[Qgis-developer] Release schedule discussion - again

Andreas Neumann a.neumann at carto.net
Mon Oct 12 09:37:49 PDT 2015

Hi Jürgen,

I don't claim that a six months release schedule solves all our issues. 
I know it is not too different.

But every release is a lot of work - for packagers, translators, 
testers, documenters - also for people like Anita and me who help 
evangelizing/promoting QGIS. In the past I tried to promote/advertise 
QGIS for every release - now it became insane - it would be a full-time job!

There was probably a reason to release very often in the early days of 
QGIS - when a lot of features were still missing - but there is not so 
much pressure anymore these days.

I also have the impression that our testing/bug fixing period is too 
short. If I am on holidays for 1-2 weeks during this time, I almost 
missed my opportunity to properly test the release. It would be much 
easier if it would be a 2-month period for testing/bug fixing.

And there is another thing: I usually tell the Swiss QGIS users to test 
a new release - if this happens too often - they don't take you 
seriously anymore - What? There was just a release a couple of weeks ago 
- and now I should already test again? The reality is that many users 
out there work with old releases because they can't upgrade that often - 
due to whatever reasons in their organizations.

Like Régis - even if my users may only work with the LTR version - I 
personally want to stay up-to-date/current with the in between releases 
- test stuff early on. For me, personally, even the nightly is good 
enough for the testing purpose. No need to do a full release for testing 
stuff. But if it happens that feature X only works in version A, and 
then stops working in the next release due to a bug, and then yet 
another feature only worked in the version 2 versions ago - it really 
becomes a burden and nightmare to maintain QGIS in an organization.

If we continue cranking out releases at this very fast pace - we also 
risk a very strong disconnect between the actual professional users out 
there (who may be 2-4 releases behind) and the nerds who can afford to 
stay always at the cutting edge.

And: we could better concentrate our quality assurance efforts and 
finances (employ more devs and/or let them work longer/more concentrated 
on bug fixing) if we don't release too often.


On 12.10.2015 17:49, Jürgen E. Fischer wrote:
> Hi Andreas,
> On Mon, 12. Oct 2015 at 13:47:03 +0200, Andreas Neumann wrote:
>> I know - this discussion came up repeatedly in the past - but here I
>> am, bringing it up again. Jürgen - please don't shoot me ;-)
> As if that would help - there are far too many people out there ;)  I just
> wonder why this needs to be discussed again shortly before a release.
> And I don't actually see any new points - this has been discussed before and I
> never saw any striking arguments that would really make it clear that four
> months is too short, while six months would be all that different.
> That the initial LTR release wasn't any different from the other releases
> stability-wise is correct.  But should it?  We maintain it for a year - and
> that's the difference.
> That bugs pop up shortly after the release is probably unavoidable unless it
> gets intensive testing.   Otherwise the people testing (although they probably
> just want to use) a new release will easily outnumber the people testing and
> fixing it before the release and hence might find serious things right after
> the release - or even before we have all the packages ready.
> I guess that's why we always had point releases right after the .0 releases and
> I don't think that will change with a switch to a six month schedule.
>> As a QGIS user in government (you could also replace this by a company or
>> other professional users) I find the 4 month release schedule not ideal - and
>> quite stressful. I would rather prefer a half-year or yearly release and then
>> proper bug-fix releases. I also find the one month window for testing/bug
>> fixing too short.
> For those there is the LTR.  That's who we make it for.  If not even those are
> using it, why do we make it at all?
> You might say that you can't wait twelve month for new features you fund.
> Right, and that's why the release schedule is as short as it is.  It's to make
> new features available in a release relatively quickly.   But if it's four or
> six month isn't a big difference there either.
> If we released every 6 months, how long would we maintain the LTR?  Still a
> year and every second release is a LTR?  Or still every third release?
> I don't really care that much if we release on a four or six month schedule
> (ubuntu does six monthly releases too).
> Jürgen
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