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Re: Duration of beta period

From: "Marc G(dot) Fournier" <scrappy(at)hub(dot)org>
To: Bruce Momjian <pgman(at)candle(dot)pha(dot)pa(dot)us>
Cc: PostgreSQL-development <pgsql-hackers(at)postgreSQL(dot)org>
Subject: Re: Duration of beta period
Date: 2002-02-24 04:15:48
Message-ID: (view raw, whole thread or download thread mbox)
Lists: pgsql-hackers
On Sat, 23 Feb 2002, Bruce Momjian wrote:

> First, let me say that our 7.2 release was a huge success.  It was of
> very high quality and well received by the community.
> I want to address a concern I have heard from many of you --- the long
> duration of the beta period.  I think there are two major causes.
> First, the quality of our releases continues to increase, and quality
> takes time.  We may get to a point where all we do is "polish" from
> release to release.  Seriously, the time we spend polishing will
> continue to increase because our quality continues to increase.
> Second, I think there was a certain disorganization in our previous beta
> period that greatly lengthened it.  We didn't set any beta deadlines, we
> didn't have a web page showing the open beta items, and no one was
> really pushing and rallying the troops to get the beta out.  I am going
> to try to correct this by giving more direction to the group and
> maintaining a beta open items web page where people can go to see the
> current beta status.  I don't know if this will help, but I think it
> should be attempted to see if more organization can help us be more
> effective.  Obviously, we are mostly volunteers, but I think
> organization can shorten future beta periods.
> Future directions
> -----------------
> Here is my guess on our future timetable.  These dates are mostly
> arbitrary, but I think it will help give people an idea of where we are
> going.  I think we will remain in our current development mode through
> May or even July.  At that time, we will enter beta in 7.3.  I will
> create an open items web page for the beta, and we will try to set a
> timetable for the end of beta.  We will not be tied to that date, but I
> think setting a date will help us better focus our energies and get the
> beta out the door faster.
> My proposal is that we give this a try and see if it speeds up the beta
> period, and makes it more enjoyable.

You've totally lost me here ... how do you speed up a beta when there are
unknown number of bugs that have to be resolved before a release can
happen?  A beta's duration is as long as it takes to be stable ...

Personally, I think this last beta period was one of our best ones yet ...
considering the negligible number of bug reports following the release, we
did exactly what had to be done in teh beta to make sure that the end
result was as stable as possible for the testing pool we had ...

Don't start trying to set arbitrary dates on when a beta should start, or
end ... you'll just screw with what is already a very effective
development model ...

If you are so bored that you need to organize something, come up with a
list of what we hope to accomplish for v7.3 and use that for a guideline
for when the beta will start ...

What major items do ppl have planned for v7.3?  Once those items are
completed, then we go into beta for v7.3 and beta lasts until we've gotten
her to the point that she's as bug free as she can be without more
extensive/broader testing ...

If those major items are done on the 1st of April, I'll happily declare it
the shortest development cycle we've had to date and go beta ... if it
takes until the 1st of September, so be it ... but its not going to go
beta until its ready, and its not going to be released until its ready ...
and setting some arbitrary date is going to do one of two things:  a)
pressure developers into making mistakes that will make us look bad, or b)
stiffle development while one developer figures "no way I'll get it done
by then, so why bother" ...

... and that isn't to throw in the users that are going to say "but you
said ... "

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Subject: Re: Duration of beta period
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