[Rd] Names of versions (was: [R] error with barplot command?)

Duncan Murdoch dmurdoch at pair.com
Tue Jun 15 17:27:04 CEST 2004

On Tue, 15 Jun 2004 21:41:00 +0800, »ÆÈÙ¹ó <0034058 at fudan.edu.cn>
wrote :

>Duncan Murdoch£¡
> thanks for your information:)
> i have another small question,i hope you can give me an perfect answer.
>i know the difference between alpha and beta version,but how about pathed verion?
>does pathed version means final version,formal version?

Here's a summary of how we refer to various R versions:

R has official releases:  1.9.0 is the current official release, 1.9.1
will be out in a week.

Development occurs in two main branches:  in the "r-patched" branch,
we fix bugs in the current official release, but add (almost) no new
features.  In the "r-devel" branch, we add new features.  (There may
also be other small branches, not really intended for public
consumption, where people are trying things out.)

Several weeks after each release, we look at how many bugs have been
identified, and decide whether to have a bug fix release.  For
example, 1.9.0 came out in early April, and the decision to have a
1.9.1 release was made around the end of the month.  The date for it
is set depending on the schedules of the core developers:  it was set
for June 21.  There may be a 1.9.2 release, but I doubt it: 1.9.0 had
very few bugs, and I don't expect to see many at all in 1.9.1
(especially if people have been testing the current alpha/beta

The r-devel branch has already had a lot of changes since April, and
will get more over the summer.  It will be released as R 2.0.0 in
early October, according to current plans.

About a month before a major release, we have a "grand feature
freeze".  Only minor changes to features will be allowed.  (The big
changes are never allowed in the r-patched branch, and even small
feature changes are discouraged unless they are badly needed.)

About 2-3 weeks before any release, we have a "feature freeze", and
start making "alpha" releases.  At this point, no new features will be

About a week before release, we go to "beta" releases.  At this point
only "trivial or critical" bugs will be fixed, because sometimes bug
fixes cause other bugs.  This is the state we're in right now, with
the r-patched branch frozen.  In September or October, it will be the
r-devel branch that gets frozen.

I hope that makes it clear.  For even more detail, see the
developer.r-project.org page, under "Development Guidelines".

Duncan Murdoch

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