Disambiguating GnuPG Modern, Stable, and Classic

Peter Lebbing peter at digitalbrains.com
Wed Jul 27 16:19:32 CEST 2016

Disclaimer: this is how I understand it. I'm just a bystander looking
on, I might have misunderstood.

On 27/07/16 14:39, Dashamir Hoxha wrote:
> IMHO, a branch that gets new features is not stable. Stable is a branch
> that gets only bug fixes.

Precisely, I think this is where the questions arise from: a
misunderstanding about the context of the word stable here. That there
is a branch named Stable does not mean the branch Modern is "unstable"!

If I wanted to hang something heavy, I might ascertain that the wall is
stable before I do so. Even more so, a wall that is not stable is
generally a thing you'd like to avoid or fix. Even with nothing hanging
from it, it can give you an eery feeling to be very close to it. You'd
better not lean against it! But that is not the sense of the word here:
here that interpretation is out of context.

So here it means:
- Modern is where new stuff happens
- Stable will not undergo major changes such as architectural changes
- Classic is what it was long ago (albeit without known serious bugs)

Modern is perfectly suitable for serious use, and not a security risk or
anything like that. It just might undergo rather large changes, which
means it's less suitable to some deployments where such a thing would
cost a lot of effort to follow along with those changes.

My 2 cents,


I use the GNU Privacy Guard (GnuPG) in combination with Enigmail.
You can send me encrypted mail if you want some privacy.
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