My ideas on the release process have just been changed because of some
recent experience with extreme sensistivity to autotools versions. Rafael's
versions are the same as the rest of ours (same base version numbers of
autoconf-2.57, automake-1.7.2, and libtool-1.4.3) except for patches applied
by Debian unstable. However, it turns out one of those patches is critical
to making install relocatibility work (required for rpm and deb package
builds). The DESTDIR parameter for make install works for Rafael's versions
of autotools (and will also work for the forthcoming libtool-1.5.0 release),
but not for the current unpatched FSF versions of autotools.
Although not directly related to cross-platform issues, this extreme
sensitivity of results to autotools versioning has convinced me of the
importance of using exactly the same autotools versions for our
cross-platform testing before the official release. The autotools packages
are in a great state of flux at the moment, and I believe we have to adjust
to that fact for our release testing.
So I propose we make a release candidate tarball for 5.2.1 to be used for a
week of cross-platform testing before the release of 5.2.1. (Others have
urged this idea on me before for other reasons. I don't particularly like
the implied additional complexity of the release process for such a small
project as ours, but I think it is necessary now because of the demonstrated
autotools versioning sensitivity.) The big advantage of the rc1 tarball
approach is testers will be working with exactly the same product regardless
of the autotools versions, swig versions, etc., that they have installed (or
not installed as the case may be).
The first week that is suitable for me is from April 12th to 19th, and it
turns out that is good for Rafael as well. So if nobody has any objections
I propose to release the 5.2.1_rc1 tarball on the 12th with the final
release planned for the 19th.
Once we have final agreement on the date range of the test week please
reserve some time during that week on your calendars to do full testing of
PLplot on all platforms accessible to you.
Alan W. Irwin
Astronomical research affiliation with Department of Physics and Astronomy,
University of Victoria (astrowww.phys.uvic.ca).
Programming affiliations with the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and
Analysis (www.cccma.bc.ec.gc.ca) and the PLplot scientific plotting software