6. Lessons Learned from FreeBSD 4.4

The release engineering process for 4.4 formally began on August 1st, 2001. After that date all commits to the RELENG_4 branch of FreeBSD had to be explicitly approved by the Release Engineering Team . The first release candidate for the x86 architecture was released on August 16, followed by 4 more release candidates leading up to the final release on September 18th. The security officer was very involved in the last week of the process as several security issues were found in the earlier release candidates. A total of over 500 emails were sent to the Release Engineering Team in little over a month.

Our user community has made it very clear that the security and stability of a FreeBSD release should not be sacrificed for any self-imposed deadlines or target release dates. The FreeBSD Project has grown tremendously over its lifetime and the need for standardized release engineering procedures has never been more apparent. This will become even more important as FreeBSD is ported to new platforms.

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