Until the 6-CURRENT branch gets good enough for the 6.x technology
preview releases...



Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil.                       26 The Paddocks
                                                      Savill Way
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Tel: +44 1628 476614                                  Bucks., SL7 1TH UK

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