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Re: merge-tracking and svn 1.5

From: Joseph Galbraith <galb_at_vandyke.com>
Date: 2006-12-15 16:43:08 CET

David Glasser wrote:
> On 12/14/06, Nik Clayton <nik@ngo.org.uk> wrote:
>> You need to be careful when you do this. With my FreeBSD hat on,
>> something
>> similar was tried with FreeBSD 5.0, which contained many new features,
>> and
>> quite disruptive changes to lots of the code. 5.0 was clearly labeled
>> as a
>> 'new technology' and 'developer preview' release (and was a .0 release to
>> boot), with many caveats in the documentation about its use in production
>> environments.
>>
>> By and large it seems much of our userbase ignored these statements,
>> installed 5.0, and then felt betrayed when it didn't meet their
>> expectations. We still see fall out from this on some of our mailing
>> lists,
>> and it seems as though it led some of our userbase to migrate to a
>> different OS.
>
> This is a pretty legitimate fear. Perhaps we should call it a
> "broken" release instead of an "alpha" or something along those lines.

If I read the above correclty, FreeBSD had a 5.0 release
that users weren't really suppose to use, but were suppose
to wait for 5.1.

I may have misread the above, if so, my comments aren't
particularly relevant.

However, I think that there is a significant difference in
users minds between

  Here is Subversion 1.5, but don't use it because it
  has a lot of nifty new stuff in it and we aren't sure
  all the bugs are worked out. Wait for 1.6 in about
  six months.

and

  This is Subversion 1.5 alpha/beta/pre ... don't use
  it because we aren't finished yet, and it will probably
  eat your repository for breakfast and start on your other
  unbacked up data for lunch. Wait for the final release.

The first says 1.5 is finished. And IT HAS MERGE
TRACKING!!!!!!!!

The second says 1.5 is getting close and is going
to be a great release when it's done.

Users have come to associate terms such as
'alpha', 'beta', or 'prerelease' with unfinished
software... so the very name 1.5Alpha1 or 1.5Beta1
tells them to stay away.

I think releasing 1.5 with giant warnings would be a mistake.

I think releasing a 1.5 Alpha/Beta [1..n] series with giant
warnings would be a good idea.

An alpha or beta release gives us a chance to
figure out how we are going to package everything,
let our build people package up binary builds and
get wider platform / architecture testing from people
who are willing to run unfinished software.

You might even talk Stephan into starting the TortoiseSVN
support for it and doing a alpha/beta series of his own, and
the same with other clients. Then we get feedback about
whether the interfaces are working for these clients as well.

Thanks,

Joseph

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Received on Fri Dec 15 16:43:34 2006

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