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HBase >> mail # dev >> [DISCUSS] More new feature backports to 0.94.

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[DISCUSS] More new feature backports to 0.94.
I was thinking more about HBASE-7360 (backport snapshots to 0.94) and also
saw HBASE-7965 which suggests porting some major-ish features (table locks,
online merge) in to the apache 0.94 line.   We should chat about what we
want to do about new features and bringing them into stable versions (0.94
today) and in general criteria we use for future versions.

This is similar to the snapshots backport discussion and earlier backport
discussions.  Here's my understanding of  high level points we basically
agree upon.
* Backporting new features to the previous major version incurs more cost
when developing new features,  pushes back efforts on making the trunk
versions and reduces incentive to move to newer versions.
* Backporting new features to earlier versions (0.9x.0, 0.9x.1) is
reasonable since they are generally less stable.
* Backporting new features to later version (0.9x.5, 0.9x.6) is less
reasonable --  (ex: a 0.94.6, or 0.94.7 should only include robust
* Backporting orthogonal features (snapshots) seems less risky than core
changing features
* An except: If multiple distributions declare intent to backport, it makes
sense to backport a feature. (snapshots for example).

Some new circumstances and discussion topics:
* We now have a dev branch (0.95) with looser compat requirements that we
could more readily release with dev/preview versions.  Shouldn't this
reduce the need to backport features to the apache stable branches?  Would
releases of these releases "replace" the 0.x.0 or 0.x.1 releases?
* For major features in later versions we should raise the bar on the
amount of testing probably be more explicit about what testing is done
(unit tests not suffcient, system testing stories/resports a requirement).
 Any other suggestions?


// Jonathan Hsieh (shay)
// Software Engineer, Cloudera