Hi,

Most points are already explained by shyouhei and matz,
so I'll add some references.

(2011/01/04 16:45), Lucas Nussbaum wrote:
> I would like to understand the policy of the Ruby 1.8.7 and 1.9.2
> branches. Are there maintenance branches, containing only bugfixes?

This question is about the release branch and patch release.
It was discussed in [ruby-core:17427] (the Japanese talk is [ruby-dev:29767])
http://blade.nagaokaut.ac.jp/cgi-bin/vframe.rb/ruby/ruby-core/9493?9208-9739+split-mode-vertical

> With my Debian maintainer hat, it would be possible to follow those
> branches with the packages _if_ there's a "absolutely no regression"
> goal. For example, currently, for the upcoming squeeze release, we have
> 1.8.7p302 and 1.9.0p0. It is too late in the release process to upgrade
> to newer versions because squeeze is going to be released in a few
> weeks, but if the branches are known to be super-stable, it would be
> possible to track the SVN branch directly in the future, bringing the
> fixes to users earlier. We already do that for some patches, like
> http://patch-tracker.debian.org/patch/series/view/ruby1.8/1.8.7.302-2/100901_threading_fixes.patch
> , but it could be generalized.

Akira Yamada, you know, a manager of debian-ruby, talked about debian's
policy and patch release in [ruby-dev:29769] and some other mails.

Akira says debian's packages only apply severe security fixes.
But shyouhei (mput) says a patch release includes bug fixes.
So there is a different.

So I think, debian choices some patches from patches in each patch release.
But this is the problem of debian's policy.

> While this is more a wild guess, I'd like to know what Debian should do
> for the release following Debian squeeze, that is, wheezy, expected to
> be released end of 2012 / beginning of 2013. Currently, we have both a
> Ruby 1.8 and a Ruby 1.9(.2) package. Should we drop the Ruby 1.8 package
> completely?

The future of Ruby 1.8 will be decided with user's voice.
I personally think 1.8 is still alive in 2013.
Anyway debian can drop 1.8 package and requests users to install 1.8 by themselves.

> Is there going to be a Ruby 1.8.8 release? Isn't it too much to have
> two development branches?

[ruby-dev:42894] says that "Let's talk about Ruby 1.8.8".
http://blade.nagaokaut.ac.jp/cgi-bin/scat.rb/ruby/ruby-dev/42894
You can find the discussion is not established.
It is current status of Ruby 1.8.8.

> When Ruby 1.9.2 was released, it maintained ABI compatibility with
> 1.9.1. While this made our life as Debian maintainers easier, since we
> could use 1.9.2 as a drop-in replacement for 1.9.1, I think that it
> confused users. What are the plans for 1.9.3? Will it also maintain
> "ruby compatibility level" with 1.9.1? (I would prefer if it did not,
> even if it would make the Debian maintainers' life a bit harder)
> When can it be expected?

FYI, Current trunk still keep ABI compatibility with 1.9.1.
Final decision will be made when we freeze Ruby 1.9.3's feature.
So we may say about ABI compatibility on the announce, or please ask us.

-- 
NARUSE, Yui  <naruse / airemix.jp>