[Bioperl-l] Withdraw Bio::Graphics and Bio::DB::SeqFeature from bioperl distribution?

Mark Johnson johnsonm at gmail.com
Tue Nov 11 13:31:33 EST 2008

On Tue, Nov 11, 2008 at 10:37 AM, Sendu Bala <bix at sendu.me.uk> wrote:

> Well, again, I don't see the value in calling it 1.6. Yes people want a
> stable release, but calling it 1.6 doesn't make it stable. Doing the things
> in the plan for 1.6 makes it stable. What you're proposing is to just lie to
> everyone - "You want 'stable'? Here, have this thing I decided to label as
> 'stable'!" It's very wrong-headed in my view.

    I don't see why it has to be advertised as 'stable'.  Calling it
1.6 is more of an acceptance of the reality of the present situation
than any kind of statement of quality.  1.4 is an antique.  An
unsupported antique.  People have been told to use 1.5.X for years,
even thought it's been advertised as an 'unstable' or 'developer'
release.  Slapping a 1.6 sticker on the current trunk signals that it
is ok to use it, it's the best we've got.  It's also a promise about
the future.  If you ask for help with this branch, we won't tell you
to use something else.  Well, we might ask you to try the latest point
release, but we won't tell you to go pick up this 'developer' release
and use that.

> Do we really want all those half-tested, half-thought-out APIs that may be
> hanging around to become official and therefore need to support them and
> make their proper replacements backwards compatible come 1.7?

    Any 'open source' or 'free software' project run by unpaid
volunteers that isn't making regular releases is either a dead
project, or rapidly on the way to becoming one.  I think we're down to
run with what we've got or close up shop.  I recommend the former.  If
we build up some momentum, get the release pace back up, that might
actually attract more developers and more interest.  Maybe we'll be
able to make 1.8 what everybody hoped 1.6 would be.

> But ultimately it's just semantics so I won't bring it up again. I suppose
> any issues that arise can be solved with a wiki update explaining that
> 'stable' doesn't really mean stable, or that 1.6 wasn't a stable release, or
> that our numbering scheme no longer has any particular meaning (it doesn't
> have to, after all).

    I don't really want to debate this endlessly, either.  It's a
waste of time and energy that could be better spent elsewhere.
Probably the right word for 1.6 is 'supported'.

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