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[eclipse-pmc] regressions, releases and all the rest

Dear PMC,

please bear with me while this post meanders through several meta levels:

You may be aware that recent releases had bugs which were classified by some users as blockers. While we ask them please wait for the next release, some are loosing confidence that the next release will not introduce another blocking regression.

Obviously, it's no fun to discuss the absence of pure bug-fix service releases in each and every bug report. So in one bug I mentioned to the reporter, that those are not decisions made by individual committers, but in the end it's (so I think) the Planning Council. After I told him he'd have to convince the PC, I noticed that I myself could not find any channel for addressing the PC, lest a channel open to all.

Then I asked on the PC wiki talk page, just to learn that my request should go through my PMC. So here I am (with a request which is actually an implicit request from several bug reporters).

To illustrate the tone in those bug discussions, let me just pick one quote that is only slightly harsher than many others: "surely someone should get fired!".

I'm writing the following detour neither completely seriously, nor *purely* jokingly:

Maybe, the first who should get fired is me. Why? One of those evil bugs was found by me just in time for fixing it in 2019-03, but I didn't.

Why didn't I? It occurred in an area where I had just given up on the goal of a correct implementation. That area is the implementation of JEP 247: "Compile for Older Platform Versions". For implementing the compiler option --release we need to interpret a file called ct.sym, but the format of that file is (a) undocumented and (b) unstable, i.e., changing between releases without notice.

So maybe, the one who should get fired is one of the people responsible for JEP 247, which in my book is a failed specification attempt (which get's me about as angry as our bugs anger our users).

No, I don't want to personally lead either discussion: I realize that I have no power to enforce implementability of specifications that we need to implement. Nor do I want to *lead* the discussion about bug-fix service releases at Eclipse. I just want to share my observations, which indicate that both are relevant topics. I'll leave it to the PMC's discretion to either discuss or forward to some other body.

best regards,

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