PostgreSQL 8.4 development plan

From: "Dave Page" <dpage(at)postgresql(dot)org>
To: Hackers <pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: PostgreSQL 8.4 development plan
Date: 2008-02-06 08:56:51
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As you know we've finally released PostgreSQL 8.3, after a development
cycle that lasted well over a year despite our original plans for a 6
month cycle. The core team are aware that there are a number of
factors that contributed to this slippage:

- Lack of prompt and early review of patches.
- A significant rise in the number and complexity of patches submitted.
- Prioritising completion of incomplete patches over meeting the timetable.

In the 8.4 development cycle we would like to try a new style of
development, designed to keep the patch queue to a limited size and to
provide timely feedback to developers on the work they submit. To do
this we will replace the traditional 'feature freeze' with a series of
'commit fests' throughout the development cycle. The idea of commit
fests was discussed last October in -hackers, and it seemed to meet
with general approval. Whenever a commit fest is in progress, the
focus will shift from development to review, feedback and commit of
patches. Each fest will continue until all patches in the queue have
either been committed to the CVS repository, returned to the author
for additional work, or rejected outright, and until that has
happened, no new patches will be considered. Of course, individual
developers are free to continue working on their
patches throughout the fest, but we encourage everyone to do what they
can to help work through the patch queue. We feel that this idea can
only be successful if the whole development community is willing to
focus on patch review during the commit fests, in the same way that
everyone is expected to focus on testing during beta period.

The proposed timetable for the cycle is as follows:

1st March 2008 - commit fest begins
1st May 2008 - commit fest begins
1st July 2008 - commit fest begins
1st September 2008 - commit fest begins
1st November 2008 - final commit fest begins
1st January 2009 - beta 1
1st March 2009 - 8.4.0 release

Note the lack of any 'feature freeze' date as such. However, any
significant feature patches not submitted by 1st November will clearly
not make it into 8.4.

The hope here is that we will not have enormous, previously unreviewed
patches landing on us at the end of October --- if that happens, we'll
be back in the same position we were in at 8.3 feature freeze.
Although this schedule allows for the final commit fest to take a good
deal of time, we'll reserve the right to reject patches that are too
large to be reviewed in a timely fashion. We want to encourage people
to do development of large features in an incremental fashion, with a
new increment landing during each commit fest.

Regards, Dave (on behalf of the core team)

Dave Page
PostgreSQL Core Team


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