On releasing

Adam Jackson ajax at nwnk.net
Tue Apr 18 11:18:26 PDT 2006

On Tuesday 18 April 2006 13:12, Egbert Eich wrote:
> Adam Jackson writes:
>  > If this is ever the case (and it is), you're not releasing often enough.
>  > Wasn't "release early and often" the _mantra_ for modularization?
> Well, before you do a release you still need some people to test your stuff
> - don't you? The more there are the more secure you are that what you
> release is really OK.
> Looks like you are advocating snapshot releases. Release and forget as soon
> as the next one comes out.

I want to defuse this particular point.  Remember that our version numbers are 
multivariant.  Major, minor, bugfix, buildfix, if you want to split it that 
far down.  It may well be that the first usable 1.5.x version of the i810 
driver is 1.5.4.  That's just the way it goes.  It doesn't mean you should 
hold off from releasing 1.5.0 until you're sure it's perfect.

You _will_ ship with bugs.  We always have and we always will.  Accept that 
reality and design your processes to reflect it.  For most modules, this 
means release for almost any user-visible change and okay yeah your version 
number will get large in the last digit, so what.

I am absolutely not advocating snapshot-and-forget in the general case.

Now for the server, which has a pretty high rate of churn, I think regular 
snapshots are valuable, in that they give a quick and relatively fine-grained 
way of stating when bugs or features were introduced.  The level of 
integration testing required for a releasable server is generally higher than 
that for the leaves of the module tree, so longer release cycles with 
mostly-usable snapshots is probably a better choice than me stamping out 
1.1.0 today and waiting for the bug reports to come flying back in.

Point is: pick a process and go with it, as long as it gets code released in a 
fashion that's timely, or predictable, or both.

- ajax
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