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SubjectRe: RFD: Kernel release numbering
On Wed, Mar 02, 2005 at 07:37:44PM -0800, Linus Torvalds wrote:
> On Wed, 2 Mar 2005, Jeff Garzik wrote:
> > 2.6.x-pre: bugfixes and features
> > 2.6.x-rc: bugfixes only
> And the reason it does _not_ work is that all the people we want testing
> sure as _hell_ won't be testing -rc versions.

Maybe that's because you redefined "rc" to mean "ridiculous count"?
People would rather test a release candidate than a ridiculous count. ;)

> That's the whole point here, at least to me. I want to have people test
> things out, but it doesn't matter how many -rc kernels I'd do, it just
> won't happen. It's not a "real release".
> In contrast, making it a real release, and making it clear that it's a
> release in its own right, might actually get people to use it.
> Might. Maybe.

Am I the only person here who doesn't see it as "either/or"? ISTM that
"odd/even" and the "2.4 approach" are orthogonal issues.

What about something like the following? (It probably needs tweaks but
it might be worth considering.)

2.6.odd-alpha1: Equivalent to 2.6.x-rc1.
2.6.odd-alphaA: Equivalent to 2.6.x-rcA. (A is a constant. Linus gets to
set it, perhaps before relesing alpha1. Perhaps A=1 or
A=2 could be tried for the 2.6.13 cycle. Setting it to
an arbitrary value should free Linus's brain for other
2.6.odd-beta1: Equivalent to 2.6.x-rc(A+1).
2.6.odd-betaX: Equivalent to the last 2.6.x-rc in the current scheme.
2.6.odd-rc1: Equivalent to 2.6.x *RELEASE* now.
2.6.odd: *Identical* to last 2.6.odd-rc. Not a single patch of
difference, except for the version number! If you
committed anything since 2.6.odd-rcX, then either (a)
you need to make a 2.6.odd-rc(X+1), or (b) you committed
something that should have waited for the next 2.6.odd.
2.6.even-beta1: Skipping -alpha because we're only going for bugfixes
in even, right? (*Please* listen to davej and don't
treat drivers differently than core code. If you must
include major driver updates, then don't skip -alpha.)
2.6.even-rc1: This is when you think you're completely done with
2.6.even and you think it's time to upload the final
2.6.even: This is the last 2.6.even-rc, with no changes. (Same -rc
rules as for 2.6.odd-rc.)
(...cycle repeats...)

For an approximation of the so-called "2.4 approach", let A=0 and
s/beta/pre/g. Perhaps the alpha/beta distinction won't *really* mean
anything, but it might have a subliminal effect on everyone. :) Anyway,
if the alpha/beta distinction is overengineering, it's easily removed
(see the beginning of this paragraph).

Whether with alpha/beta or just plain pre, this seems more robust to me
than the other suggestions so far.

-Barry K. Nathan <>
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