new v7/v6 stable, v5 now legacy

Today is a very important day for me – and rsyslog. After a very intense work period, the first v7 version is finally ready for the “stable” label. It contains a lot of new and important functionality. IMHO v7 is the most important release since the introduction of v4, and the next 7.3+ versions will bring even more very important enhancements. We ironed out quite some bugs during the beta phase. Interestingly, some of the bug fixes stem back to as far as v5.10, which recently received quite some attention.

As v7-beta is based on v6-beta, we can also release a new v6-stable, because v6 is a proper subset and all relevant patches have been applied to v6 as well. So they receive kind of “transitive readiness” via v7. It is important to note that we developed concepts in v6, but usually published only the merged-up version in v7 (in order to save development effort). As such, the release count for v6 (6.5.1) doesn’t look like it is a version ready for the “stable” label, but in fact the release count is artificially low due to the way we worked on the v6/v7 tandem.

Let me stress again that you usually want to go for v7 to see the latest and greatest in logging. Version 6 is basically a v5 engine, somewhat performance enhanced and with experimental support for structured logging/lumberjack logging. If you want to use structured logging in production, v7 is highly recommended. For example v6 does NOT support disk-queues in combination with structured logging, whereas v7 of course does.

With all these good news, v5 is now legacy and will no longer be officially supported by the project. Full support of course is still available as part of Adiscon’s rsyslog support packages. In regard to its wide use in distributions, we will still collaborate with the distro maintainers to solve problematic bugs (as we always did in the past for officially non-supported versions). However, this still means we need to care much less about v5, and that in turn means we can free many development ressources tied to maintaining old stuff and merging all those changes to newer versions. This has been very time-consuming in the past and I am very relieved that we currently have a plain v6 stable, v7 stable and an active development branch taking place in v7, only. I hope this will remain the case (except for some occasional v7-betas) at least for the next couple of month. It would definitely boost my productivity.

Todays releases are the culmination of a group effort. I would like to express special thanks to Miloslav Trmač, Milan Bartos, David Lang and Michael Biebl for their good suggestions, motivation and code contributions. I also thank the many other contributors (just have a look at the ChangeLog or git history!). The project would have been unable to reach this important milestone without all your contributions, including the well-done bug reports! Thanks a lot, folks!

With that said, I hope everyone enjoys the new stable versions. Also, look forward to an exciting future, which already has begun with the 7.3 series, which contains some good performance improvements. We continue to work on many cool new features!