the plan for stable

Preston L. Bannister preston.bannister at
Mon Oct 14 13:55:01 CEST 2002

Missed the original message, but I do have a couple suggestions.

You only know if LinuxBIOS is "stable" on a particular motherboard when one
or more people have gotten it to work on one or more revisions and instances
of that motherboard.  The more cumulative experience the greater your faith.

Perhaps the record you want is:

	Reporter (email)
	LinuxBIOS version (tagged in CVS)
	Motherboard version
	Number of boards (especially in clusters)
	Status: working/no known problems, some problems, not working
	Description (optional, brief) of how used and any known problems.

To be able to *start* with a working version of LinuxBIOS (if one existed),
and then move forward is a huge advantage.

-----Original Message-----
From: Eric W. Biederman
Sent: Sunday, October 13, 2002 10:38 PM

Ronald G Minnich <rminnich at> writes:

> A short sketch.
> What I want to do, but have not had time to do. For each mainboard, we
> designate an owner. The owner is responsible for letting us know that
> their mainboard works. Mainboards are in one of 3 states: (stable,
> unstable, unsupported)
> Mainboards start out in the unstable or unsupported state.
> We pick a date (1/1/03?) and say we want all owners of all mainboards to
> tell us that their mainboard is stable. We freeze the tree one month
> ahead of that time and the only changes that go in are for stabilization.

1 January 2003 is a bad date for me as I have plans to be far
away from computers over christmas.

> If nobody steps up for a board, it goes to unsupported state. Boards with
> owners start out in the unstable state.

The challenge is for a lot of boards we do not get active feedback
after a port has been completed.  So for any ongoing work we need
to very very careful not to make changes to the core that break ports.
I am probably the worst offender, except for the various bits of debug
code that come and go but still.

> Mainboards move to the stable state when the owner confirms stability.
> When patches are made for a problem, ALL stable mainboards revert to
> unstable. We iterate until we get it solid, then freeze it.

For the first round this looks o.k, it really depends on what
kind of feedback we have.

> This information is maintained by a file in each mainboard directory
> called STATUS, which consists of name/value paris.

One file in the root directory called STATUS should do it..

> Will this work?

Sounds like a good rough draft.  The very important thing
about the stable series is that nothing happens to the core
code that could possibly break a motherboard port.  That
way within a stable series we can get more but not fewer
boards working.

Then whenever a new port gets working we can do another release.
Of course if the come in fast enough we can delay...

> thanks (I'm off email for a bit -- at a workshop)

Speaking of which we probably should put together
some kind of conference/workshop for LinuxBIOS.  So the developers can
get together and talk face to face.

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