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Re: 8.5 development schedule

From: Robert Haas <robertmhaas(at)gmail(dot)com>
To: Peter Eisentraut <peter_e(at)gmx(dot)net>
Cc: pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org, Kevin Grittner <Kevin(dot)Grittner(at)wicourts(dot)gov>
Subject: Re: 8.5 development schedule
Date: 2009-06-30 14:58:21
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Lists: pgsql-hackers
On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 10:11 AM, Peter Eisentraut<peter_e(at)gmx(dot)net> wrote:
> On Tuesday 30 June 2009 16:50:55 Kevin Grittner wrote:
>> > However, if anything, I think if anything we should go the other way
>> > and start the first CommitFest July 15th.
>> I'm curious what the counter-arguments to this are.  Is it
>> review-fatigue from getting the release out, or is there an economy of
>> scale to building up a 100 patches before starting to review?  Would
>> reviewing these get some contributors moving again, thus boosting the
>> total work hours available for the 8.5 release?  Would it pull people
>> off of WIP?
> Well, think about what could happen if we go this way.  What you basically
> have here are people who have essentially ignored the commitfest and beta
> mandates and worked on new patches.

Well, the only person who has proposed this so far is me, and I don't
think there can be more than three or four people who are not
committers who put in as much work into the November CommitFest as I
did, and I've already volunteered to do more work for the next
CommitFest.  I'm not exactly sure what the beta mandate is, and I
admit that I haven't done much beta-testing, but even just in the
course of developing the patches I've submitted recently I've found
several bugs which were fixed for 8.4 (try searching your -committers
email for "Robert Haas").  I probably would not have found those bugs
if I had just set out to "test 8.4", because I wouldn't have thought
of those things, so I really feel that I have done as well as I can.
If you disagree, we should discuss, perhaps off-list.

At any rate, the idea that nobody is should do any development during
the seven months for which the tree has been in feature freeze doesn't
seem like a very good one.  If we accept that proposition, then
presumably nobody should also do any development during August,
October, or December, since those months are set aside for
CommitFests.  Therefore, during calendar year 2009, there will be a
total of 91 days during which people are allowed to work on their own
patches, specifically July 1-July 31, September 1-September 30, and
November 1-30.  How are we going to move this project forward by
telling people that they're only allowed to do development 25% of the
days out of the year?  And even if we do accept that proposition, my
proposal to back everything up 15 days wouldn't change the total
number of development days: it would add the second half of December
at the expense of the second half of July.

I'm of the opinion that the way that we should be striving to maximize
the amount of useful development that gets done, and I think the way
to do that is to give people prompt feedback on their patches.  A lot
of the people who have submitted patches for the next CommitFest are
first-time or occasional contributors who may already have lost
interest in the project; waiting longer to review those patches is not
going to increase the chances that those people will eventually get
more involved, either as patch authors or as patch reviewers.  Others
are people like Fujii Masao, Kevin Grittner, and Pavan Deolasee who, I
venture to say, have done enough work on this project to deserve
having their contributions reviewed in a timely fashion, regardless of
exactly when they choose to do their development.  There may be a few
people who aren't carrying the burden of contributing back to the
community, but I don't think it's anything like a majority.

> And they now get to say, because we
> already have enough patches, let's start the commit fest early.  And then the
> same people might ignore the commitfest mandate again and produce another 100
> patches by the time this commit fest ends.  So let's start the next commit
> fest right after this one.

I don't think we have "enough" patches; I'm not sure what that means.
Enough for what?  It would be great if we had more patches, assuming
that they were of good quality and did useful things to advance
PostgreSQL.  What I think we have is a lot of people who are waiting
for feedback, and we should try to give them some.  I also know that
reviewing 60 patches for the November CommitFest was a ton of work,
and the reviewers (including the committers) ran out of steam well
before we got done.  That, and not any desire to jump the queue, is
the reason why I would like to get the reviewing process started
before the patch list grows unmanageably large.


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Subject: Re: 8.5 development schedule
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