What is the release process for Anki Desktop?

On the Anki website there are (at least) two download buttons for all desktop platforms, “just released” and “previous stable release”. I haven’t been actively using Anki long enough to remember how these change with each release. My assumption is that the version (currently 2.1.48) listed as “just released” is the latest stable release. Using the term stable release implies the existence of non-stable releases. However, looking at the changelogs and the GitHub releases there is no indication of whether or not a given release is considered stable.

So, I have come to ask: what is the release process for Anki? Listing 2.1.44 as “a previous stable release” implies that 2.1.45-2.1.47 were not stable. But perhaps 2.1.44 was simply (for whatever reason, perhaps due to it being the latest release for nearly 3 months) more stable, so to speak, than other releases. I just checked the Beta Testing category, and looking at the post for 2.1.45 it indeed says “2.1.45 has been released as stable.” So now it seems my original assumption was wrong; there are really no such things as stable and non-stable releases, only beta versions and release versions. But there is still some special distinction of “previous stable release.”

I was originally going to request that stable releases be indicated somewhere, for example on the changelog and/or GitHub. But that no longer seems to make sense. So, my questions are:

  • Am I right in my assumption that 2.1.44 is listed as the previous stable release on the website because 2.1.45 didn’t come out until a few months later (and thus contained a large number of changes)?
  • Is addon support the only reason to have “a previous stable release”? (I found that the current wording was prompted by this post about addon compatibility)

When I started using Anki Desktop again last week, I chose to update to 2.1.44 instead of 2.1.48 because I assumed that 2.1.44 was the latest stable release. I’ll probably end up staying on 2.1.44 because I need to install some addons anyways, but if that wasn’t the case I feel I was mistaken in my downloading of 2.1.44 instead of 2.1.48. I’m not sure if there is a better way to phrase things on the website to make things clearer; I certainly can’t think of one.

Sorry if this topic is better suited for Beta Testing or Anki Desktop, hopefully Discourse supports topic moving if that’s the case.

All non alpha/beta/rc releases are “stable releases”. You’re correct that the primary motivation for having a link to an older version is add-ons, as they take a while to be updated after a big Anki update. Releases tend to come out as a big update followed by a few bugfix releases, hence why it’s .44 and not .47 listed there.

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