[Python-Dev] Porting bug fixes (was A "new" kind of leak)

Guido van Rossum guido@python.org
Sat, 13 Apr 2002 19:01:06 -0400

> Yes, but you have to Pronounce on which specific bit of text you
> want to see.  It's going to get much more complicated if we intend
> to backport fixes across 2 or 3 years of older releases.  I predict
> that's not going to work unless we establish an easy-to-update patch
> database recording which patches have and haven't been applied to
> each old release, which should and shouldn't be applied to each old
> release, and everyone is serious about keeping that up to date.  I'm
> not aware of any commerical organizations with full-time QA
> departments that sign up for something so messy, and I'm not
> sanguine about our prospects of pulling it off (the older the code,
> the more likely "a bugfix" is to create at least as many problems as
> it solves; and the more active branches, the more likely fixes to
> get dropped on the floor).

I've got some half-working tools for working with CVS from Python.
Maybe it's time to dust those off and write our own database...

> [Martin v. Loewis]
> > If I'm going to commit the same patch onto the maintainance branch, I
> > usually don't mark it as "bugfix candidate".
> Except that "the" maintenance branch loses clear meaning when there
> are multiple maintenance branches.  That's why I expect this just
> isn't going to work without a patch database: it needs something
> independent of scattered checkin messages to correlate a
> *conceptual* patch with all the active branches.  Or it needs a
> truly dedicated person to sign up for each active branch, who
> actively worries about every patch that comes by.  I expect Neil
> spoke for most current developers there: they don't fear current
> releases, so won't volunteer for such work (there's no payback for
> them -- open source works because developers and users volunteer to
> scratch their own *current* itches, and share the relief; the
> "maintenance branch" business is unique in that nobody with that
> particular itch has volunteered to do anything to scratch it).

There are several developers who also have a Python-based business
with customers who want stable releases.  They should join forces and
offer some help here.  If they don't, I'm not sure I can afford to be
very sympathetic to their cause (well, I can show sympathy anyway, but
I won't be able to do anything about it :-).

--Guido van Rossum (home page: http://www.python.org/~guido/)