[GNC-dev] Request of keeping a 2.6 branch still alive (Re: branch-2.6)

Geert Janssens geert.gnucash at kobaltwit.be
Tue May 29 08:04:41 EDT 2018

Hi Christian,

John makes some valid points especially about the maintenance burden.

However on the other hand I have been musing supporting multiple stable 
versions side by side. So in a way I do appreciate your proposal to maintain a 
2.6 version.

Given the limited available time of the currently active developers I think 
this can only happen if you indeed want to take responsibility of such a 2.6 
branch (let's call it "extended support"). In that case I would be fine with 
that even in the official gnucash repository.

Full responsibility for me means that you or other volunteers you find ensure 
it doesn't increase our current workload. Which means I would expect you (or 
other volunteers) to handle 2.6 related PR's, do the 2.6 releases when you 
deem appropriate and be first level support for questions on 2.6.21+ releases. 
If the issues are not specific to 2.6.21+, of course the questions can be 
delegated back to gnucash support channels in general.

This will ask more commitment than just pushing a few commits useful to your 
private projects on a branch in our repository. If that is more than you (or 
someone else) can commit to (which could be perfectly reasonable) I do agree 
with John the primary gnucash git repository is not the place to manage this - 
or at best on a branch that clearly shows it's not maintained by the currently 
active gnucash community (like a cstim-2.6 branch or something similar).

That's my 2c.

Best regards,


Op maandag 28 mei 2018 01:48:01 CEST schreef John Ralls:
> > On May 27, 2018, at 12:50 PM, Christian Stimming <christian at cstimming.de>
> > wrote:
> > 
> > Dear John,
> > 
> > I did notice that the 2.6 branch was deleted (meaning: "maint" is now the
> > 3.x branch), but I didn't understand the reasons and didn't see any
> > discussion of this decision. I have some requirements which I can meet
> > most easily by just continuing the 2.6 version of gnucash, but this in
> > turn needed some occasional commits there. For example, I'm still running
> > Ubuntu 14.04 for reasons beyond the scope of gnucash, and I haven't been
> > able to build the 3.x branch on that machine because of missing packages.
> > At the same time the 2.6 branch met all that I needed for everyday work,
> > so I just stick to this.
> > 
> > Hence, I don't quite understand why there is such a strong requirement to
> > prohibit specifically any further existence of a 2.6 branch, and why you
> > use strong language to underline your point of view here. Also, it's a
> > bit puzzeling to me why you suggest me of all people to "change the name
> > and artwork" in case of a 2.6 branch - what have I missed here?? Where
> > was the discussion that led to this decision? Where was the decision
> > process, if this were the project's decision? Maybe some more liberality
> > for other people and their different requirements might be more suitable
> > on your side, before calling other people's requirements a "fantasy".
> > 
> > This particular pull request for the 2.6 branch showed up only one week
> > after I created that branch. To me, this looks like there are still more
> > people interested in such a branch. Of course, nothing new will happen
> > there, but the interest still exists.
> > 
> > For this reason I propose to keep some old 2.6 branch still up and running
> > in the gnucash repository. I would volunteer to act as an owner of that
> > branch, in case this is needed, but on the other hand we didn't need any
> > such designated branch maintainers for the most part. Further voices?
> > objections? ideas? Thanks.
> Christian,
> Sorry that I wasn't clear.
> Geert and I decided after an IRC discussion that the simplest way to switch
> unstable to maint was to simply merge unstable onto maint and to remove the
> unstable branch, which is what we did. The 2.6.x releases are all tagged.
> Git isn't SVN, there's no need for a 2.6  branch to record what was in each
> release. The only reason for a separate branch is to develop a fork.
> As you should be aware, we're very short of developer resources. We very
> simply cannot maintain two stable branches and still have time to also
> develop for the next major release. That's even more true now than it was 4
> years ago after we stopped development on 2.4 because you and Phil
> Longstaff were regularly working on GnuCash then; both of you have left and
> no one has come forward at the same level of effort.
> As far as I can tell there have never been two stable branches maintained in
> parallel, so the question about a policy decision falls on you, not me.
> Where was the discussion to revive and maintain the 2.6.x branch after the
> release of 3.0? I know the answer: There wasn't one. You *unilaterally*
> decided to impose your personal requirements on the rest of the team by
> creating a branch and implying on a bug report [1] that it was possible
> that we'd have future releases. Sorry, that's a fantasy. We don't have the
> resources. Your branch already caused someone to waste their time making a
> PR [2] in the mistaken belief that they were contributing to the project.
> You're of course free to have a 2.6 branch in your own repository and to
> continue that development if that's what you need.
> You can of course also distribute that work to the rest of the world, but
> there's a very practical problem with doing so if you call it GnuCash:
> You'd be delegating the support of your fork to the devs who are still
> working on GnuCash 3.x and towards GnuCash 4.x and they (we) don't have the
> resources to do that. The simple and obvious way to avoid that confusion
> would be for you to distribute your fork under a new name with its own
> "trade dress" and support mechanisms, hence my request.
> As for building 3.x on Ubuntu 14.04, we run CI on Ubuntu 14.04 [3]. All of
> the needed packages are available except Googletest, for which you need
> only clone the source from GitHub and tell CMake where it is. You can use
> [3] as a setup script to quickly get a suitable build environment. If you
> need more help by all means ask.
> Regards,
> John Ralls
> [1] https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=765846
> [2] https://github.com/Gnucash/gnucash/pull/354
> [3]
> https://github.com/Gnucash/gnucash/blob/maint/util/ci/ubuntu-14.04-docker
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