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Re: snapshots: first resort, or last resort?

Science Guy wrote:

> For a non-expert, such as me, this dichotomy of views is perplexing.  This
> is made all the more perplexing because there does not seem to be (I could
> not find) a user-readable list of bugs that each snapshot fixes vis-a-vis
> the latest release.  So how would a user know whether the "risky" step of
> installing a snapshot will have any chance of fixing a particular bug?

The reality is probably somewhere in the middle.  I admit that I am
enthusiastic about encouraging use of fresh code.  However, I have come
to this position from two personal observations -- firstly, that a large
number of problems reported on the list involve already-fixed bugs, and
hence trying a snapshot is a very quick and easy "self serve" method for
resolving a problem you may be having without needing to describe the
problem in detail and hope someone recognises it.  Chances are someone
will tell you to try a snapshot anyway, so why not just do it first?

The second is that I myself use freshly compiled code from CVS, and find
it personally to be more stable; or if stable is perhaps not the correct
word, then certainly containing fewer bugs and more features.  On
occasion this means experiencing a DLL that is unquestionably broken,
but when this happens I simply copy the previous working one (it helps
to keep a large number of them around.)  Again I emphasize all we're
talking about is simply copying a DLL file.  In the worst case you can
always just copy back one that you know works -- a release version even,
if you must.

On the other hand, I am experienced with Cygwin and generally know how
to troubleshoot when something goes wrong, so the thought of a
temporarily broken system is of no consequence.  It is good that the FAQ
begins with a cautionary note, because it is true that the snapshots
might occasionally be broken, so blindly using one when there is no
observed defect would not be a good idea.


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