= Ruby 1.8 Release Plan
Ruby 1.8 always has at least two maintained version series. Urabe Shyouhei (shyouhei), the release manager of Ruby 1.8.x series, maintains these.

The feature set of each branch is frozen once it is first released, which means it is guaranteed that any incompatible changes will be made since then. It will be changed only for bug-fixes and security patches. Shyouhei will release a new patch release either when a security hole is found or when three months have passed since the previous patch release.

see also version independent topics.

== Patch level
((Patch level)) is an integer, which counts the number of applied patches. Patch level starts at zero for each branch, increasing by one every time a patch is applied. This way, every snapshot can be identified by the version number followed by the patch level, like "Ruby 1.8.5-p115".

Ruby programs can refer to the patch level via the (({Kernel::RUBY_PATCHLEVEL})) constant.

=== Reserved level
Patch level >= 5000 is reserved for the next release under development. e.g. 1.8.7-p5000 is for 1.8.8 under development.

== Maintained versions
:1.8.6 (((%ruby_1_8_6%)) branch)
Ex-stable version. The latest release is 1.8.6-p399.

Being maintained.
:1.8.7 (((%ruby_1_8_7%)) branch)
Current stable version. The latest release is 1.8.7-p299.

Being maintained.

== Expired version
:1.8.5 (((%ruby_1_8_5%)) branch)
Ex-ex-stable version. The latest release is 1.8.5-p231, which is the last official release.

No support are provided for it by us any longer.

== Future versions
Next stable version under development.
Last series of Ruby 1.8 (maybe).

== Stable development version
The ((%ruby_1_8%)) branch is the stable development version. We develop this for the next stable release. It is expected that it will not introduce any large incompatibilities, but it may add new features and which sometimes cause small incompatibilities that are realatively easy to fix. See the branch policy for details. Akinori MUSHA (knu) maintains this branch.