[vtkusers] Long-term support for previous VTK release

David Gobbi david.gobbi at gmail.com
Wed Jun 10 12:14:40 EDT 2015

Hi Berk,

I'd love to see long-term support for older versions of VTK.  It could be
done without placing any burden on anyone but the people who need it, if a
couple simple rules are followed:

1) When we move to VTK 7, an LTS branch should be created for VTK 6, and
this branch should remain open for X years.  Merge requests etc. for this
branch should be handled exactly as for the master branch.  We could have a
list of developers willing to review patches for this branch on the wiki
(I'd certainly be willing to do so).

2) There should be no expectation of binary releases from an LTS branch,
that would just create extra work for Kitware and would probably end up
slowing down the whole process.

3) There would have to be a section of the dashboard available for each LTS
branch for nightly testing at least.  Merges into the LTS branch should be
rare enough that @home testing would be unnecessary.  I realize that this
might entail some gitlab customization.

I was not happy with how fast VTK 5 was dropped.  If there had been some
way that I could have helped to support it, then I would have.

Here in academia, it's very common for projects to be put on hold for two
or three years due to temporary lack of funding, or because a lab goes for
a couple years without a grad student who has the necessary expertise.  So
if a grad student gets stuck with a project that requires a version of VTK
that won't work on a modern system, it becomes very difficult to even get

 - David

On Wed, Jun 10, 2015 at 9:31 AM, Berk Geveci <berk.geveci at kitware.com>

> Maybe one way of addressing this issue would be to keep two versions
> maintained for a longer period? For example, we could commit to maintaining
> (minor bug fixes and limited testing only) VTK 6 for 3 years after we
> release VTK 7... That way customer that are stuck on old compiler can
> benefit from bug fixes and testing longer. If they want newer features,
> they would have to update. Given that we are likely to move to VTK 7 and
> then 8 pretty quickly, even longer than 3 years may be warranted.
> I would argue for aiming for (mostly) C++ 11 by VTK 8, probably around
> late 2016.
> -berk
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