[Distutils] ANNOUNCE: Distutils 0.1.2 released

Greg Stein gstein@lyra.org
Thu, 16 Dec 1999 10:21:54 -0800 (PST)

On Thu, 16 Dec 1999, Guido van Rossum wrote:
> I realize it's just a rant.  In this case (distutils) your advice is
> correct.  (I usually paraphrase it as "release early, release often".)

True. I prefer that phrase, too, but I used it on JimA earlier in the day
or the previous day. I didn't want to sound like a broken record :-). But
that is why I moved into <rant> mode... it seems like the mindset was
spreading :-) I've railed at AMK for it, too :-), when he was talking
about 0.5.1pre1 or whatever, rather than just releasing 0.5.1 and doing an
0.5.2 if there was a problem.

> However there are other situations, like core Python itself, where
> it's really useful to have stable releases -- if only for those users
> who won't touch anything with "beta" in its name.  I still hear from
> people who haven't upgraded to 1.5.2.

But this doesn't explain why there isn't a 1.5.3b1, 1.5.3b2, etc. Or
1.6.0a1 or whatever (maybe "d" or "r" for dev release, as opposed to

There are some people would like the releases rather than using CVS. Some
people can't even use CVS because of firewall issues. Of course, an
alternative is snapshot-tarballs of the CVS repository. But a snapshot
could *really* be broken; something like 1.6.0d1 says "well, it's a
development release, but I've hit a good point between some changes."

> I wonder if perhaps for those cases (where there's a demand for stable
> releases) some other strategy could be used?  Such as labeling
> releases "stable" after the fact?  Or what Linus seems to do with the
> Linux kernel (even = stable, odd = development; or was it the other
> way around?).

Yes: even are stable (e.g. 1.0, 1.2, 2.0, 2.2). The odd numbers are for
development. Linus is currently working 2.3.x, but declared in the past
couple days that things will be wrapping up to move towards 2.4. Once he
thinks it is ready, he'll start off with 2.4.0pre1, pre2, pre3... At some
point the "pre" suffix will drop and 2.4.0 will be released.

You might have a bit of problem using that mechanism since the current
stable release is 1.5 :-). Once 1.6 hits the street, then you could start
doing 1.9 releases (dev) and shift to 2.0 once it is "stable".


Greg Stein, http://www.lyra.org/