Release plan

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Current release: 2020.3.19 (18 Oct 2023)
Next release: 2020.3.20
See release plan for details.
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The release plan is the process by which a new version of FlightGear is released. The release plan is actually a continual work-in-progress, and is refined with every new release and how much available resource and interest there is.

The original release plan.

FlightGear has had multiple release plans over history.

  • Originally, releases were sporadic, irregular and took many months of manual preparation.
  • Subsequently a release plan was developed by Mathias Fröhlich, Martin Spott, Thorsten Brehm and Torsten Dreyer during LinuxTag 2011.
  • A more regular plan was proposed by Torsten Dreyer after the 3.6 release was cancelled.
  • Currently "Long Term Support" (LTS) releases are generated every ~24 months, with intermittent "preview" releases between them which receive less testing and support.

To suggest improvements and/or changes to the release plan, it is recommended to get in touch via the mailing list. Improvements can be based on the lessons learned from previous releases. However, do not underestimate the amount of effort go create a new release! Most of the burden falls on a few people.

General release concept

At any given time there are two release "stream":

  • A Long Term Support (LTS) release stream. This is a stable release to which bug fixes are applied, and will be active for up to two years. Most users and aircraft developers use this release. Currently 2020.3.
  • A "preview" release, based on the development branch "next". This is for those interested in the latest developments. There is not currently a preview release.

Version numbers

FlightGear version numbers consist of three digits, separated by dots:

  • Year (2020.1.0): The year the version was released.
  • Number (2020.1.0): Which release of the year the version is.
  • Revision (2020.1.0): The patch revision on that release.
Note  In general, release are referred to by their first two digits (e.g., 2020.3). However, when filing a bug report or debugging problems, it is a good idea to give the full release number.

Detailed time schedule and checklist

  1. Just after an LTS is generated, the next default airport is decided on by a poll on the forum. The next LTS release will be named after it.
  2. A series of "preview" releases generated for cutting edge users. For each release:
    1. A release branch is cut from "next". E.g. release/2021.1
    2. The version files are incremented.
    3. Builds are generated.
  3. When a new LTS preview is declared (after ~12 months):
    1. A release branch is cut from "next". E.g. release/2022.1
    2. The version files are incremented.
    3. Builds are generated for the preview LTS. Testing of aircraft against these releases is strongly encouraged.
    4. Additional branches are created for subsequent releases from the original release branch (e.g. release/2022.1 -> release/2022.2)
    5. Fixes are merged into the release branch as well as "next"
    6. Further builds and release are generated until an LTS is declared (e.g release/2022.3).
    7. fgaddon is branched and a new catalog generated.

Version files


Bug tracking

The bugtracker is the primary source of bug reports. Unlike the forum or mailing list, bugs reported there will be tracked, making it easier for developers to keep up with them. When reporting bugs, it is best to provide as much information as possible to more easily find the bug. If you can provide a backtrace, please do so and attach it to the bug report. When creating backtraces, please use "thread apply all bt full" at the gdb command prompt.

Lessons learned

See Release plan/Lessons learned for a list of things that turned out well and should be kept for the next release as well as thing that didn't turn out so well and should be changed for future releases. Ideally, the release plan should be updated and augmented so that the lessons learned are incorporated accordingly.

Wiki articles that should be updated

See Category:Articles to be updated for each release

Related content

Mailing lists