[Pkg-crosswire-devel] On 1.5.12 and our own Debian package repo

Jonathan Marsden jmarsden at fastmail.fm
Thu Apr 2 08:32:01 BST 2009

Thanks for the "state of the SWORD" comment :)

DM Smith wrote:

> With the release of 1.5.11 there was a renewed verbal commitment to
> release early and often. ...

> The development model for SWORD has been to work in trunk, with a small
> group with commit privs. There has been no branching for as long as I
> remember.

To me (opinionated person that I am!), these two things do not fit well
together.  Personal experience suggests that "release early, release
often" requires that "big" enhancements are done outside of the primary
branch from which all those frequent releases are made, unless you have
both a single developer project, and a very careful developer!  If the
enhancement is really big relative to the release frequency, or you are
doing more than one big enhancement at once, you can end up needing
multiple "big feature" branches.

> Some, perhaps many, (I don't know) felt that 1.5.12 should consist of
> everything but alternate versification and that av11n should be a
> separate later release. I think these off-by-one editions of 1.5.11/12
> are a response to that. I think calling it 1.5.12 is viewed as what was
> implicitly promised. But perhaps, given the naming convention of SWORD,
> it should be

IMO, calling such a forked release version 1.5.12 is fine if and only if
SWORD developers can commit to never releasing a 1.5.12 of their own --
that is, they are willing to commit to releasing their current SVN plus
more fixes as 1.6 or something along those lines.  Otherwise, the clear
potential for confusion over "which 1.5.12 do you mean" makes a nonsense
of the whole idea of having version numbers at all.

One issue with all of this, including a release, becomes "does
a module with a MinimumVersion of 1.5.12 mean it, or does it mean is OK"... a module of this nature made it out into the main
CrossWire repository very recently, so this is not a purely theoretical

> Once av11n is done, I expect that the development model will work once
> again.

Possibly.  Until the next big feature enhancement :)  I think it makes
more sense to learn from what happened and use branches in future.  They
are not exactly an esoteric feature of VCS systems.

> While I don't know, having not looked, what the bpbible or xiphos
> patched 1.5.11 is, the patches other than av11n have been small, dealing
> with specific problems and opportunities. I suspect that what is
> available for bpbible is solid. I think it represents the branch that
> should have happened. If they can produce the documentation (i.e.
> changes.txt) for it and one or more patches against the 1.5.11 tag, I
> would probably go for it.

Thanks.  I'm talking with Matthew and Ben about this off-list.


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