I’ll try to answer that question: If you need stability, only use releases, i.e. the ones you can find for download on this site.
Things used to be a bit different in the past, before there was a stable release. Back then many people felt the need to go with subversion for lack of real alternatives. Well, now that there is a stable release that’s no longer the case.
The benefits of using releases are pretty clear
- Releases have been tested by more people and for a longer amount of time.
- Releases will be tested with respect to upgrade-paths.
- Releases make it easier for you to give and receive support in the forum.
- Most people will know what did and what did not work in a certain release version.
Here’s what you are risking by using subversion
- If you use subversion, the latest check-in may contain errors, it may be incomplete or have side-effects on other parts of the code, or it may break a plugin.
- We may make need to make changes to the database or the update scripts, and it’s possible that this is changed several times before the next release, so that while people using releases only get the changes they need and that are tested to work, you as a subversion user may have lasting side-effects from those intermediate changes we were experimenting with.
- A subversion checkout cannot be properly supported. It’s not possible to know for hundreds (or soon thousands of) revisions to know what was working when, what might have which side-effects, etc.
- You reduce your chances of being able to help other people in the forums. You won’t be able to reproduce their problems to be able to help them, since you are using a different revision. You may give the wrong answers based on your experience with your newer reversion.
- If you don’t feel comfortable with subversion, you will (sooner or later) run into problems because of it. And that makes life on the forums harder for all people involve, because it’s not clear wether the problem is related to the latest check-in or unrelated subversion-issues.
If you are a Textpattern user, you are really best off if you stick with releases – actually that’s the only point for making releases in the first place (and you do remember those discussions about when the final is coming out, don’t you).
And if you still feel like using subversion that’s of course fine. But please don’t suggest to users on the forum they should “just get the latest from subversion”, because they really shoudn’t, unless they are aware of all the drawbacks.