Qt Developers Work Out Plans For Time-Based Releases
Written by Michael Larabel in Qt on 6 August 2012 at 09:35 PM EDT. 9 Comments
Following the Qt 5.0 release, developers of this open-source tool-kit will aim to issue feature updates on a six-month cycle.

Joao Abecasis reignited the discussion today concerning setting up time-based releases for Qt. "While releasing Qt 5.0.0 is an ongoing process, I think this is a good time to start planning future releases (5.0.1, 5.1.0, etc.) and, most importantly, we need to discuss *how* we'll get them out on time. With the setup we now have we should quickly move to a strict time-based release schedule. A predictable schedule allows all interested to align with the project and contribute to make the next release the traditional Best Release Ever (tm) of Qt."

The time-based release plan, which has been talked about in months past and reaffirmed today by the developers that responded thus far, would be to issue new minor releases (Qt 5.1, Qt 5.2, etc) on a six-month basis while new patch releases (Qt 5.0.1, Qt 5.0.2, etc) would happen about every two months. Each minor version would get three patch releases (5.x.0, 5.x.1, and 5.x.2) before maintenance is then dropped. Downstream distributors would be left to maintaining their own longer-term support versions of a Qt release stream should they choose.

This development would be coordinated via the use of three Git branches: fire-hose, leaky-faucet, and dripping-bucket, which would roughly coordinate to alpha, beta, and release candidate branches. All of the main development would go into Qt's "fire-hose" code-base (effectively their "Git master") while leaky-faucet would go for the patch release cycle with bug fixes for regressions and maintaining binary compatibility, and then dripping-bucket would only handle release critical bug-fixes.

The Qt time-based release plans are discussed in more detail via the project's development mailing list. Meanwhile, there's nothing new at the moment about Nokia's plans to sell Qt with the sad things they are doing and the impact is already harming the Qt 5.0 release.

Qt 5.0 is expected to go into beta very soon but the official release date prior to moving into this time-based release schedule has yet to be firmly decided.
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