RFE: Retire Fedora Core 4 only _after_ FC6 has been released.

Mike A. Harris mharris at mharris.ca
Fri Jan 20 07:46:36 UTC 2006

Gilboa Davara wrote:
> Hello all,
> I've been following a very interesting discussion in fedora-list about
> the recent transfer of FC3 to Fedora Legacy.
> Following Rahul's suggestion, I'm starting this discussion in -devel.
> I'm asking the FC foundation to consider the following:
> 1. Fedora's policy dictates that old releases (Current - 2) will be
> retired once the new release hits Test2. This policy has one glaring
> drawback: User that seek an upgrade can either (1) install a mid-life
> release (FC4 in this case) or (2) install a beta release. (FC5 Test2 in
> this case).
> This being I suspect that most users will play the waiting game before
> making a decision. They'll wait for the FC5 release and check how it
> behaves before making a decision, which in turn, will leave them
> vulnerable to security exploits.
> Extending the life of FC4 by (a mere?) ~2 months, will give FC4 users
> seeking an upgrade a chance to make an informed decision based upon how
> FC6 behaves, without leaving them open to security risks.

 From what I recall, the general plan with Fedora Core all along has
been to maintain one OS release, however ending the maintenance of
Fedora Core 3 as soon as Fedora Core 4 comes out, or ending Fedora
Core 4 maintenance as soon as Fedora Core 5 is released, would have
the effect of immediately requiring all users to upgrade to the new
release on release day or end up using a system that is no longer

Since it was desired that there be a time window to let people do
the upgrade, rather than have to do it immediately, some maintenance
overlap of 3 months was added to the initial plan.  This would give
the general 6 month per release goal a 3 month overlap, or 9 months
total for the life of any given Fedora Core OS release.

However, it was also part of the plan that the 6 month release
cycles wouldn't be carved in stone, but could slide ahead or
backward in time for various reasons if we felt there were good
enough benefits to the project to hold back on a release a bit
longer, or push one out sooner.  So instead of making the policy
be "maintenance for 9 months", it became maintenance for one
OS release plus the time during the next development cycle up
to test2.  ie:  Release N is maintained until release N+2 test2.

In other words, Fedora Core 3, is maintained until Fedora Core 5 test2.
Or in even other words, users are expected to upgrade to each new
OS release as it comes out if they want to keep their systems running
"maintained" software, however when a new OS release comes out, they
have a window of time that their existing OS will continue to be
maintained which is approximately 3 months, but which might be slightly
shorter or longer depending on the development schedule of the next
OS release after that.

The concept of Fedora Legacy however, is to enable the community to
maintain the OS releases indefinitely if there is such a desire and
motivation in the community to see that happen.

The Fedora Legacy project just recently released a large update which
had hundreds of packages in it for Fedora Core 1, and I presume for
Fedora Core 2 as well.  As long as there are enough people in the
community using the older OS releases, there are likely to be a
percentage of them who are developers or package maintainers who are
willing to contribute to Fedora Legacy.

I believe the current scheme is as it should be, and if anything, we
should shorten the maintenance time on Fedora Core releases and transfer
the maintenance of the older OS release to Legacy at the test1 phase,
to enable developers to have more time to spend developing the current

Mike A. Harris  *  Open Source Advocate  *  http://mharris.ca
                       Proud Canadian.

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