Renaming stable branch to LTS, dropping beta

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(Paolo G. Giarrusso) #1

Quite a few people (including me) wonder at some point why Discourse runs a beta version as default. Jeff explains that “beta” is in fact stable enough for production use:

But if you should run beta in production, maybe it shouldn’t be called beta! Maybe, instead, the “stable” branch should be renamed to explain it’s more stable than usual — for instance, Jenkins uses the “LTS” label for this.

Ignoring for a second compatibility issues (branch names would need updating in YML files), do you think such names would make sense, at least in version names?


(Mittineague) #2

I have been running master for localhost development for a while

So of the branches

  • tests-passed
  • beta
  • stable
  • master

are you saying one should be removed or that one should be renamed?


(Daniel M ) #3

If I’m not mistaken, discourse goes master -> tests-passed -> beta -> stable

And OP wants to rename to master -> tests-passed (or beta) -> stable -> stable-LTS


(Jeff Atwood) #4

It’s not unusual for live and very large consumer products to be “beta” for a very long time if not forever.

Gmail initially started as an invitation-only beta release on April 1, 2004 and it became available to the general public on February 7, 2007, though still in beta status at that time. The service was upgraded from beta status on July 7, 2009.


(Paolo G. Giarrusso) #5

@codinghorror, I just claim this naming is suboptimal communication, as shown by the confusion. I’ll agree it’s not a huge deal, but I feel that in the overwhelming majority of cases, “beta release” means “don’t trust it”.

And AFAICT Discourse is almost unique* in using a perpetual beta (Wikipedia), while being a software you install and having also a stable branch.

*Of course not, see Perpetual Beta - TV Tropes. But it’s still uncommon.


(Jeff Atwood) #6

Sure maybe in a few years things will be different. Gmail was beta from 2004 to 2009 for perspective. That is five years.