Re: 0.9.0 pre1

Subject: Re: 0.9.0 pre1
From: Dom Lachowicz (
Date: Fri Feb 16 2001 - 13:32:12 CST

Hi Paul,

Sorry if I've disappointed you. I'll respond to your points. Your response
might have gotten me to re-tag as 0.7.13. Maybe my response will salvage me
somewhat ;-)

[ Yet another reason to not call this week's release 0.9.0-pre*. That's too
much work to get done in a few days, and "pre" releases should get quickly
followed by the "real" thing.]

Not necessarily. Mozilla spent ~6 months from pre1 until netscape 6.0. The
linux kernel spent what seemed like forever in 2.3.99 land before 2.4.0 was
released. Your argument against this point might well point out that these
were pre-releases before a stable version of their products, which for us
wouldn't be until 1.0. But I'd argue that these were pre-releases before a
*major milestone* release, which I'm arguing that our 0.9.0 definitely
represents. 0.9.0 is a huge step for our team, and we're definitely close.
We deserve as much.

Now, one might say that "we shouldn't release a 1.0 until we've implemented
all of the features that are listed on the roadmap." I say that this is not
necessarily true. The roadmap should be viewed as a fluid document, and this
approach does not view it as such. The roadmap is at best a guideline of
what we should do. The fact that no one has changed it recently is a
tragedy, however, only 1 of us has access to those pages (Sam) so it's not
exactly ours to touch. In fact, until your return, no one here was really
around when that document was shaped/born. Some things must get sacrificed.
Other things will be added. Most importantly, we have to prioritize our
needs and desires. 1.0 is the beginning, not the end. I know that I'll end
up taking shit from people either way, but that really doesn't bother me all
that much.

The original plan of "cram all features in until 0.9.0 and then we stop
adding features and do hardcore bug-fixes" is fundamentally flawed, and I
don't want to support or condone this attitude. Jesper's and my views on
bugfixes and bugdays have been clearly stated and we've even proposed
solutions (bug day anyone?). Unfortunately, no one has responded or taken up
this torch, which makes me sad. As such, Wednesdays are now bugdays, and I
(and probably Jesper too) will be hosting them on
Please stop by, and I'd love for someone to step up here. Jesper and I are
overworked as it is.

Bug fixes are something that should be done incrementally and continually.
It should also be done heavily before a milestone, but a whole release
cycle? That's equivalent to mozilla devoting all of (say) M18 to bug fixes.
Several companies that I've worked for have tried this approach. The short
story is that it doesn't work in the real world. That's why QA departments
exist (they report them so you can fix 'em as you go...). I really miss Paul
Egli. The man didn't produce a line of code AFAIK, but *damn* was he a
valuable asset to have around. I'd love to have him on any one of my project
teams. Hopefully the addition of bugday will help out in this department
somewhat, since we don't have a dedicated resource like Pegli "lying around"

However, I also don't want to "jump the gun" as you put it. We are overdue
for *a* release - call it what you will - 0.7.13, 0.9.0pre1, February
AbiWord (gnome joke), etc...

If you'd like, I will re-tag the tree as abiword-0-7-13 and we should begin
building and releasing binaries. If this is the case and we do an official
numbered release, I will announce the release to the greater world once we
have a few binaries. Win32 and linux are considered essential by me, and we
can grab most of those from ~sam/nightly/. I verify that the win32 builds
work for me on win2k. Sam and Aaron can confirm that the debs work. We won't
be waiting for AIX and Solaris binaries, etc... We release what we have (and
sources, of course) and add others as we get them. Any objections?

If this is the case, I'd like a relatively quick cycle from 0.7.13 -> 0.9.0
if there are no major objections. Our release cycles are too long as it is


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