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Re: release policy

From: Ralf Wildenhues
Subject: Re: release policy
Date: Sun, 18 Sep 2005 12:53:07 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.9i

Hi Gary,

* Gary V. Vaughan wrote on Sun, Sep 18, 2005 at 11:30:32AM CEST:
> I propose that we move from a feature driven release policy to a time
> based one.  After 2.0, we should aim for a stable release (say) every
> 3 months, with a feature freeze in the last six weeks.  To maintain
> forwards momentum, and prevent another embarrassing 2.0 like debacle,
> I think that every second one of those should come from HEAD.  I think
> that as long as we forward port bug fixes from the last release branch
> as they are applied, we should only need to maintain 2 branches at
> once.
> So in the future, assuming we start the process next year, our release
> schedule should look something like this (not taking into account
> public holidays and slipping to the nearest weekend):
> We can always choose to stick with a troublesome stable branch for
> longer if it turns out to need more work to iron out any bugs and
> regressions rather than ploughing on with another head release...
> thoughts?

Yes, just one: this is INSANE.

Gary, haven't you burnt yourself enough with promising releases at
certain times?

You talked about 2.0 being close more than a year ago, it's not out.
A few weeks ago you talk about it being possible in about two weeks,
yet today I see patches with large "necessary" changes.  Have you
ever thought that, before a release, things should get quieter, less
intrusive, and not the other way round?  And that promises not kept
reflect badly?

Also, my time investment in Libtool is not sustainable at the current
amount.  I see others coming and leaving as well.  With this, any kind
of deadline promises is just fooling oneself and making this project
look very bad.

And regarding forward momentum: if you need a playground to put un-
finished ideas in that later turn out to be unfixable or need large
intrusive fixes: this is not the way to go for a project other ones
depend upon in order to function!  Not at all!

If you really think someone could commit on maintaining more than one
branch at a time, I would like to see some commitment on this.  I for
one am not paid to do any work on Libtool.  And there are still lots
of bug reports (against branch-1-5 as well as HEAD!) open and
unfinished, for real issues with libtool that other people care about.

I do not mind the goal of frequent releases at all, I just won't commit
to any kind of timetable, and, more importantly, I won't commit to
releasing from a yet unknown "development tree" with whatever broken
features.  Forwards momentum is not gained by policy or talk, it's
gained by commitment, and as the result of work being done.  And _then_,
the achieved work can act as a natural good measure of when it is useful
to have a new release.


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