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Re: Alpha 1 for 9.2

From: Robert Haas <robertmhaas(at)gmail(dot)com>
To: Dave Page <dpage(at)pgadmin(dot)org>
Cc: Joshua Berkus <josh(at)agliodbs(dot)com>, Peter Eisentraut <peter_e(at)gmx(dot)net>, pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: Alpha 1 for 9.2
Date: 2011-09-12 14:00:47
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Lists: pgsql-hackers
On Mon, Sep 12, 2011 at 5:23 AM, Dave Page <dpage(at)pgadmin(dot)org> wrote:
> On Sat, Sep 10, 2011 at 9:47 PM, Joshua Berkus <josh(at)agliodbs(dot)com> wrote:
>>> Download numbers for the installers were bordering on noise compared
>>> to the GA builds last time I looked, double figures iirc. I don't
>>> know about the tarballs offhand and can't check ATM.
>> Can you check when you get a chance?   I know that the DL numbers for the first alphas were very low, but I'm wondering about Alpha 3, 4 and 5.
> [ >1100 downloads for alphas1-3, >2000 downloads for alpha4, ~900 downloads for alpha5 ]

Hmm, that seems pretty respectable, all things considered.

Honestly, I'm not sure how to feel about this.   As a practical
matter, I suspect that the value of alphas early in the release cycle
is limited.  Most of the big ticket features that people are going to
be interested in testing tend to arrive late in the release cycle.  If
you look at the 9.1 release notes, the first commit to implement any
portion of a feature that made the "major features" list for the
release was my commit to add SECURITY LABEL, which happened on
September 27, 2010.  As of the turn of the year, we had 2.5 of the 10
features that ultimately made that list in the tree.  IMHO, we should
be making a more concerted effort to get more of our major features
done and committed sooner, but since we aren't, testing of early
alphas seems likely to be a fairly unrewarding activity.  Stability
testing is likely going to be largely useless (because there will be
lots more code churn just before feature freeze), and feature testing
is going to be confined to the relatively limited amount of stuff that
gets done and committed early.

I certainly think there is value in pushing an alpha release after
CF4, and maybe even after CF3.  Whether or not it's worthwhile to do
them for earlier CFs I'm less certain about, but there seem to be
several people speaking up and saying that they like having alpha
releases, and if the hold-up here is just that we need someone to tag
and bundle, I'm certainly willing to sign on the dotted line for that
much.  We'd still need someone to write release notes, though,
probably someone to arrange for the minimal amount of necessary PR
work (announcements, etc.), and (somewhat optionally) packagers.

Robert Haas
The Enterprise PostgreSQL Company

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