Jim Fulton wrote:
On Sep 12, 2006, at 5:25 AM, Martijn Faassen wrote:
Anyway, if the Gnome project can do time-based releases *on the date*
we should be able to do it too.
Maybe they have more volunteers.
Yes. They also have a *lot* more to release. Their release story is also
massively more complicated than ours. And they release, on the day they
say they will release. It's too easy to say they do this because they
had sufficient amounts of volunteers.
I don't think our problem has been
perfectionism. I think our problem has been a lack of will to fix
things in a timely manner.
One problem we have is getting things to be tested. It hardly motivates
people to test for and report bugs if their reports don't affect he
I think we have a serious problem that needs to be addressed. I don't
think the right way to address it is to release despite known serious
bugs. Note that some judgement goes into considering whether a bug is
serious enough to block a release. We don't block a release for just
Before a release, bug triaging needs to take place. I recall you saying
we defer bugs too often and bugs never get fixed, so we should stop
doing any feature work until all bugs are fixed, etc. I call that
I think we have been blocking this release with a selection of bugs that
included quite a few that weren't absolutely critical. I would suggest
we triage bugs a lot more aggressively instead. I say this as someone
who spent a few afternoons staring at Zope 3 bugs trying to get them out
of the way.
I can think of a number of ways to approach this problem:
1. Do less frequent releases.
I do not believe this helps a lot for bug fixes. If we have twice the
release period, people won't start fixing bugs twice the amount of time
in advance, and we won't get twice the volunteers either. I think the
same amount of people will start fixing bugs the same amount of time
before the release. You could say we get less overhead with more
releases so people would be able to free up more time to work on the
release, but on the other hand if a release cycle takes longer the more
chance is that people will get out of the habit of fixing bugs.
A longer release cycle may help a bit for complicated feature work, but
I don't think it'll help there a lot too, because if a new feature
cannot be written and mature in the space of 6 months, it has no
business being in the core yet anyway.
2. Feature freeze the trunk until the previous release has made it to
release candidate status
You mean don't branch the trunk (and thus let it be the release branch)
until the release has made it to release candidate status?
+1. Keep things focused on the release during the release cycle is useful.
3. Release less. I think it's time to start thinking of some sort of
"core" Zope 3 that we can manage with the very limited number of
volunteers we have now.
+1, though I wonder how much this has been blocking the release -
important bugs that could block releases don't tend to be in out of the
way components, one would think.
4. Get more volunteers.
Getting a release out is *difficult* and the amount of volunteers
available, while important, is only partially related. More volunteers
won't speed it up tremendously much and can even slow things down. Plone
has many volunteers and has had much problems in the past doing timely
releases. Silva has had far less volunteers and can do more agile
releases, because there's less people to manage.
These are just some ideas. But something has to give and I don't think
it should be responsible bug fixing prior to release.
Large Zope 3 projects have been working against 3.3 for many months now.
If there was any absolute showstopper in Zope 3.3, why have these
projects successfully transitioned?
Who or what would have been hurt exactly had Zope 3.3 been released in
june? I don't think it's Zope 3's reputation that would've been hurt, as
Zope 3.3 in june was not *that* buggy. Bugfix releases are also a
completely accepted practice.
I still think our quality standards for a release have been too high.
Getting people to fix more bugs is good, sure, but perhaps we should
separate this at least somewhat from the release itself.
If we're going to do timebased releases, we should have a button
somewhere that says 'make a release', and a date on which the button is
pressed. If the release is botched, we can press the button again for
bugfix releases, and we have 6 months in which to do a better job next time.
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