Subject Re: [Firebird-general] Updating FB2.1.2 download
Author Mark Rotteveel
That is exactly the issue with release management terms like 'stable'
release: it is only stable in the sense that the code is not going to be
changed under the same version number. The issues you are experiencing
are also called unstable, but that is not related to the specific use in
release management.

So under certain conditions a 2.1.2-stable (and any other 'stable'
software program) can be unstable when run, that however does not mean
that the 2.1.2 version should no longer be called stable.

It is probably this linguistic confusion why some software vendors use
terms like RTM (Release to Manufacturing), FR (Final Release), GA
(General Available) or prod/PR (Production ready).

Of course the theoretical expectation is that a 'stable' version (in the
release sense) should generally not exhibit stability issues like
crashes. Unfortunately in a practical sense testing can never cover all
potential testconditions: there are just too many variables (eg
platforms, clients, datasets, schema designs, transaction usage,
concurrency numbers and much more) resulting in a combinatoric
explosion. And as a result in practice stability issues can (and
generally will) occur.

And even if you have found certain bugs, you may have to make
concessions because 1) the release can or should no longer be postponed
(and the finding is deemed not critical), 2) the testcondition leading
to the bug is expected not to occur in production (although Murphy's law
tells us that 9 out of 10 people will experience that exact problem), 3)
fixing the bug can result in more severe problems and can better be
addressed in a future version, ... (there are more reasons).


Roger Vellacott wrote:
> I had indeed misunderstood the meaning of the word "stable". I assumed
> a stable version was a version which didn't crash.
> So I guess you are telling me that the 2.1.2 official release is stable,
> even when it crashes.
> Roger Vellacott
> Passfield Data Systems Ltd
>> I think you have the wrong impression of what the term 'stable' means.
> 'Stable' indicates that there will be no more changes to a version and
> that the >testing has formally been completed. Version 2.1.3 is not
> stable yet because 1) there could be code-changes to bug-fixes or new
> bug-fixes and 2) testing >has not been formally completed. On the other
> hand, version 2.1.2 will not be changed (under that version number) and
> testing has formally been >completed, therefor it is considered
> 'stable'.
>> So if you want to have a fix for the bug you are experiencing in the
> 2.1.2 stable, you will need to use a 2.1.3 snapshot which by definition
> is >unstable.
>> As there will always be software bugs, even in tested versions of
> software, the word 'stable' does not indicate that a program is
> bug-free. Software is >NEVER bug free (except for small programs).

Mark Rotteveel