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Re: Warning on unreleased versions.

From: Mark Hancock
Subject: Re: Warning on unreleased versions.
Date: Thu, 3 Mar 2016 01:43:31 -0500

I do have some understanding of the packager vs. developer situation, yes, but didn't know there was a known bug in 0.8.5 that is so serious in Windows, so the explanation is very appreciated.

Just to be clear, I'm not actually advocating recommending 0.8.5 specifically (I thought that's what the devs were advocating), and if it does have known bugs that are likely show-stoppers, it's probably a good idea to label it that way. My recommendation is about putting the information you want to communicate right in-place where the download is about to happen (and where the devs have control to change it, rather than the packager).

I know the thought is that there is already a message above this long list that mentions these are packages not made by the developers, so may not work, but it seems doubtful that people looking for a binary to download will take the time to read that before finding the nice link-looking thing next to the specific word they're looking for ("Windows", in this case).

If 0.10 fixes both problems (i.e., is even-numbered and doesn't have a show-stopping bug), it seems like it really is the best solution to just get that out quickly and not waste too much time with this discussion.

I think there's still an issue that hasn't been addressed, though, and that's that there's no consistent way of communicating the necessary information when downloading these binaries (and that really is the right time to communicate this, not after it's already been installed and run for the first time, and probably not in the title bar, though this could minimally reinforce the idea).

I know this is a Linux-first community, but PSPP is at its core an alternative to SPSS, and my guess is that most people familiar with SPSS are familiar with it in Windows. This is a natural place for people looking for an alternative to land.

It seems like the minimum necessary information isn't really "development version", "this may contain bugs", or even "recommended" or "official" after all. Instead of assuming the people downloading won't be able to understand, maybe better and more complete descriptions are in order. Something like:

0.8.5 (stable, but has a known Windows-specific bug)
0.9.0 (development version, with bug fixed, but possibly unstable)

This gives the needed information, so the person downloading can decide before installing (and the devs can be agnostic about recommendations). When 0.10.0 rolls out, maybe you should then use fewer words:

0.10.0 (latest stable release)
0.11.0 (possibly unstable development version)

If you use consistent language, the title bar can then just reinforce what is more likely to have already been noticed (e.g., repeat "(development)" or "(unstable)" there).

There is an issue with my suggestion, though, in that the placement may mean people would expect sub-bullets for each OS, which would become unruly. You do have extra text for Mac already, though, so maybe this precedent has already been set, and you can just do this in brackets. The current "installers or all downloadable files" gives no hint about the situation.


On Wed, Mar 2, 2016 at 7:51 PM, Ben Pfaff <address@hidden> wrote:
On Wed, Mar 02, 2016 at 03:42:08PM -0600, Alan Mead wrote:
> On 3/2/2016 1:35 PM, Friedrich Beckmann wrote:
> > Am 02.03.2016 um 20:26 schrieb John Darrington <address@hidden>:
> >
> > On Wed, Mar 02, 2016 at 07:52:34PM +0100, Friedrich Beckmann wrote:
> >
> > 2 Then, as a first post-release task, let's replace the existing splash screen with an startup window
> >   which must be acknowledged.  Then we don't need to have any warning in the titlebar, or in the output window.
> In SPSS there is such a screen, but it also had a checkbox that makes it
> go away permanently.  The splash screen could be similar. You could make
> the user acknowledge it once.

I could support that.

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