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Re: Move to a cadence release model?

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: Move to a cadence release model?
Date: Thu, 12 Nov 2015 17:35:15 -0500

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  >   The important part of all of these review cultures is that work
  > _must_ be presented in reviewable units.

I am not quite sure what that would mean, concretely, for Emacs.

Currently, we install a new feature as a whole.  That can be large;
perhaps not a "reviewable unit".  If so, what would we do instead?
Install small parts of the code one by one?

The problem is, they won't actually do anything by themselves.
And we won't be able to see their interactions with the rest of Emacs features
and usage patterns, until the whole thing is installed.

  > Re current pattern of 6 month code freeze: This seems to be a manifestation
  > of that fact that once a sufficient collection of new features have been
  > accumulated we recognize in our heart of hearts that our code is not ready
  > for release.

And some of the new features or changes won't work in combination with
various other existing features.

There are so many features in Emacs, so many use cases and
interactions, that we don't know how to test that a new feature works
the way users would like in all cases.  It may not even be clear what
behavior users would like in all of them.

It comes down to a question of what "reviewable unit" means.  That we
can study the code of the feature for bugs?  That's what we do now for
the whole new feature.  That we can determine whether it interacts
badly with anything else?  I don't see how we can do that, no small the
parts are.

Have I missed the point somehow?

Dr Richard Stallman
President, Free Software Foundation (gnu.org, fsf.org)
Internet Hall-of-Famer (internethalloffame.org)
Skype: No way! See stallman.org/skype.html.

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