KDE release cycles?

Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at cox.net
Mon Apr 2 09:48:43 BST 2012

dE . posted on Mon, 02 Apr 2012 05:20:20 +0530 as excerpted:

> Is there any definitive release cycle? Like Debian has
> stable/unstable/testing etc... branches and has general rules and
> regulation on what has to be done at what time, regardless of the
> current release?
> Or is it that the rules and regulations change as per the release?

FWIW, the release schedules along with feature plans and status, for all 
of kde4 since 4.1 (4.0 has a schedule page listed, but there's nothing 
there, but there's additional docs for 4.0-4.4, 4.5+ only have the two), 
can be found here:


The following describes and summarizes the cyclical release timing 
information based on the schedules found at that link.  (Hint, it might 
be worth bookmarking it! =:^)

Since kde 4.0 (or at least 4.1, IIRC 4.0 also but I can't confirm due to 
the empty 4.0 schedule page, above, and didn't cross-check elsewhere), kde 
has had a six-month-feature/one-month-bugfix cycle.

Feature releases (4.x, currently 4.8) are roughly every six months, tho 
under extenuating circumstances they can slip a few days.

Within the six-month feature release cycle, there's a one-month bugfix 
release cycle as well, 4.x.y.  Early in 4.x, there tended to be five such 
bugfix releases after the feature release for six total, 4.x.0 thru 
4.x.5, but lately, they've been getting good enough at it that they only 
run 4.x.0 thru 4.x.4, skipping the last one and focusing on a more stable 
initial next feature release instead.

Pre-feature-release, the first scheduled event is the soft feature 
freeze, about release minus three months (R-3M).  Two weeks later
(so ~R-2.5M) there's a hard-feature freeze, followed a week later by the 
beta1 tagging and a week after that by the beta1 prerelease, which 
therefore occurs about R-2M.  Two weeks later (~R-1.5M) comes beta2 

rc1 follows at about R-5W (weeks), and rc2 at ~R-3W.

Thus, 4.x.3 occurs at about the same time as 4.x+1's soft feature freeze, 
at about the half-way point between feature releases.  4.8.3 release is 
scheduled for May 1, 4.9's soft feature freeze for May 3.

Similarly, 4.x.4 and beta1 occur at about the same time, roughly a month 
later, four months into a feature release, two before the next one.  
4.8.4 release is scheduled for June 5, 4.9 beta1 prerelease for May 30.

rc1 follows the same pattern, roughly the same time as 4.x-1.5 if it 
appears, five months into the current feature release, about a month 
(five weeks for the rc) before the next one.  But as mentioned, they're 
skipping the 4.x.5 versions a lot of the time now, allowing two months of 
solid focus on the upcoming feature release.

4.9 rc1 prerelease is scheduled for June 27, 4.9.0 feature release for 
August 1, about five weeks later, two weeks each for the rcs, plus a week 
for tagging/testing/packaging.

For all public releases and pre-releases, so beta, rc, feature and bugfix 
releases, all of them, tagging occurs about a week before public release 
(but only a day before rc releases due to the compressed timeframe at 
that point), and private preliminary tarballs are made available to the 
various distro kde maintainers for testing and building, so if they're 
fast enough, they can have binary packages up and linked in kde's public 
release coverage.  However, these preliminary tarballs are subject to 
last-minute changes should any kinks be found, and often there are such 
changes for one or two of the tarballs before the final release 
announcements, including checksums, etc.  (Depending on the detail of 
your distro kde maintainer's changelogs, you may be able to see which 
preliminary tarballs changed based on the checksum updates.)

Again based on the above, the coming dates of most (user viewpoint) 
interest are:

April 3: 4.8.2 release  THIS WEEK! =:^)

May 1: 4.8.3 release

May 3: first 4.9 developer deadline, soft feature freeze

May 30: 4.9 beta1 prerelease

June 5: 4.8.4 release, final scheduled 4.8

June 13: 4.9 beta2 prerelease

June 27: 4.9 rc1 prerelease

July 11: 4.9 rc2 prerelease

August 1: 4.9.0 release

Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman

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