request for official gnome foundation policy on maintaining old platforms


I read the foundation board minutes, but I'm not sure whether this has
been talked about at a policy level.

I think we need an official policy on whether we maintain the old

There are already people beginning to do clearouts of reports for the
old platform on bugzilla and such.

The gnome foundation needs a clear position on this issue.

I would like to propose the following principles as a starting point for
the policy:
1. We have some sort of small committee to be the 'release team' for the
gnome 1.4 platform. Their mandate is to handle important security fixes,
process good patches that have been contributed (especially those from
distributions), see that bugzilla modules are well maintained, and do
occasional releases when necessary (if only for the updated

The 1.4 release team may do more work than this, of course. 

I am asking that this team become an officially recognised body, much
like the gnome 2.0 release team. In time the gnome 2.0 release team will
evolve into the maintainers team, and there will be a gnome 2.2 or 3.0
release team.

Some hackers like working on the latest platform, others prefer to do
long term QA and maintenance - it might suit their skills or their time

In fact we used to have a gnome 1.4 release team. They even had an
<gnome-1 4-release-team gnome org>
as well as the gnome-1-4-list gnome org mailing list.

I am wanting to resurrect this group, if only so it isn't all depending
on one person (Kjartan Maraas), and so one day there is a structure so
he can move on, but other people will keep doing the maintenance work.
2. We have a policy that we will attempt to provide basic maintenance
for old platforms. We will not actively kill bugzilla reports simply
because they are on the old platform, nor will we delete cvs modules or
ftp space or other such crap.

If in the case no one is willing to maintain the software then
inevitably it will suffer bitrot - we are a volunteer based
organisation. But the Gnome foundation will welcome and encourage other
hackers to volunteer to do maintainership even once the first group of
core hackers has moved on.

Basically I am arguing we be open to supporting the old platform in
principle, as far as we can find the people to do it. But we should not
make it hard for them by deleting relevant bug reports on the basis that
it is an obsoleted platform.

ps: here are some more arguments from a mail that I was going to send to
Glynn Foster about supporting the old platform.

0. Maintaining = security fixes, process good patches, update
translations. NOT necessarily implementing new features or even fixing
difficult bugs that are fixed in the next platform.

1. Maintaining the old platform is something which in principle we
should want to do. In the last few years we expected people to build
software around gnome 1.4. Now we are dumping them?? And we expect they
will trust us to build software on gnome 2.0 only to be deserted when
2.2 is out? 
What if my company has a large deployment of gnome 1.4 desktops? Can't
you at least leave all the bugs in bugzilla so we can see the problem
areas and fix the bugs we need fixed?

2. Even if we don't maintain the software, bugzilla doesn't get less
usable if there are heaps of old reports. They simply lie in different
version fields or different products. They are not getting in your way,
why insist on deleting them?

3. We have a growing team of people who are doing real bugzilla
maintenance, putting the correct version field on reports, marking
duplicates etc.

4. Even if you go ahead a delete a bunch of old reports, people will
keep reporting them so the end result is useless. It is better to keep
the report and let the bugsquad group them into duplicates etc. (much
like the 69333, 59500. 51417 groupings). See the list in:

There is very active bugzilla maintenance happening. We do not need you
to close old reports. Let the bugsquad look after it. 

It has already happened that I have been looking to fix a particular bug
in gnome 1.4 but people trying to be helpful have CLOSED reports that
would have been helpful for me to see open. If I had had all of the
reports left open I would have found all the reports I needed.

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