Re: [fbsd] HEADS UP: FreeBSD 5.3, 5.4, 6.0 EoLs coming soon

On Thu, 12 Oct 2006, Jeremie Le Hen wrote:

I am all for it.

According to this thread, it appears the 4.x branch is still used for whatever reasons, may they be perceived good or bad depends on one's own consideration and feeling. If the FreeBSD Project is going to relinquish RELENG_4 support because of lack of interest from the developpers -- and I can understand this --, it would not hurt though to arrange a place where people still interrested in RELENG_4 could talk together, exchange tricks and patches and so to continue a kind of unofficial support.

Although this may appear as a loose and slack support, it is yet better than having nothing, IMHO.

FWIW, it's important to remember that what the security officer is doing is not saying that 4.x cannot be supported, it's saying that they no longer guarantee it will be supported. If someone decides to support 4.x anyway, then that's not a problem. This is more about recognizing the reality that the vast majority of new work on FreeBSD is on the 7.x and 6.x branches. If there are people who want to continue to support 4.x, there's nothing preventing from doing that. Existing FreeBSD developers will still be able to commit to the 4.x branches. We will still be able to give commit access to people who turn up who show consistent contributions (and all the normal criteria for a new committer) and are interested in continuing to support 4.x. This is a community project: if people turn up to do the work, and do it well, we're not going to stop them. "Official" support has to do with recognizing that we're doing a good job in supporting something, and that the hands are there to do it. What we're trying to avoid here by announcing EOL's is people incorrectly assuming that something that is not being supported is being supported.

Robert N M Watson
Computer Laboratory
University of Cambridge
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