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RE: GEMS Versions

From: Cathi Smothers [mailto:csglobal@earthlink.net]
Sent: Monday, June 05, 2000 5:02 PM
To: Ken Clark
Okay.  Here's a "stupid new employee" question.   
Hope you don't mind the support list follow up.  Certainly not a stupid question, and its worth a post on this topic every once in a while.
I need to get the MN accounts upgraded to 1.16.  How do I know which version of GEMS (i.e.  1.16.3, 1.16.4, etc.) to use?   
Baring any certification issues, the latest stable release is what you want to upgrade accounts to.  We always let people know when a release is for testing only in the release announcements.  Testing releases are usually 1.X.1.Y releases.  For example were all testing releases.  At some point we conclude that testing is going well, and declare the branch stable.  A new testing branch is then opened, and only bug fixes go into the stable branch.  Right now 1.16.latest is considered stable, 1.16.4 being the current release by my mail.  How stable the stable branch really is has everything to do with how much testing by support it receives.
Its fair to say the nature of this company and business make this process fairly informal, perhaps more so than I would like.  Testing releases go out to customers when they shouldn't, and new features get added to stable branches when they shouldn't.  It is not entirely undisciplined either though.  Obviously you need to keep an eye on the support and bugtrack lists.  Sometimes a bug slips into a stable branch, in which case its better to ship a version you trust, or wait for it to get corrected.
Secondly, does the upgrade simply consist of installing the new executable file or are there other components that need to be installed as well?   They are currently using 1.11.8. 
There are several components.
The DLL files shipped on the GEMS CD get updated from time-to-time as well, though not often.  Is usually a good idea to order the CD for a long-haul upgrade.  Its not really clear whether 1.11->1.14 qualifies as long haul or not.  That really depends on your comfort level.  There is never any harm in ordering a CD.
Other frequently asked questions while I am here: