[csw-users] Clarification regarding release branches

Maciej (Matchek) Bliziński maciej at opencsw.org
Tue Dec 18 01:31:27 CET 2012

2012/12/14 Jeffery Small <jeff at cjsa.com>:
> Even though I reread the "Which catalog should I use", "Latest
> announcements" and "Release branches" pages on the website, I have to say I
> am still confused by what is going on with the CSW releases.

I'm sorry to hear that. We put some effort into documenting branches,
so it's an important piece of information. If I understand correctly,
you looked at these pages:


> I'm still pulling from the "current" release which has seen no updates for
> some time.  It is unclear whether current and dublin are identical, but I
> have been assuming that they are.

Yes. 'current' is a symlink to 'testing' and 'testing' is a symlink to 'dublin'.

> My best understanding is that volatile "testing" packages later move into
> "unstable", and then finally migrate to kiel,

TL;DR we use the Debian model

No, this is quite different.

- Packages freshly built by maintainers go to 'unstable'.
- Periodically, packages are integrated from unstable to a named
release; in December 2012 this release is 'kiel'; we no longer
integrate into 'dublin'.
- The 'testing' symlink points at the named release into which we
integrate (target state)

We currently have a situation in which we would like to point
'testing' at kiel, but we can't do it just yet. We intend dublin to
become the new stable, but we just deprecated the legacy branch and we
want to give users time to notice.


Once this is out of the way (say, 3-6 months), we will point the
'stable' symlink at dublin and the 'testing' symlink at kiel.

> which is scheduled as the
> next full package release.  Is that correct?  When kiel goes live, will it
> become the new "current" repository?

No, 'current' is an old name, now meaningless, and will be deleted.

> But from comments made on some of the
> above referenced pages, it looks like a number of packages may be dropped
> from the kiel release as compared to dublin.  Is that also correct?

Yes, you can look at what is there in unstable. We want to shed as
much of dead weight as possible. If a package isn't maintained, it
dies. If someone really wants it, we'll encourage people to build the
package. Historically the approach at OpenCSW was to keep everything,
but this is now changing, as we realize how many packages in the
catalog are unmaintained and unusable.

> And
> finally, it looks like a number of user-oriented, non-server packages (for
> example, gimp) are no longer being maintained.  Is that correct?

Yes, we are forced to economize and have decided to chose server
software as the primary focus. But there is a number of packages (as
Carsten noted) which some maintainers care about, and these will be
maintained as long as there is interest.

> I think an expanded discussion of these issues placed on the "release
> branches" page would be helpful.  My inability to really understand what
> the current philosophy is with CSW is making me reluctant to update, as I
> do not feel confident that if I do so, everything I currently rely upon
> will continue to work.  Any clarification would be appreciated.

Thanks for the suggestion, I will update the release branches page.

If I could suggest something, I'd be subscribing to a named release.
There are only two to choose from at the moment: dublin and kiel. The
former will eventually become 'stable', so if you want to use the
'stable' branch in production (when it's reinstated), I recommend that
one. Note that it will receive no updates, except for potential
security updates. I guess this is expected from a stable branch.


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