Every six months, the Bazaar team makes a major release, like the recent 2.1.0. This starts a stable series of bugfix-only updates that lasts for at least six months: no format or network changes, minimum chance of regression, and no disruption to plugins or other API clients. The idea is that people can install a major release, perhaps standardize their team on it, and then get fixes but no disruptive upgrades.

We’ve been doing this for just over a year now, and it’s going very well: the point releases are getting into the update channel for Ubuntu, Fedora, and other distros.

Now we have two stable series currently supported, with 2.0.5 and 2.1.1 just recently released, and 2.2b1 coming out at the end of this week.

We’re wondering: how long should we maintain these series, and how often should we do releases from them? On the code side, maintaining multiple branches in Bazaar is pretty easy, but making installers for all platforms, uploading and announcing them does take some work for every release we do.

At the moment I’m leaning towards supporting each of them for at least a year, but perhaps pushing out the interval between bugfix updates on stable branches: perhaps every two months, unless a critical bug is fixed.

What do you think? Are you using, or thinking of using a stable-series release of Bazaar? Would upgrading to a new stable branch every year be realistic? Are you getting bugfixes at about the right rate?