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Re: Development Plans

From: Josh Berkus <josh(at)agliodbs(dot)com>
To: Simon Riggs <simon(at)2ndquadrant(dot)com>
Cc: pgsql-advocacy(at)postgresql(dot)org, pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: Development Plans
Date: 2005-02-25 17:41:45
Message-ID: (view raw, whole thread or download thread mbox)
Lists: pgsql-advocacypgsql-hackers

Welcome back!   Ready to get to work?   I need to talk to you about some 
stuff ....

> - When is the next release due?

Each of our previous 4 releases has taken between 11 and 14 months.   So, 
early 2006 would not be unlikely; however, we have set no dates yet.

> - What will be in release 8.1?

Can't answer that.    Let me give you the text I've used with reporters:

"Currently there are developers working on bitmap indexes, database roles, 
two-phase commit, faster GiST and R-tree indexes, integrated autovacuum, SQL 
standard compliant procedures, and further improvements in memory usage.  
However, it is still quite early in the development cycle, and it is very 
likely some of these features won't be ready, or won't be good enough, for 
8.1, and is equally likely that we will receive and accept four or five other 
features that I don't know about yet."

> - What are you working towards? Performance? Stability? X?

X, definitely X.  

We're working toward PostgreSQL being indisputably the very best SQL RDBMS in 
the world.

> I think I've come to understand the answers to many of these questions,
> but these answers are not written down. When I do answer them, I try to
> make it clear that I present a personal opinion only - but that always
> gets strange looks. People really do not understand why there is no
> official answer, and take that as a black mark.

Well, they're used to dealing with private companies and company-sponsored 
projects.   These things have marketing-driven agendas.   We are a 
non-commercial, all-volunteer OSS project.    You will need to educate people 
on this.

> Other projects such as Ubuntu, Fedora and OpenOffice have much of this
> type of information easily available and Fedora are both single-company-sponsored projects, with 
marketing-driven goals.  I don't know about Ubuntu.

> - certainly commercial software 
> vendors spend a good deal of time on providing this information.

Yep.  And commercial vendors ship releases whether or not that release is 
stable or actually contains the features advertised.    

> Could we find a way of expressing the project philosophy in writing, so
> I can convey that message out to the world, exactly as intended, without
> any Riggs filtering?

That's not a small order, if we want to do it right.    Why don't you prepare 
a Faq-ish page that covers these issues based on the responses you've 
received on this thread?  I can add it to the Press FAQ.

> Right now, I have zero idea which quarter, let alone which month feature
> freeze for 8.1 is in. I think it will be in 2005, but I'm not sure.
> [That makes it fairly difficult to get sponsorship for release of new
> features, since I cannot guarantee which year they'll be in.]

Think early 2006.   Tentatively.  After all, we haven't discussed feature 
freeze date yet.

> The TODO list contains a partial mechanism for recording what is being
> worked upon by various people. Could that process by beefed up somewhat,
> so there is a clear list of Features in Next Release, as part of the
> TODO list on the main web site? A caveat could easily warn that this is
> a provisional list only and offers no guarantees of inclusion.
> I'm happy to make certain commitments to particular features already on
> the TODO list. I'm sure others are too.

I've been in favor of converting the TODO list into a pgFoundry-based Task 
List, so that TODOs can be claimed by people, for some time.

> I'm fairly clear about my own directions: Enterprise features to enhance
> robustness, performance and scalability, plus Data Warehousing features
> - nearly all of which come from clients or interested parties.
> Does anybody else wish to share theirs?

Well, I'll be working on Data Warehousing too.   

Josh Berkus
Aglio Database Solutions
San Francisco

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