[TYPO3-core] After the LTS is before the LTS

Ernesto Baschny eb at cron.eu
Fri Jun 27 15:35:58 CEST 2014

Hi Stucki,

thanks for your input. Your points are all valid, and don't think they
haven't been considered and talked about already. Some observations
Jigal already made, some other points:

Michael Stucki schrieb am 27.06.2014 14:43:

>> On 26-6-2014 15:23, Michael Stucki wrote:
>>> I understand the effort for trying to gain more feedback, but I am not
>>> sure if it will work. Why should it? With new LTS releases every 18
>>> months, I would rather say that even more people will only use the LTS.
>>> More use of LTS means fewer feedback from non-LTS releases. Unlike
>>> before, we won't get feedback about a 6 month old release, instead it
>>> will be up to 18 months old. Prove me wrong...
>> As far as I've understood there will only be LTS releases (no 6-months
>> releases) and the EAR (please find a better name!) snapshots.
>> The desire for LTS versions (at least with agencies) is evident as we
>> see that 66% of the 4.5+ installations uses an LTS version.
> If you know me, then you know that I'm absolutely in favour of the LTS
> versions! It's good to have more LTS releases. All I'm saying is that
> this will give us even less feedback than already now. We should be
> aware of it, and think for other ways to gain feedback...

With LTS each 3 years you need 3 years to get feedback for LTS users.
With LTS every 1,5 years you need only 1,5 years for feedback of these
users. So this means we get "faster feedback", more spread in time. From
one LTS to the next there are less features added, so less feedback to

Increasing the "non-LTS" releases adoption is the second most important
aspect of this plan. This failed in the past (4.6 .. 6.1) as you know,
due to do very short live cycles and no further benefits you had from
these intermediate releases.

The new "EAR" releases will do better. This target audience different
than the LTS users, but will attract lots of new projects that are
needing the "most up to date TYPO3" there is. As stable as the older "6
month releases", but with non-breaking support up to the end of live of
the LTS that follows it. Early adoption means being confronted with new
features earlier. So it is a perfect fit for agencies that were afraid
of using "current master" (because a new introduced feature could
require some stabilization). The EAR releases are just "tags" in current
master that you can jump from one to the next one meaning you just jump
from one stable position to the next one. Attractive!

>>> - The name "EAR" needs explanation. Why is it needed at all? There is
>>> the LTS and non-LTS - so why is it needed to add a tag which nobody
>>> understands?
>> This is the version that evolves constantly. Not a non-LTS version, but
>> one that gets functional updates quickly.
> Call it snapshot, whatever. I only think that "EAR" will raise confusion...

Call it "snapshot" and you gain nothing for the attractiveness of this
stable tags. A "snapshot" sounds unstable and "work in progress", while
this is not the meaning of what we want to do. We want only stable
things tagged as "EAR". It's just a name, could also be "Unicorn
Releases"... Any better idea?

>>> - The version numbering is too complicated. It needs too much
>>> explanation for my taste. Just have a look at the news article in the
>>> German PHP Magazin [1] which first needed a correction by Ernesto...
>> What is your suggestion?
>> 7.0 EAR -> 7.1 EAR -> .... -> 7 LTS (internally 7.23.0 or 7.999.0 if we
>> opt for a fixed minor version) -> 7 LTS (internally 7.x.1)
>> 8.0 EAR -> and so on...
> I suggest to look out for other projects and how they are solving
> identical problems. I feel uncomfortable with TYPO3 baking their own
> solution once more...

I fail to see a project in a similar category than TYPO3 CMS that does
it better unfortunately. Most bigger projects I know are indeed scaring
customers away with strange or even undefined release cycles, sudden
breaking changes, forks, new "major releases" etc. After 4.5 LTS I had
done a survey of many other CMS systems, and none had even a "LTS"
strategy. I think the new proposal is just an evolution of what we have
learned from the past, and I am convinced that some other projects might
even follow a similar path because they have similar problems. I.e.
might be that Flow / Neos hit the same road in some future.

>> Maybe just ask agencies directly? I guess that agencies are "the
>> public". They sell the LTS versions to their clients.
> I agree!

That's the idea of this open public discussion, even with a news at
typo3.org, article in PHP magazine etc. Waiting for more input.

Most agencies do not care what we do in between LTS releases, and are
just happy about having a LTS every 1,5 years, but we try to get them on
board of considering the non-LTS release strategy too. Needs more
communication, visualiation, explanation etc. Explaining it to
developers is not difficult, and we hope to also reach agencies through
their developers (or "technical project managers").

I'll be at the Agency Meeting in Frankfurt next week, and will also be
able to talk about that at that opportunity, and hope to be able to
bring back some input from there. But as mentioned before, I don't
expect too much "new input" from there, except "wow cool idea, go ahead
with it".


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