[Libreoffice-qa] [libreoffice-website] Update from 3.6.7 as EOL

Robinson Tryon bishop.robinson at gmail.com
Sun Jul 28 13:33:45 PDT 2013

[cc'ing QA, as they might have some suggestions here...]

On Sun, Jul 28, 2013 at 12:16 PM, Kracked_P_P---webmaster
<webmaster at krackedpress.com> wrote:
> I do not know that 4.1.0 would be the best to start a user on,
> personallythat is.  Some would say 3.6.7 would be best for business users,
> but does it have theMSO XML format updates that 4.0.4 and maybe 4.1.0 have?
> Personally, I would tell peoplesomething like the following.
> 3.6.7 - the most conservative version
> 4.0.4 [4.0.5] - useful for most users
> 4.1.0 - for users that are early adopters for a version line


If we did this, we'd need to be clear that only the newest version has
certain features and updates, so we don't have users filing bugs or
asking questions about some feature that they read about in a blog
post or Release Notes.

> There has always been a "sticking point" for me to see the download page
> default to an "early adopter" version, as named by the release plan page.

The more people on the early-adopter version, the faster we find bugs
and regressions. I think that if we make the tradeoffs clear, we'll
probably still have a large number of people grab the latest version
and help us find any remaining issues, but anyone who is more cautious
can stick with something from the previous Release series.

> As for EOL versions. . . The Release Plan states that 3.6.7 was available
> last week but in 2 week it will be at its "end of life".  Unless people read
> farther, and that text may be confusing to some, they may get the idea that
> 3.6.7 will not be "supported" after August 15 of this year.

That's basically correct.

There are some L3 providers and distros (RHEL and Ubuntu come to mind)
who are still providing support on the 3.5 and 3.6 branches, but when
we say 3.5 is End of Life, we mean no more bugfixes from
TDF/LibreOffice for that release series.

This isn't a hosted piece of software like Office365 or Google Docs,
so we're not going to pull the plug on them when the software reaches
EOL, but if they report a bug in 3.5.7 today, they'll need to upgrade
to 3.6 or 4.x to see a fix for it.

(Again, if they're using 3.5.7 on Ubuntu 12.04, Canonical *may* decide
to backport a fix for the bug, but that's totally up to the distro,
not us)

> Sure we would like to have people upgrade to
> 4.0.4 or 4.0.5, but I do not think we should have anyone think we will not
> support aprevious product line less than a month or two after its last
> version comes out.

IIRC, that's the timeline that ESC came up with. As I understand the
logic, the last few builds in a Release series are really just
maintenance releases containing bugfixes, etc... I believe the hope is
that users will start to transition to a new Release Series by the
time it has a 2nd or 3rd build. So instead of thinking about it as
dropping support a month after the last build, think about it as
dropping support 5 months after the 5th build (X.x.4) in a series.

To take 4.0 and 4.1 as an example, Early Adopters will grab 4.1.0
right now while more cautious users/deployments will stick with 4.0.4
and start to test 4.1.0. At the end of August, cautious users will
test 4.1.1 and, if it's not ready, continue with the 4.0 branch and
download 4.0.5. Hopefully most people will move when 4.1.2 or 4.1.3 is
released, the latter of which comes out a week after the last build of

The Detailed Schedule pages are a little more descriptive of the build
lifecycle, but perhaps we could be even more clear by tweaking the
presentation of the build dates to make it clear that, unless you've
got a separate support structure/contract in place, you should be
transitioning off of a Release series at or *before* the last build in
that series is released.

> I really think after "ending" 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, and now 3.6 as a line, we
> should have some better way to guide our new users to choose which version
> they should try for their first time downloading and using LO.

A short and sweet guide could be a great improvement here! To our
credit, I think that most first-time users don't encounter any major
problems with LibreOffice, even if they are using the first build in a
Release series. Just a gentle nudge in the right direction should be
all we need to do :-)


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