[Policy] Old version support

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[Policy] Old version support

Post by Pentarctagon »

This policy post is to explicitly address two related topics:
  1. Wesnoth's development continues, and as such continues to release new even-numbered stable branches such as 1.12.0, 1.14.0, 1.16.0, etc.
  2. Wesnoth's development team generally doesn't continue updating previous stable branches (though developers of course can if they choose to) nor is playing on stable releases from a branch that's two or more cycles old supported (though players also can of course do so if they choose to).
Official multiplayer and add-ons server support
Wesnoth has two major pieces of functionality that require connecting to our server: multiplayer on the official server and the official add-ons server. This functionality will be supported for the current and previous stable branches as well as the current development branch. The multiplayer and add-ons server instances will be turned off for older versions and as such will no longer be usable by anyone still using these versions of Wesnoth. They will be turned off four weeks after the first release of a new stable branch.

Any unofficial servers and LAN servers are unaffected by this and can continue to be hosted by players.

Branches available by distribution method
  • Steam
    • Steam will default to the current stable branch at the time it is released.
    • The previous stable release (oldstable) will be available to be chosen under the BETAS tab in the game's properties in the player's Steam library.
    • Older stable branches than this will not be available to be chosen. When an oldstable branch becomes oldoldstable it will be removed from Steam. This most likely means that any such players will be moved to the default branch (current stable). If they wish to continue using that very old version of Wesnoth, then they will still be able to download it from SourceForge. The reason for this is that we already know ahead of time that major features (multiplayer and in-game add-ons server) will be broken at that point and we shouldn't make versions of the game with significant pieces of their functionality effectively removed so easily available - it will create an expectation for unknowing players that they are fully functional when they are not.
  • itch.io (Windows, macOS)
    • The stable channel will by default have the latest release of the current stable branch, with players able to choose older versions through the itch.io client.
    • The beta channel will by default have the latest release of the current development branch, with players able to choose older versions through the itch.io client.
    The number of older versions available is dependent on how much overall space that version history takes, however since each version uploaded after the first is incremental the selectable version history should be quite long.

    Standalone zip downloads are also available automatically via the itch.io website.
  • Flatpak (Linux)
    There is a flatpak available on Flathub which is of the current stable branch. There is another flatpak of the current development branch hosted wesnoth.org.
  • macOS App Store
    The most recent version of the current stable branch is available through the macOS app store.
  • SourceForge (Windows, macOS)
    Standalone installers for Windows and macOS are available for all point releases of all stable and development branch releases.
99 little bugs in the code, 99 little bugs
take one down, patch it around
-2,147,483,648 little bugs in the code
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