Future of the "development" branch on friends-of-i7

the best thing possible for friends of I7 (and 10) is that Lord Inform gives an advance final beta/release candidate in advance to the Friends (that is, the active extension/contrib libraries developers) prior of the next release

Now that it’s open source, we basically already have this, informally.

I said 10.2 here out of habit: I recently learned that the forthcoming version will be version 11. This hasn’t been announced publicly that I know of, but I did confirm with Graham that it’s not meant to be a surprise and I could say it publicly.

if we want to change the name of the branch in order to avoid using the name “master” (for various reasons a lot of places have been moving away from the name “master”), “main” is the popular new default, but “development” is a more descriptive alternative.

I think this branch, independent of its name, is essentially beyond redemption. It’s a hodge-podge of things that maybe worked in 2010, things that never worked anywhere, things that work in 9.3/6M62 but not 10.1, things that work in 10.1 but not 11. I recently had to dissuade something thinking that the Friends repo was full of stuff that didn’t work in 10.1 because they’d been getting extensions from master instead of the 10.1 branch.

I’d previously made a pitch for changing “master” to “main” so I’m happy to see it become “development”.

So here’s my suggestion for the future:

We delete the “10.2” branch and add an “11.0” branch. It’ll start empty, but then Nathanael and I can add the stuff we’ve already updated for the forthcoming release. Everything added there will have documentation and examples, be in directory instead of flat-file format (a new v11 feature), and would compile with v11 and not have known bugs.

After 11’s release (which hasn’t been announced: I have no idea when this will be), at such time as the post-11 development-version of Inform has some backwards-incompatible change that would break a v11 extension, we create a “post-11”. We git rm what’s broken. This branch will be highly unstable until we get close to the next release after 11; when that’s released, a new “11.1” or “12.0” will branch off from it. When it’s appropriate, a “post-11.1” or “post-12.0” will branch off of that.