Agree about that we should use the latest release, but is wise offer the old release for any situation. In my case to learn how to do an upgrade, for example through from 36 to 37 - it through VirtualBox - do this delicate upgrade in a safe controlled environment is better.
Where would you expect to find a link like that?
About your question, for each download page for Server and Workstation, they have the We take security seriously section. Below of that would be nice.
To Matthew’s concern, I think previous releases, especially ones that are no longer supported, should not be easily accessible. Besides the point that we would be providing unsupported software, the mere presence of that option being there could imply support in the minds of some visitors regardless of how much warning text we add around it.
For me, I don’t mind older releases being available, though I don’t think it’s a good idea. If provided, those should be way out of the way and nowhere near where the average user could find them, like a Gitlab repo or wiki.
I agree, sometimes it could be helpful to get information about older releases, for historical reasons or for someone running an old release for some reason.
For those documents which are release specific, it exists in a visible way. These are the general home page, the release notes, and the old installation and administration guides. All these guides have a release selection box at the top right side, below the blue header banner.
All (or at least most of) the other documentation is not release specific. E.g. the mentioned Server documentation follows upstream release changes or improvement suggested by users. They don’t maintain an archive of previous versions. And they can’t because it is a kind of rolling version. They maintain a history, see the clock like icon at the top. It’s a list of commits, so you can see what was changed and who did it. To get an old version, you have to pull the .adoc file from the repo and set up a local authoring environment, so you can read it.
I think that a adding a special warning for the suggested section indicating that the old releases would don’t have any support any longer about new updates should be clear for any new comer. I’ve seen this approach in other places.
I think that if this were to be implemented it would be a bit of a hassle.
First off, only the current version is linked to for downloads and the current -1 version is still supported. In this case version 37 is current and version 36 is supported. However, no links are readily available to download the earlier but still supported version. The download page seems intended to encourage users to install only the current version.
Placing a link to “old releases” would require an update to that link every time a new version is released, or even the earlier but still supported version could be viewed as “old and no longer supported”. It also would seem to encourage installing older versions as noted above.
I think this might be something better served by a Quick Doc — something that can briefly explain the lifecycle, and why we strongly recommend staying to a supported release, only then links to the archive site.
We could then, of course, link to that from anywhere, but I’m really not convinced that this is a common enough case that we should put it in very prominent place. Not necessarily to hide it, but because everything we add takes some attention and makes the site harder to use for everyone for whom that isn’t relevant.