[Qgis-developer] The case for bugfix releases

Jürgen E. Fischer jef at norbit.de
Sun Sep 29 03:48:15 PDT 2013

Hi Jonathan,

On Sat, 28. Sep 2013 at 13:40:35 +0000, Jonathan Moules wrote:
> 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.

Um, we bugfix.  We just don't do do stable/bugfix releases and master is
released too infrequent.

In the past we have set high targets for coming releases without knowing when
we'll actually achieve them in our volunteer effort - because most of us don't
knows in advance how much time they will be able to spend on qgis.  That led to
long release cycles and changes when we realized that a set feature wouldn't
make it.

And also to the problem that the last release and master diverge more and more,
making it hard to track, if bugs in the release still apply to master.

My approach to solve this would be fixed release schedules instead of releases
tied to a set of features.  At the hackfest, we discussed a release every 4
month.  If we follow that route new features and bugfixes would get into a
regular release every four months.   That window is probably large enough to
get new features done, while being not too large for users to wait for releases
of bugfixes and/or new features.

And everyone knows in advance, when the next release will be.  Developer can
estimate if they can get a new feature ready for the next release or if they
have to wait for the next one.  Testers, translators, documenters and packages
can also know in advance, when they'll need some time to do their thing.

And this IMHO also reduces the need for bugfix/stable releases, which I still
don't think, we have the resources for.  Because this also involves packaging
each time.

Maybe there's some difference to the geoserver project - being java they might
get away with "package once, run anywhere" - while for us, packaging a release
is more work (and testing and bugtracking...).

Anyway, this this is not yet set in stone as I'm currently still sorting out
stuff related to the 2.0 release (e.g. in OSGeo4W) - and therefore didn't have
time to come with draft for this.  So when this actually starts is still TBD.


Jürgen E. Fischer         norBIT GmbH               Tel. +49-4931-918175-31
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