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[Discuss-gnuradio] [announcement] GNU Radio 3.8 Release Candidate coming

From: (GNU Radio maintainer)
Subject: [Discuss-gnuradio] [announcement] GNU Radio 3.8 Release Candidate coming Wednesday
Date: Sun, 14 Jul 2019 16:36:12 +0200

Hello, truest SDR community to ever graze on the Æther,


* RC1 coming 2019-07-17
* Deep Feature freeze from then until final release
* New branch maint-3.8 upon release, stable 3.8 releases from that
* Dependency bounce: bring your dead Pythons (<3.6.5)
* Matlab-style (but cooler) per-block docs [1]
* Need for volunteers to redo the Guided Tutorials [2] with GR 3.8

Full Version:

I'm really happy I can do the following, a good six years after GNU
Radio 3.7.0 was released:

      We're going to publish a Release Candidate for GNU Radio 3.8
      coming Wednesday, 2019-07-17.

This means that we'll be wrapping up half a decade of development that
couldn't make it into the 3.7 release chain, and make it available and
visible to the general public.

Of course, that's a lot of code, and with a lot of code comes a lot of
potential for problems; that's why we're doing a Release Candidate
first: If that works out, we can proceed doing the full release.

What that implies is that starting on Wednesday, we go into a deep
feature freeze; we'll be doing code reformatting for the release, for
example, so we really have to focus on getting the kinks out of our
release candidate, and will only pick up feature-bearing code again as
soon as I release the final

With the release of, we'll (git) branch "maint-3.8", which will
then continue to be the source for 3.8.x.x releases, which we'll
consider our "stable" release series.
As we, honestly, do our best, but are struck with enough self-awareness 
to know that GNU Radio won't be the first perfect piece of
software, expect regular releases from that. As per our development
model, feature development focuses on the master branch, which, as soon
as maint-3.8 is branched off, becomes the basis for GNU Radio 3.9.

Since the 3.8 release series is going to be around for a while, we of
course need to make sure the code quality is high and everything is
well-maintainable. Doing that includes the code reformatting mentioned
above, but also a slightly more aggressive dependency version handling
than we've been able to do on maint-3.7 for compatibility reasons:
We'll require Python3.6.5 (or Python2.7), CMake 3.8, modern Boost and
compilers. As this is a new release, we're not inherently targeting old
Linux distros, especially not those with questionable long-term support
- especially Ubuntu 16.04 will be left behind unsupported (which
doesn't mean you can't build GNU Radio 3.8 on it; just that we're not
putting us under the stress of managing code that makes that easy
whilst still working on modern systems and being reasonable to

I'm especially happy to announce that Marc Lichtman has spearheaded
efforts to create a per-block documentation [1] that reminds, in
quality, depth and target audience, more of the (excellent) Matlab
documentation  than of our API docs. You *should* be using that (not
Matlab, the per-block docs)! 

Regarding Documentation: For GNU Radio 3.8 to be a full success, we'll
need to sort out the hurdles that beginners need to take, anew. 

So, do head over to the Guided Tutorials [2] and rework them – all
screenshots of GRC need to be re-taken. Someone inexperienced is easily
thrown off the track by optical differences that might not even strike
power users at all! Also, not everything in there is the way we'd
recommend doing. Not even sure all blocks used are still in 3.8! So,
please test the tutorials to their fullest extent. I know I will
telling student researchers to learn GR 3.8 with those, but these are
probably slightly pre-biased.

So, I hope you're all as excited as I am,
and I'm looking forward to meeting as many of you in person as possible
at GRCon, where we'll celebrate having 3.8,

best regards,

[1] https://wiki.gnuradio.org/index.php/Category:Block_Docs
[2] https://tutorials.gnuradio.org

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