Re: [PATCH v2] Documentation/process/howto: Update for 4.x -> 5.x versioning

From: Jonathan Corbet
Date: Mon Feb 25 2019 - 13:26:45 EST

On Sun, 24 Feb 2019 23:45:23 +0800
Zenghui Yu <zenghuiyu96@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> As linux-5.0 is coming up soon, the howto.rst document can be
> updated for the new kernel version. Change all 4.x references
> to 5.x now.
> Signed-off-by: Zenghui Yu <zenghuiyu96@xxxxxxxxx>

Overall: I think there's value in having the docs reflect current
numbers, though it would be better if the docs as a whole were kept
current at the same time. howto.rst hasn't been updated yet, so this
attention is welcome - thanks for taking a look at it. That said, I
really think we can do a little better.

> Documentation/process/howto.rst | 24 ++++++++++++------------
> 1 file changed, 12 insertions(+), 12 deletions(-)
> diff --git a/Documentation/process/howto.rst b/Documentation/process/howto.rst
> index f16242b..19001e2 100644
> --- a/Documentation/process/howto.rst
> +++ b/Documentation/process/howto.rst
> @@ -235,16 +235,16 @@ Linux kernel development process currently consists of a few different
> main kernel "branches" and lots of different subsystem-specific kernel
> branches. These different branches are:
> - - main 4.x kernel tree
> - - 4.x.y -stable kernel tree
> + - main 5.x kernel tree
> + - 5.x.y -stable kernel tree
> - subsystem specific kernel trees and patches
> - - the 4.x -next kernel tree for integration tests
> + - the 5.x -next kernel tree for integration tests

One thing I think we can do is to simply get rid of version numbers in a
lot of places and make this process easier when 6.x comes around. What
this is really trying to say is that we have:

- Linus's mainline tree
- Various stable trees with multiple major numbers
- Subsystem-specific trees
- linux-next

If we could rework this along those lines, it will more accurately
reflect reality and not require updating next time.

> -4.x kernel tree
> +5.x kernel tree
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> -4.x kernels are maintained by Linus Torvalds, and can be found on
> - in the pub/linux/kernel/v4.x/ directory. Its development
> +5.x kernels are maintained by Linus Torvalds, and can be found on
> + in the pub/linux/kernel/v5.x/ directory. Its development
> process is as follows:

And here too I think we can just say "mainline" and that they can be
found at or in the repo.

> - As soon as a new kernel is released a two weeks window is open,
> @@ -277,21 +277,21 @@ mailing list about kernel releases:
> released according to perceived bug status, not according to a
> preconceived timeline."*
> -4.x.y -stable kernel tree
> +5.x.y -stable kernel tree
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> Kernels with 3-part versions are -stable kernels. They contain
> relatively small and critical fixes for security problems or significant
> -regressions discovered in a given 4.x kernel.
> +regressions discovered in a given 5.x kernel.

Here too, especially since most of the outstanding stable kernels won't
be 5.x for a long time.

> This is the recommended branch for users who want the most recent stable
> kernel and are not interested in helping test development/experimental
> versions.
> -If no 4.x.y kernel is available, then the highest numbered 4.x
> +If no 5.x.y kernel is available, then the highest numbered 5.x
> kernel is the current stable kernel.

...and this, I believe, is misleading at best. I'd just take that
sentence out.

> -4.x.y are maintained by the "stable" team <stable@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, and
> +5.x.y are maintained by the "stable" team <stable@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, and
> are released as needs dictate. The normal release period is approximately
> two weeks, but it can be longer if there are no pressing problems. A
> security-related problem, instead, can cause a release to happen almost
> @@ -326,10 +326,10 @@ revisions to it, and maintainers can mark patches as under review,
> accepted, or rejected. Most of these patchwork sites are listed at
> -4.x -next kernel tree for integration tests
> +5.x -next kernel tree for integration tests
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> -Before updates from subsystem trees are merged into the mainline 4.x
> +Before updates from subsystem trees are merged into the mainline 5.x
> tree, they need to be integration-tested. For this purpose, a special
> testing repository exists into which virtually all subsystem trees are
> pulled on an almost daily basis:

linux-next is called "linux-next"; we should just use that name.

So what do you think? Can we maybe get a version that removes most (or
all) of the explicit version numbers from this file?