Totally confused regarding LTS versions

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1 week 2 days ago - 1 week 2 days ago #163979 by hvgard
hvgard created the topic: Totally confused regarding LTS versions
Hi, I'm all confused about LimeSurveys policies regarding LTS versions. And it seems I'm not the only one. See for example www.limesurvey.org/forum/development/108...r-lts-version/149636 .

For me as an end user LTS means at least 5 years of support (bugs and security fixes) OR a pain-free upgrade to another stable LTS version that also converts database structures, surveys and survey templates.

Today we first installed 2.06LTS and it said it could upgrade to 2.6.6. Nowhere can I find if my 2.0.6 templates (custom) will still function. No warnings, no information, nothing.

Next the system says it can upgrade to 2.7.3 which turns out to be that nasty responsive UI (like 2.50) version that completely messes up the user interaction and is VERY unproductive.

Then it even offers an upgrade to some 3.0.x. version that is UNSTABLE. Good gracious, what does LTS mean in this context?

PLEASE gents, create a LONG TERM SUPPORT version and SUPPORT IT FOR A LONG TIME. That is what the MAJORITY of normal non-tech users need.

Finally, the inevitable question: what is the current LTS version with the productive (3 row) interface that will be around for a LONG LONG time. That is the version needed for most comfort update users that need bug and security fixes.

Harold van Garderen
Last Edit: 1 week 2 days ago by hvgard.

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1 week 2 days ago #163981 by holch
holch replied the topic: Totally confused regarding LTS versions

For me as an end user LTS means at least 5 years of support (bugs and security fixes) OR a pain-free upgrade to another stable LTS version that also converts database structures, surveys and survey templates.


Hmm, I am not sure where you are taking this from. LTS means Long Term Support, not more, not less. Long Term is always relative. When daily updates are common 1 week can be "Long Term". ;-)

So an assumption of 5 years of support is rather a personal wish than a definition of LTS. You can't take what other software defines as LTS and transfer it to Limesurvey. And honestly, I find 5 years of support for a version of a web based software rather long. For an operationg system OK, but a web software? Anyway, we all have different preferences.

Now let's get into the other points: Today you installed 2.06 LTS??? Basically 2 versions behind the current version? It's like today installing Windows 7 and then be suprised when support runs out in 2020. ;-)

As there have been major changes from 2.06 to 2.x, so the templates of 2.06 will NOT work in 2.x nor will they work in 3.x.

PLEASE gents, create a LONG TERM SUPPORT version and SUPPORT IT FOR A LONG TIME. That is what the MAJORITY of normal non-tech users need.


Supporting a VERY LONG TERM SUPPORT VERSION as you want AND moving forward and improve on LS would be very difficult. I am not the biggest fan of the current philosophy of "stable" in the LS project, but come on, this is asked a little much for a software that is basically free to use for you.

However, I am sure, if you want to pay developers like Denis for example to maintain a LTS of 2.06 (as he has done until now) he would be happy to do so. But I guess it wouldn't be cheap. Maintaining various versions of LS is a major cost. It requires work force to do so and as you can imagine, work force is always short in open source projects.

While I was not a very big fan of 2.7, we can't get stuck with 2.06 forever. I would like to see all resources put into 3.x to become really stable as soon as possible, rather than spending time on 2.06.

As far as I know the only current version that will receive bug fixes and updates is 3.x.

With the release of 3.x the support of 2.06LTS and 2.7x seems to be stopped.

Survey templates have gone through some changes from 2.06 LTS to 2.7x, as this system proofed not to be ideal there was another major change to the template system with 3.x. However, I think it was a long necessary change to cut with the old, very old fashioned way of templates and create a new modern way. The world doesn't stop and the internet less so.

So in your position (obviously coming from an ancient version of LS) I would ignore 2.7x and go straight to 3. If there are current bugs that stop you from using 3.x, go with 2.06 LTS at the moment and upgrade later. 3.x will be the version of LS that will be around for the next time. No one can tell for how long this will be and when 4.x will be here. However, with comfort update I feel that updating has become fairly straight forward. Now for major updates I personally would always run the two versions in parallel, making a gradual move towards the new version and not do an upgrade. I know that might be a pain if you have many users, but I feel this is the best way to keep the old surveys running smoothly and at the same time start with the new surveys on the new server.

I'm not a LimeSurvey GmbH member. I answer at the LimeSurvey forum in my spare time. No support via private message.
Some helpful links: Manual (EN) | Question Types | Workarounds

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1 week 2 days ago #163982 by holch
holch replied the topic: Totally confused regarding LTS versions
By the way: If no one uses and tests LS 3.x in a serious manor, it will take even longer to find bugs. While I personally wouldn't have released 3.x as stable yet, I can understand the frustration of the developers if there are no (or not enough) testers and bug reports, which delays the release of a stable version.

So if LS is really so important for you (as it seems in your post), wouldn't it be great to help out with the development? You are a "non-tech user" and I get it. But there are many ways to help, one is testing and finding bugs, help out in the forum or do translations...

I'm not a LimeSurvey GmbH member. I answer at the LimeSurvey forum in my spare time. No support via private message.
Some helpful links: Manual (EN) | Question Types | Workarounds

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1 week 2 days ago #164029 by olle
olle replied the topic: Totally confused regarding LTS versions
Great info by holch, thank you.

We'll try to write down a guide on this manual page later: manual.limesurvey.org/Version_guide

Check it out in a couple of days.

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1 week 3 hours ago #164131 by olle
olle replied the topic: Totally confused regarding LTS versions
We now have a short guide of current and old LS versions at manual.limesurvey.org/Version_guide

Please have a look and let us know if you have any further questions.

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5 days 19 hours ago #164227 by jelo
jelo replied the topic: Totally confused regarding LTS versions
Another source of confusion are version requirements.

Let's take the Mass action plugin.


The requirement is "Version 2.50 or later". Many users conclude that LS 3.0 is compatible.
And you cannot blame them.


The GIT Page states "LimeSurvey 2.53.0 or 2.06lts".

It would be a good move, to mark additional stuff better. And perhaps open a fresh LS 3.X download section.

For every version branch a infobox like this:
Required version : 2.50
Tested up to : 2.7.3

BTW: Is there a plan to offer Mass action plugin for LS 3?
Attachments:

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3 days 7 hours ago - 3 days 7 hours ago #164260 by olle
olle replied the topic: Totally confused regarding LTS versions
Thanks for reporting that, Jelo. I've updated the extension section to include "2.50 to 2.73" and "3.0".

About MassAction to LS 3, I'm still cranky (or pissed off) that they changed the namespace, making it impossible to make a plugin that works for both 2.73 and 3.0... I still think that change should be reverted.
Last Edit: 3 days 7 hours ago by olle.

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