We have an estimate for FreeBSD 13.1-RELEASE (and an answer to why we care)

Our estimate is going to use the average all double-digit x.0 and x.1 releases prior to 13.x (10, 11, 12). And we are going to try and estimate the exact day we can assume FreeBSD 13.1 will release. We will take you along our journey, and give exacts and why we have done this. Hint, it will have a lot to do with the release of Potabi 1.0's proper release.

To calculate I needed every release to have 3 variables. All values are the days between the "Initial release schedule announcement" and "RELEASE announcement" (as not every releases has a secteam turnover . The first being STF (start to finish). The STF variable is the only one to separate x.0 and x.1 release timelines (by design). Then there is ZOT (Zero-begin to One-end Total), which calculates how many days did it take for the announcement of x.0 to the release announcement of x.1. Lastly there is the ESG (End to Start Gap), which is the calculated time between x.0's release announcement, and x.1's initial release schedule announcement. The values are listed below:

12.0 STF: 247 days
11.0 STF: 227 days
10.0 STF: 160 days

12.1 STF: 174 days
11.1 STF: 134 days
10.1 STF: 124 days

12.x ZOT: 566 days
11.x ZOT: 516 days
10.x ZOT: 458 days

12.x ESG: 154 days
11.x ESG: 155 days
10.x ESG: 171 days

The average STF is 178 days (rounded up). The average ZOT is 514 (rounded up). The average ESG is 160 (no rounding required). Using these averages alone, we can predict FreeBSD 13.1 to release on December 17, 2021 based on the ZOT, and March 17, 2022. This is why the rounded variables alone are not worth calculating. Instead, these will be our reference to make sure we are on track for the right date. 

Okay, so why are these estimates more than likely just wrong? FreeBSD 12.3, that's why. The expected release date for FreeBSD 12.3 is December 6, not even two whole weeks before the ZOT average. March 17, 2022 seems semi-probable except the difference of 11.3 and 12.1 releases being 125 days (10.3 and 11.1 is ignored as it was (according to the dates on the FreeBSD RelEng pages) 400+ days and those differences are too wide to include both).

If we were to estimate December 17, 2021 being the exact release date for 12.3 and use the same timeline as 11.3 and 12.1, we could see a release of FreeBSD 13.1 being on April 21, 2022. While March would seem reasonable, that would only be 90 days, and further making this estimate harder.

So the EARLIEST we can see FreeBSD 13.1 will be April 21, 2022, except for one major issue. Remember the variables we had? Yeah, they create issues here. The STF (how many days on average FreeBSD releases are in development) is 178 days (from the inital announcement to release). Why is this a problem? Because no announcement of FreeBSD 13.1 has been made, when we should have expected one back on October 25, 2021. Except...

The STF's we calculated can range from 124 to 247 days. Assuming FreeBSD 13.1 will take the lowest end of that, we may see a notice as late as December 18, 2021. Only one day after the ZOT total. Again, those variables were for reference, not exacts.

Assuming an STF of 151 days (the mean of 124 and 178) we may actually see a notice on November 21, 2021 (which is MORE than a reasonable timeframe, and is only a week after this article comes out.) So the EARLIEST we can see FreeBSD 13.1 having the initial announcement is November 21, 2021.

If we can reasonably estimate November 21, 2021 to be the initial announcement, then when will we see FreeBSD 13.1? Again, the estimate for 13.1's initial announcement was a reasonable middle for when we can see its release (I know this is a weird way to calculate, but in reality we don't need exacts, they are just being added for entertainment value. 120 days is the absolute-best-case scenario, and lowest reasonable estimate. The worst possible scenario, and highest reasonable estimate is 250 days. We will be doing this for the dates November 21, 28, December 5, and 12.

The following are guesses based on those estimated initial announcement dates:
- March 21, 2022
- March 28, 2022
- April 4, 2022
- April 11, 2022
- July 19, 2022
- August 5, 2022
- August 12, 2022
- August 19, 2022

That's uh.. pretty big range of days. 151 days of time between March 21, 2022 and August 19, 2022. An exact mean date will be June 5, 2022. The closest date on that list being July 19, 2022.

So, our current estimate is July 19, 2022. However, why? Why did we spend time calculating this? Because you're reading this blog. Here is the deal, CoreNGS is going to use FreeBSD 13.1 as a release base, and we were planning to make CoreNGS's release a requirement for Potabi 1.0, but that is no longer the plan. We don't want Potabi stuck in beta for 317 days, when we estimate our release to be February 2022. A month before the best case scenario for 13.1's release. Six months before the latest estimate.

This was our actual reasoning for removing FreeBSD 13.1 as a developer requirement for Potabi 1.0. That is why we removed CoreNGS 1.0 as a developer requirement for Potabi 1.0. It sucks, Potabi 1.0 not being the release we want it to be hurts. But, since Potabi 2.0 will be even more special to my heart, I also feel weirdly happy I am able to let it be the first CoreNGS derivative.


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