Are we still looking now at a September 15th code freeze+tag+release with an October 15th hard fork?
A formal approach towards better hard fork management
Seeing as how there are going to be things that will have to be introduced via a hard fork in future it stands to reason that we have to look at better ways of doing this than the current "fork and pray" approach. The scheme outlined below does not force miners / nodes to adopt a fork if we add something stupid in, but it creates a more fluid network that can robustly handle changes.
Basic bottom line: every 6 months there's a hard fork. You get 1 hard fork's grace before you have to update or be left behind.
Every 6 months, either on March 15 + September 15 or on April 15 + October 15, the Monero network will have a hard fork. 30 days before the fork we will have a code freeze + tag + release, and if there are no major changes we'll have an increase in the protocol version (ie. that's at a minimum). A similar fork system to Bitcoin will apply, whereby a rollover to the new code after the trigger block will only occur if a sufficient number of miners are running the new code.
Anything that is more of a soft fork will kick in immediately (as long as it doesn't drop pre-fork clients off the network). Anything on the p2p layer (ie. hard forkable) will be kept in the wings until the next fork date (as roughly estimated from block height) and then is enabled.
The upshot of this is that you can run a client that is a year old, but pretty much after that 1 year anniversary you'll be dropped off the network (even if there have been no "real" changes in that year).
There is no goal or aim to continue to support clients running older versions of Monero, and just like you have to update your OS security software we have to create an environment where people are "forced" to update their full node.
Thoughts? Suggestions? Changes? Let's discuss them before we make this indelible.
Yes we're hoping to - although it'll be September 15 code freeze, and then the actual roll-over is March 15 (for this first one) after which it continues as normal. We're busy writing it up more formally and will update this thread.
Now that both the September 15th 2015, code freeze and October 15th, 2015 release dates have passed are we still looking at a March 15th, 2016 hard fork date or has this also been postponed? I see a real danger here, since most people will likely be running a version more recent than the official 0.8.8.6 release, of the network forking because of different versions forking at different times or not forking at all.
Edit: My previous comment on this was posted on September 04, 2015. Now over 6 weeks have passed with no news on this.