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Re: PSPP should remove the scary, misleading message about "UNRELEASED T

From: John Darrington
Subject: Re: PSPP should remove the scary, misleading message about "UNRELEASED TEST SOFTWARE! NOT FOR PRODUCTION USE!"
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 2016 16:43:23 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.21 (2010-09-15)

Unfortunately I disagree :(

Yes it is loud.  It is scary.  It was intended to be those things.

I don't think it is cryptic, except that the word "unreleased" is
a bit vague today.

But you are wrong when you say there never will be a released version.
There have been released versions and there will be new released versions
in the future - in fact I hope it will happen rather soon.

The normal way to use and install software is to download the released 
tarball (in the case of PSPP from, build it and install it
from there.  (Systems such as Debian have it pre-built thus relieving
the user of the burden). 

Harry decided to do something somewhat unconventional.  Instead of using
the released tarballs, he takes the source direct from the git repository.
A git repository is not normally for users.  Rather it is for developers,
and testers.  When somebody uses software straight from a git repository
they are aware (or should be aware) that it may not work properly.  
However, it has become apparent that the users of Harry's builds were not
aware from whence they came.    Harry and everyone else are welcome to do
what they like with the git repository.  But we want people to know what
they are getting.

We have tried less obvious ways to warn users of the status of these
snapshots (for example by using odd numbered releases) but some people
still did not get the message.

Some years ago, somebody got hold of a binary of 0.7.9 which, being unreleased,
had some unresolved bugs.   Having encountered these  bugs, they came to the
conclusion that PSPP was "crappy software - always crashing" and blogged all
over the net about it.  We made them aware of their error, but by that
time the damage had been done.

I do not follow your reasoning why it could possibly be construed as a GPL
violation (but if we choose to exercise Option 7b of the licence, then
removing this text would be a violation).

Neither do I understand why you think it is against the spirit of FLOSS.

I do believe that you have a point when you suggest that we should make
releases more early and more often.  One reason why there hasn't been a
release for a while is the Gtk3 transition which took a while and required
a lot of testing.  Hopefully the time between releases will be smaller in the


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