What is difference between stable and unstable versions?

What EXACTLY is the difference between a stable and unstable versions of an application? In this particular instance I refer to GnuCash as that is what is relevant to me at the moment and I can make reference to a specific application. GnuCash established the last stable version 2.2.9 (I believe) and version 2.3.0 began the climb up to the present 2.3.3 unstable. What prompts or defines the declaration of a stable version? What defines the unstable version and progressive changes, fixes and updates? Kind of a newbie question I know but I’ve been rock solid with openSuse 11.2 with the exception of some apparently less than optimal choices of app. versions on my part. Accounting is not an area where I’m comfortable with development software beyond a few minor bug fixes.

OOPS! Sorry! Wrong forum!

The linux use of stable and unstable is not exactly the same as the norm:
stability in the real world implies something solid, something that is concrete, something that wont crumble.
While in the linux world this means things that have been known to work without issue, it doesnt mean these are the most secure things nor the most up to date or that these things are without faults… no these are just things that are known not to cause any mission critical issues.
Unstable in the real world implies weakness, something not built to code or sub par, something that will fall apart at any minute.
In the linux world however this is not always the case, in fact unstable can in fact be very stable but the thing in question might not have been completely tested or considered betaware.
But even betaware (my personal term for beta quality software) can be rock solid too, heck betas can be more stable then the supposed finished product.
The traditional terms basically fall apart when concerning linux.

> What EXACTLY is the difference between a stable and unstable versions of
> an application?

One is stable the other is unstable…HTH.

No. One has more bugs than the other. No prizes for guessing which is which.

Not all the time in my experience

All the bugs have been written down in the documentation. Assuming there is any.


No… Seriously? Programmer whim, largely. Or if it’s being distributed by someone (like suse), distributor whim.

Newer code has newer, less understood bugs. But older code isn’t really improved any more - the surface is chipped at to package it, but nothing fundamental changes.

So, in short, you’re ****ed if you do, and ****ed if you don’t. :wink: