[TYPO3-core] Backports to 4.x

Ernesto Baschny ernesto.baschny at typo3.org
Fri Feb 28 19:25:28 CET 2014

Hi friends,

from time to time I get asked about if this or that patch can or cannot
be backported to 4.5. Same applies to 4.7 and Steffen Ritter.

Fact is, that according to every release cycle plan we had published so
far, 4.5 and 4.7 are in a phase called "Priority and Security bugfixes

What is a "priority" issue?

* A security issue,
* A browser compatibility issue (i.e. some component in the backend
doesn't work with a new version of a browser anymore),
* Some other "blocker" which affects a core component of the system.

Until recently this guideline hasn't been followed very closely, which
is why several "regular" bug fixes were still being backported to 4.5.
And as a consequence to that, also to 4.7, in order to keep them more or
less in sync.

Last year in December the CMS team sat together and we decided that we
should find a consistent line, as there were some bug fixes being merged
into 4.5 which were not accepted in 4.7.

Bottom line: We are now more strictly enforcing the current state of the
release cycle and only accepting "priority issues" to be backported. I
also ask the active contributors to please help spread the message.
Point to me in case of doubts or questions.

You might ask yourself: Who cares? What if someone wants to fix
something in 4.5 anyway, why do you want to stop that?

It's not about stopping, but we need to make better use of the resources
we have:

* A bug fix always involves the time of several people: coders,
reviewers, testers and finally someone to merge it (and assume
responsibility). And of course the release manager to look at the issue,
decide, and finally make a release some day. All those resources are
scarce (our active contributors), and we need them to focus on working
on the currently being developed release (6.2 right now). We want to evolve!

* Every bug fix introduces the risk of a regression. Minimizing this
risk at a later stage of the release (three years have passed since
4.5.0 BTW) is crucial because people rely on the already stable product.

* TYPO3 CMS is known to have very smooth patchlevel upgrades with
minimal potential for regressions. We want this to stay like this,
especially of course in the LTS releases.

We also decided that the whole release team (consisting of all release
managers of active releases and the team leaders) will decide on
individual edge-cases if certain issue qualifies as "priority" or not,
in order to get a consistent merging outcome in our still supported
products (instead of every release manager deciding on "his release").

I hope everybody understands that and will still love and use the "good
old 4.5" for some time, despite the bugs it still might contain. Remind
yourself that the new LTS is around the corner! That's the future!


[1] http://typo3.org/roadmap/

Ernesto Baschny
TYPO3 CMS Core Developer
Release Manager TYPO3 4.5 & 6.2 LTS

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