[Qgis-developer] The case for bugfix releases
jonathanmoules at warwickshire.gov.uk
Sat Sep 28 06:40:35 PDT 2013
Oops, this was meant to go to the dev list.
Following on from the other thread, I wanted to put forward the case
for bugfix releases. I missed the previous conversation and apologise for
rekindling it, but feel strongly on the subject so wanted to put forth my
The reason given for why QGIS doesn't as I understand it is lack of
I think by not using some developer resources on bugfixes, the cost of
not releasing regularly is passed on to the users and becomes considerably
inflated. There's also a hidden cost to developers who spend their time
interacting with users.
All of the following are consequences of irregular releases (there are
- Users spend a considerable amount of time reporting a bug in stable
only to discover it's "fixed in master". This has happened multiple times
- Users are often asked to "please test this in master" when they
report a bug, forcing them to spend potentially much more time reporting
the same issue.
- There are countless threads in the user list where the final
conclusion is - "this is already implemented/fixed in master".
- All the time lost by users on stable as they hit bugs that are
already fixed in master.
Furthermore, regular releases are also part of the iterative cycle of
OpenSource development. With 2.x, a ton of new bugs have no doubt appeared
in the new features (I know you've all done lots to minimise this, but it's
inevitable). By releasing regularly the cycle of Bug Reporting ->
Development -> Release, can stay tight and efficient. As shown above that's
not the case currently.
The current cycle discourages users (well, at least it does me) from
reporting bugs except immediately after a release.
I do appreciate QGIS has finite developer resources, and while I don't
pretend to know/understand how the GeoServer/QGIS projects are structured,
it does seem that QGIS has considerably more developers (both core and
contributory) than GeoServer which does manage regular bugfix releases.
Maybe there's scope for optimising the release process, or issuing
patches rather than full releases, or something else, but that isn't my
See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Release_early_release_often
Just a thought from a bug-reporting non-developer,
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