[Squeakfoundation]3.6 release timing (was Re: Shrinking alpha image)

Doug Way dway at riskmetrics.com
Thu Mar 20 19:09:43 CET 2003

goran.hultgren at bluefish.se wrote:
> (crossposting, well - it seemed good)

(Yeah, occasional crossposting is probably unavoidable.  Perhaps we should
only crosspost when we want to shift discussion from squeak-dev over to the
SqF list (and maybe vice versa).  Then all follow-ups should only be posted to
the newly added list, as I'm doing here.  For example, squeak-dev can still be
a place where planning-related discussions will often happen (since it's a
free-for-all), but in more of a brainstorming phase, and to get as much input
as possible from the community.  But then when final decisions need to be
made, the discussions should happen here on the SqF list.)

> As I see it the plan Doug has laid out seems fine. I mean, we aren't
> really maintaining two images - we are maintaining the smaller one and
> making sure that the "full script" works.
> BUT... may I suggest that we set up a goal for 3.6 that SM1.1 is reached
> before release? Otherwise this "full script" will have problems, since
> it can't refer to specific versions of packages.

Sounds like a good idea.  I was guessing that SM1.1 would be out relatively
soon (within 1-2 months?)  Making it a requirement for 3.6 could give you an
extra incentive. ;-)

> And btw, who of us guides should be in charge of making sure that we pin
> down the list of planned things for 3.6? I have seen numerous posts on
> this subject but someone needs to collect these into a "big list" that
> we can condense somewhere and come up with "The Grand 3.6 Plan". In
> short - who should be the "Release Boss" for 3.6? :-)
> And the gist of that plan should of course be summarized on this page:
> http://swiki.squeakfoundation.org/squeakfoundation/79
> Daniel? Tim? Ned? Craig?
> Personally I would like to keep my focus at you-know-what and Doug has
> already taken on enough IMHO.

Right.  Although I am sort of the "Release Master" or "Implementor", meaning
the guy in charge of moving the release from alpha->beta->gamma->final, and
making sure it happens reasonably on schedule.  But yeah, someone else should
probably be in charge of pinning down the release "content".

> I think Daniel would make a greate Release Boss... :-)

I might nominate Daniel also, partly because he's posted on the topic in the
past, and his current role as guide of "image detanglement" is somewhat
nebulous and is partly covered by Ned's and Craig's roles anyway.  But if he
doesn't want to do it and someone else does, that would be fine, too.

On a related note:  As the release implementor (or scheduler or whatever the
best term is), I'd like us to come to a decision on when we want to release

The last few Squeak releases have typically had 6-12 months in between each
release.  I'm pretty sure that most of us agree 12 months is too long.  There
were some suggestions on squeak-dev of having six months between releases, or
having them every three months (quarterly), along with some nonsense about
having them once per month. ;-)  My initial thoughts were to have them every 4
or 6 months.

Another alternative is to not have a regular schedule, but to just come up
with a list of features we'd like to see in the next release, and then put out
the release whenever it gets done.  But I liked Daniel's argument about having
the release timing be a higher priority than the content.  That way, people
can depend on new features coming out on a regular basis, and we won't have
releases that drag on for a year.  If some features on the to-do list aren't
finished by the time we're scheduled to move to beta, they get put off until
the next release.  (Of course, we'd try to make sure the most important
features got worked on right at the beginning of the alpha cycle, so at least
they would be finished.  In a dire situation, we could postpone a release, but
the general rule would be that the timing is more important than the content.)

Assuming we go with a regular schedule, I would propose having them every 4
months.  This was about how often the releases happened up until 2.8, I
think.  Having them every 6 months would work too, but I like the idea of
moving things along a little bit faster.  Having them every 3 months feels too
fast to me, though... my release duties would happen at a more hurried pace
and might start to impinge on the "fun" aspect of being a guide.  Also, that
might not allow enough time for a reasonable beta cycle along with a longish
alpha cycle.  I'm guessing our beta cycle should be something like 5-6 weeks?

And having releases every 4 months would make the tri-annual releases, which
brings up the "triad" again. :-)  Anyway, I could be convinced to go slower
than this, but I don't think I'd want to go any faster. 

If we stick with the "First Fridays" release date, that would put the release
date of 3.6 on August 1st.

We can then come up with a list of content that we think can reasonably get
done in that time.

Thoughts on this?

- Doug Way

p.s. Even before we decide on the content for 3.6, I think we could get
started on harvesting fixes for 3.6 right away.  I'll send out another note
shortly about this... getting the harvesting rules nailed down so I know what
to do.

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