[sword-devel] On the need for regular releases of Sword libs

Troy A. Griffitts scribe at crosswire.org
Wed Aug 29 21:04:58 MST 2007

Those are great ideas.  We'll have to post our break schedules as I have 
no idea when other parts of the world break.

And of course, I mixed up biannually and semiannually; I think we need 
to at least release semiannually (twice a year).

DJ Ortley wrote:
> Just a thought, but Sept 1st is coming up.  That's as good a release 
> date for the next version of Sword as any at this point.  However, if 
> going with bi-annual, then I'd suggest maybe dates near the end of 
> vacations from school semesters as there seem to be a number of students 
> working on Sword.  Maybe we can start actively scheduling bug squashing 
> parties also.
> If this idea is of any worth, I'd also like to suggest that dates be 
> chosen that overlap the winter and summer breaks of not only people in 
> the Northern hemisphere but also the Southern.
> -DJ
> On 8/29/07, *Troy A. Griffitts* <scribe at crosswire.org 
> <mailto:scribe at crosswire.org>> wrote:
>     Karl,
>     You are right.  The Bibletime team has asked me to commit to a quarterly
>     release cycle.  They have said that it would inspire more development if
>     developers knew their code would be released in a timely manner.  I
>     would like to release more often.
>     I hate releasing when I know there are outstanding issue.  Maybe because
>     the releases have been so far apart and I feel if I don't get things in,
>     they won't be in for a long time.
>     It all seems a catch 22.  Developers don't contribute because they don't
>     see their work released.  I won't release because developers won't
>     contribute and fix the outstanding bugs... yada yada. (Did you know
>     'YADA' mean 'I Know' in Hebrew?)
>     So, I would like to commit to regular releases for your team, the
>     Bibletime team, and others using the engine.  I don't think I could
>     commit to quarterly releases right now.  I agree we definitely need to
>     release more than once a year.  Is there a middle ground we can
>     negotiate between quarterly and biannually?
>     Looking at fedoraproject.org <http://fedoraproject.org>, it looks
>     like they have nearly annual
>     release cycles.  If we commit at least to twice a year, we will assure a
>     new release for each fedora release.
>     We also could be more disciplined doing point releases of bug fixes.  I
>     have failed completely in this area.  Every release has been when we
>     feel we have enough new features to warrant a release.
>     I have also not been forced to be motivated because I use SVN for most
>     all of my work and release BibleCS compiled statically against SVN.
>     So, in response, I say "Yes, thank you for the kick in the butt (and
>     the
>     previous kick in the butt by Martin from Bibletime-- to which I had
>     mentally queue this message).
>     Let's negotiate a set release schedule target to shoot for.
>     Let's be more mindful of point releases between these target release
>     dates.
>     And of course I would appreciate leads to encourage our teams to check
>     the bug list and try to be proactive fixing engine bugs.
>     My apologies for the negligence.
>             -Troy.
>     PS.  Jira (our bug tracker) seems to be down.  We just did major server
>     upgrades of Java and Tomcat.  I'll see if I can get things back online
>     shortly.
>     Karl Kleinpaste wrote:
>      > I write here today as a sort of /agent provocateur/, hoping to
>     get a bit
>      > of a rise out of...well, somebody, possibly several somebodies.  The
>      > formal idea of an /agent provocateur/ is someone actually in
>     opposition
>      > to the organization's goals; that is not me, that is, I am of course
>      > supportive of Sword.  But I am explicitly hoping to provoke
>     conversation
>      > and debate, and possibly argument, but ultimately action.
>      >                     ________________________________
>      >
>      > In roughly 6 weeks, an entire year will have passed since the
>     release of
>      > 1.5.9.  Since that time, 3 or 4 releases of BibleTime have come
>     out, 7
>      > releases of GnomeSword (none since March), 2 releases of
>     MacSword, and
>      > (based on Crosswire front page info) at least a couple of
>     BibleDesktop.
>      >
>      > We of GnomeSword have been in a holding pattern before making our
>     next
>      > release for a while now, hoping for 1.5.10 to come out, which will
>      > provide certain needed bits of substructure that are available today
>      > only to those who build Sword for themselves out of SVN.  I know that
>      > the BibleTime folks are in a similar position.
>      >
>      > As a wide-view matter of project policy, just-once-per-year
>     release of
>      > the underlying substrate upon which the UIs depend is simply nowhere
>      > near often enough.  Shortly after the release of 1.5.9, the
>     problem of
>      > bugs in "&entity;" handling arose; a number of other bugs have been
>      > fixed, e.g. related to matters such as morph output, and a number of
>      > formatting glitches; several small but important (to us) features
>     have
>      > been added, such as <figure>/<img> linkages for our UIs which handle
>      > graphical content.  And we, and more importantly our users, are being
>      > held back, in a practical sense, because no one can get at these
>      > features and bugfixes if they depend on the mere yearly releases of
>      > Sword.  Rather few folks are motivated to build backend libraries on
>      > their own, but everybody would be happy to upgrade automatically
>     using
>      > their systems' package managers, if only there was something to
>     upgrade.
>      >
>      > I know that this is technically volunteer work for all of us.  I know
>      > that we do it when we have both motivation and time.  I know that
>     Troy
>      > in particular has had a hard school schedule and that the demands
>     on him
>      > for that are high.  But on the other hand, I know that people
>     actually
>      > do the things in which they invest themselves.
>      >
>      > Shortly after the initial call for 1.5.10 -- already 10 weeks in the
>      > past -- on request I filed a half dozen bug reports for things I knew
>      > needed attention.  Troy and I spent a little time on 2 of them;
>     as far
>      > as I know, the other 4 have received no attention at all, and
>     none have
>      > achieved resolution.
>      >
>      > At this point, what I believe is needed in the short term is a new
>      > release "right away" (interpret those words in some appropriately
>     fuzzy
>      > fashion) in order to get as much benefit as is immediately available
>      > from today's SVN.  Call it 1.5.10, or call it 1.5.9a if you like, but
>      > *call it*, and soon.
>      >
>      > For the long term, I believe a more stringent, regular schedule for
>      > advancement and release is very badly needed.  Today's offhand,
>      > imprecise, uncertain, when-we-feel-like-it, when-we-get-around-to-it
>      > attitude is definitely hurting the projects, and makes all the
>     projects
>      > unhealthy to one degree or another.  Indeed, and frankly, it is
>      > unprofessional.  It makes the rest of us delay our work.  It
>     makes our
>      > work appear to be of lower quality than it ought by rights to appear,
>      > because the improvements to the substrate that will make our work
>     look
>      > good continue to be unavailable.
>      >
>      > --karl
>      >
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