The idea was welcomed, although I had some doubts about the feasibility, especially the man power needed. Lazarus development goes rapid and there is still a lot to do, so the current Lazarus developers can better spend their time on new development than on maintaining a stable branch. So, we offered Giuliano to maintain it him self and we would support him.
After the Lazarus 0.9.24 release in November, I created the fixes_0_9_24 branch and set the version number to 0.9.24.1. Windows snapshots using fpc 2.2.0 and the fixes branch are created on a daily basis from ftp. Giuliano would send me a list of revision numbers to be merged and I would apply thoses merges to the fixes branch. After a couple of merges, the branch became 'super'-stable, because there were no changes. A lot of changes are related and Giuliano wanted to test them before applying. This takes a lot of time. Also, it is sometimes not trivial to see the dependencies between the different revisions, espescially if a revisions contains new functionality, that you don't want to merge and a simple fix that is needed when you want to merge a later bug fix revision.
So we are still struggling to find a good strategy for maintaining the fixes branch. In the last week, I took a different approach. I looked at the list of revisions and merged the new component bar images, splash screen and most the bug fixes I made in Lazarus 0.9.25. Almost 200 revisions were merged from trunk to the fixes branch, so things might have been broken, but I have good hopes that 0.9.24.1 is at least as good as 0.9.24.
There are still about 500 revisions in trunk not (yet) merged:
- Documentation hints
- Handle rewrite
- New project options and environment options dialog
- A number of bug fixes for other widget sets than win32 (my only expertise).
- Improvements to images in the toolbar of the IDE
- Several improvements to the Lazarus IDE dialogs
I encourage everybody to test the fixes branch and give feedback on the Lazarus mailing lists. If the fixes branch proves succesfull (stable updates without occassional breakage), I am considering to put snapshots of it in the Lazarus-Testing Ubuntu repository.