Synapse has a number of platform dependencies, including Python, Rust, PostgreSQL and SQLite. This document outlines the policy towards which versions we support, and when we drop support for versions in the future.
Synapse follows the upstream support life cycles for Python and PostgreSQL, i.e. when a version reaches End of Life Synapse will withdraw support for that version in future releases.
A Rust compiler is required to build Synapse from source. For any given release the minimum required version may be bumped up to a recent Rust version, and so people building from source should ensure they can fetch recent versions of Rust (e.g. by using rustup).
It is important for system admins to have a clear understanding of the platform requirements of Synapse and its deprecation policies so that they can effectively plan upgrading their infrastructure ahead of time. This is especially important in contexts where upgrading the infrastructure requires auditing and approval from a security team, or where otherwise upgrading is a long process.
By following the upstream support life cycles Synapse can ensure that its dependencies continue to get security patches, while not requiring system admins to constantly update their platform dependencies to the latest versions.
For Rust, the situation is a bit different given that a) the Rust foundation does not generally support older Rust versions, and b) the library ecosystem generally bump their minimum support Rust versions frequently. In general, the Synapse team will try to avoid updating the dependency on Rust to the absolute latest version, but introducing a formal policy is hard given the constraints of the ecosystem.
On a similar note, SQLite does not generally have a concept of "supported
release"; bugfixes are published for the latest minor release only. We chose to
track Debian's oldstable as this is relatively conservative, predictably updated
and is consistent with the
.deb packages released by Matrix.org.