For what I know,

Stephen Bannasch wrote:
> Let me describe some simple questions about Ruby 1.8.6 that are not
> easy to answer right now:
>
> * Is each patchlevel considered a new release of Ruby 1.8.6?

Good question.  We've not strictly defined what's a release and what's
not.  Patchlevels can be seen as both releases and mere tags.  My
opinion is they aren't, but I won't be surprised if they are.

> * Were all the changes since p114 to 1.8.6 just for fixing bugs and
> security issues?

I believe so.

> * What tests are run before a patchlevel release is made?

A patchlevel is checked in if and only if
% make all install check
passes.

> * Aer the new rspec tests included in these tests?

No, not yet.

> * What signifies that one patchlevel is a release to upgrade to while
> others are more intermediate releases?

This time it was because of a security concern.  For historical reasons
there may also be a release on Dec 25th every year.  Other releases are
basically every 3 months.