Please create a -current forum

Zirias

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The important questions would be:
  • Why?
    Looks like some people prefer markup, pictures, etc to plain-text communication. I don't get it (and would leave any mailing list allowing this instantly), but indeed, the forums can offer that. Then, running -CURRENT can sometimes be necessary for desktops with hardware still unsupported in any stable/release branch.
  • Why not?
    Well, this is still mostly a "support forum", and support for -CURRENT mostly doesn't make sense (see exception above). Discussions around -CURRENT often take a direction to "bug hunting", and having this partially on the forums would do harm, because it really should be in a central place (the mailing list) to help the developers. Of course you can't do anything about Reddit ;)
 

ShelLuser

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I don't think this is a good idea because it would only feed the wrong impression that CURRENT is what its name implies: the most current, thus stable, version of FreeBSD while in fact it's far from that. In fact, it's even completely offtopic on this forum (I believe for this very same reason) so... I doubt the powers that be would consider adding a forum section for more offtopic chatting, we already have that.

So considering the current forum rules I think you shouldn't focus on a new forum section but instead start by trying to raise a good argument why CURRENT shouldn't be offtopic here. And well, considering its unsupported and unstable nature I don't really see any advantages here.

You only risk people wasting our time asking questions about how to "fix" stuff while in fact there's nothing to fix because the whole thing was already broken by design. That won't help with motivation at all I think. Though, in all fairness, I do agree that a separate forum section could also prevent this: people who don't care for it can easily ignore and/or avoid that section.

Even so, IMO it's a wasted effort either way. Solely because of the unstable nature of CURRENT.
 

SirDice

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This is primarily a user support forum. People with the knowledge and skill to run -CURRENT don't need user support. There are very few developers on the forums, so your issues with a certain -CURRENT revision or change is likely to go unanswered here.
 

drhowarddrfine

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I sometimes toy with the idea of suggesting Stack Exchange's Unix site but then you'd have to make sure you follow the FreeBSD tags and everything would get lumped in with all the other questions.

Then, again, it would give FreeBSD some more notice over there.
 

scottro

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Maybe a subforum for forbidden subjects that still have a reasonable chance of getting good answers here? Such as a subforum for CURRENT, the various desktops, (Nomad, Ghost), pfsense, and so on. Then those who feel that the ban CURRENTly (see what I did there?) against such subjects can simply avoid that subforum. And, maybe an I Hate Linux subforum so that these 4 page rants against Linux can go in their own special place. Ok, that one's not a serious suggestion, but the first one, a subforum for CURRENT and other not exactly FreeBSD isn't a bad idea in my own arrogant opinion.
 

obsigna

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IMHO: It would be sufficient to re-work a little bit the scarily martial phrases in the respective guideline:

Note also, that "… strongly suggests …" does not exactly forbid somebody to post questions on non-supported versions, while "All communication about -CURRENT should take place on the freebsd-current mailing list (join), not on the forums." can be seen as a prohibition. Perhaps we may argue, that a question alone makes not up for a comunication, at least one answer would be necessary for that.

Suggestions:
  1. Rephrase "… strongly suggest ..." to "… suggests …"

  2. Replace "All communication …" with "Communication about -CURRENT would preferably take place on the freebsd-current mailing list (join). Don't expect answers on the forums."
Even users not running CURRENT might want to learn about upcoming features and obstacles, and solely from this point of view, the strong prohibition could be relieved a little bit. The worst that may happen is, that questions may not become answered.

Users wanting to install FreeBSD on recent ARM-SBCs have quite often no choice other then to use CURRENT, because many things do not work in RELEASE branches. For example, I consider the support of the now 8 years old BeagleBone Black feature complete only with the upcoming FreeBSD 13.0-RELEASE, and this will be the first time that I deploy the RELEASE branch on my BBBs. The ARM mailing list is quite active, but for ARM users it might be good to get answers in a more comprehensive way.

I am not voting for a CURRENT forum, since allowing while still not suggesting discussions about CURRENT on all forums, would be a minimal invasive change, which would maintain the Forums structure, without the need of duplicating everything for CURRENT.
 

jb_fvwm2

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The important questions would be:
  • Why?
    Looks like some people prefer markup, pictures, etc to plain-text communication. I don't get it (and would leave any mailing list allowing this instantly), but indeed, the forums can offer that. Then, running -CURRENT can sometimes be necessary for desktops with hardware still unsupported in any stable/release branch.
  • Why not?
    Well, this is still mostly a "support forum", and support for -CURRENT mostly doesn't make sense (see exception above). Discussions around -CURRENT often take a direction to "bug hunting", and having this partially on the forums would do harm, because it really should be in a central place (the mailing list) to help the developers. Of course you can't do anything about Reddit ;)
I could see a use for a current-14, a current-15...
A solution found in a current subforum might compel users to switch from
linux to bsd, providing us more developers.
Those current discussions not about bug hunting, could, for example,
take the form of feature rollouts
Some advanced bsd users who run current might post often enough to
gain additional experience to become developers, something bsd is short
of..
Users would no longer post about current and have to be reminded in the
usual forum subreddits.
Persons browsing -current-14 etc would * gain advance knowledge of
features or bugs, enabling greater community advance warning or
knowledge of version-to-version precautions, etc.
... at least once in a while .
 

Snurg

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Currently it seems not allowed to even, for example, discuss new features on -CURRENT.
I'd like if discussion would be allowed, not for support, but in general.

Anyway, I today decided to get a Reddit account, as /r/freebsd is quite active, and things can be discussed, which cannot be talked about here.
 

scottro

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Keep in mind, there is also daemonforums.org, which, while mostly a forum for OpenBSD, allows discussion of the various topics forbidden here, and is full of knowledgeable people.
 

msplsh

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I think the point is that the only reason to run -CURRENT is to debug things for -RELEASE, so you should be discussing that in the appropriate debugging venues and not here?

It can be frustrating to developers to have people informally chatting about things that are in -CURRENT, because others that don't understand the distinctions will become noisy about things that will never be in -RELEASE. It's quite understandable to not officially sanction that chat.
 

SirDice

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Releases are cut from -STABLE, not -CURRENT. If the goal is to debug the next release only -STABLE needs to be discussed and -STABLE is supported here.
 

kpedersen

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There is indeed a culture within open-source* to always be running the absolute latest and greatest. This is fine of course but it will bring with it a number of users who haven't quite grasped exactly what -CURRENT is but only want the next cool thing. Again, this is fine but they will also demand the latest technology to go with it, such as Docker, systemd, launchd and an Apple-esque desktop environment. I think that is more than this forum can deal with.

-CURRENT (and IMO -STABLE) is definitely best discussed on mailing lists. Back when the Raspberry Pi was still in its early days, I found only the developers porting to that platform could give the best guidance.

* actually I see this in C++ communities too. So many guys are hell-bent on dragging in the very latest C++20+ features. They just always want more crap packed into that language!
 

Zirias

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If the goal is to debug the next release only -STABLE needs to be discussed
Except when talking about a major release. Sure, that's branched off stable as well, but at a time this stable is just a few days old.
demand the latest technology to go with it, such as Docker, systemd, launchd and an Apple-esque desktop environment.
s:latest:worst: ftfy
And then, I have doubts such weird ideas are somehow related to whether you want to run a development version of something ;)
 

kpedersen

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And then, I have doubts such weird ideas are somehow related to whether you want to run a development version of something ;)
Heh, these technologists have somehow connected some dots that suggest that macOS's dreaded interface is the absolute cutting edge of human creation. And then what follows is some drivel containing the word "modern" over and over again.

Either way, they gotta have it for their "modern" -CURRENT install.

Better here than on Reddit.
This is true of course and I am not entirely against it. I just hope the guys this change pulls in (from Reddit) are responsible in their bleeding edge pursuits!
 

SirDice

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Forgot about -STABLE, whoops.
You're right about the chatter regarding -CURRENT. There have been several things that were tested in -CURRENT that never ended up in a -RELEASE or -STABLE.

Except when talking about a major release. Sure, that's branched off stable as well, but at a time this stable is just a few days old.
Close before a new release, sure. But not the general rule, it's rather pointless to discuss 14.0 now for example as development has just started on it.
 

msplsh

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Amusingly, the rules for Apple's Beta program direct you to not discuss the Beta on any public forums and only provide feedback through their Feedback Assistant, so in that way, they also don't want end users getting worked up over things that are not released.
 

sidetone

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It sounds good to have a CURRENT section. However, it's going to cause a lot of distracting comments under those thread topics from those who don't run CURRENT. It could work as a nontechnical forum to discuss features.

I've only used production releases and STABLE.

It seems like a CURRENT section belongs here, but that has too many problems, including being a magnet for distracting comments.

If it's about a single feature, it could make sense.

I asked about details on versions of Bluetooth before, which I was told was in CURRENT at one time. I still can't make sense of what I'm told about it.
 

Snurg

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Maybe then some additional information could be added in the forum rules?

For example, listing not only the mailing list, but also other appropriate places to discuss things about -CURRENT etc, where a more chatty conversation than in mailing lists is accepted.
This could be references to /r/freebsd, demonforums.org and for example local forums also, like bsdforen.de (german).

Maybe this also could help filtering issues?
So that the mailing list will get less noise from the kind of people who just want to try "the newest, shiniest" etc, as some have mentioned, who are probably not really interested in investing time to help debugging etc.
 
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scottro

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Good point. Questions about CURRENT seem to me to usually be FreeBSD questions and they happen to be using CURRENT, often posted by users who should be told that CURRENT is considered developmental. Sometimes they are newcomers who need a FreeBSD answer like,
the command you're looking for is grep -v. By the way, do you know that CURRENT probably isn't a good idea to run when you're less experienced. In FreeBSD's case, it refers to something that's constantly being developed. You will be better off running RELEASE.

I think most of us can tell when a question is CURRENT (or Ghost or Nomad) specific and when it's a FreeBSD question that could just as easily be answered here, such as the example I gave above. (Just chose grep -v as an example because I just had to use it for something).
 

ralphbsz

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My opinion: People who run CURRENT are alpha testers. They are volunteers, unpaid testers, willing to invest their time into making FreeBSD better. They should not be using support, meaning participating in a support forum makes no sense. They should give feedbook to developers through formal channels. Anyone who uses CURRENT for reasons other than being a volunteer tester is making a big mistake, and that should not be encouraged.

A solution found in a current subforum might compel users to switch from
linux to bsd, providing us more developers.
That is a non sequitur. More users does not necessarily imply more developers. On the contrary, more clueless users that complain about things workings distracts developers from doing useful things.

There is indeed a culture within open-source* to always be running the absolute latest and greatest.
I wouldn't say that this culture exists in all parts of open source. There are a lot of people using open source who sensibly use well-seasoned production versions.
 

sidetone

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I used STABLE as a new comer. It functioned stablely. It was years before I posted on this forum. I had a running system to do what I needed with it as a desktop. When I built base, I didn't realize I didn't have everything fully updated, looking back.

STABLE is often great, but it lacks the most convenient updating function. With a release, freebsd-update is convenient. STABLE needs to remain in the forum. It's also good for the right combination of stability and newer features.
 

wolffnx

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Looks like folks would like to have a place to discuss experiences with the -current branch. Better here than on Reddit.
is a good idea,but think..
why? , everybody is excited with the 13.0 release
think before and after the anounced of 13.0

and could make the wrong impression and user bad habit
to "hurry" to FreeBSD to make
new functions,driver support,etc
 

Snurg

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Maybe renaming could help avoid wrong choices and much pain?

CURRENT -> EXPERIMENTAL
STABLE -> SOMEWHAT_STABLE_EXPERIMENTAL_FROZEN_WITHOUT_UPDATE_POSSIBILITIES
RELENG -> RELEASE_WITH_SECURITY_UPDATES_ONLY
 
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