Version 1.0 and numbering scheme

Subject: Version 1.0 and numbering scheme
From: projectd (
Date: Thu May 03 2001 - 05:31:24 CDT

For what it's worth, I'll chime in with my opinion on the series of
threads currently running on the developer's list.

I like the current numbering scheme, building towards a 1.0 release. It
doesn't particularly matter to me whether the next versions are 0.7.15,
0.7.16, etc, or 0.8.0, 0.8.1, etc. Seems like THAT decision has already
been made and to change now would add confusion.

What should be in version 1.0? The current feature set of course. I'd
really like to see tables, even if it's rudimentary. (Of course, ME
saying that is probably akin to one of the Pharohs saying, "and I'd like
to put a pyramid right over...there." Easy for ME to say; I'm not doing
the work). A tables implementation doesn't have to have all the bells and
whistles of a Word tables feature, just the ability to group some text
together and box it in with lines and not crash the app.

Speaking solely for myself though, if tables will take a year to do, I'd
release 1.0 without tables. It's a close call, but I think stability and
buglessness is more important for 1.0 than a particular feature at this
point. Abiword is NOT a toy; it's already got some features that take it
out of the realm of, say, WordPad and minor apps like that. In general,
if I download an app that's useful, but limited, I'll have a better
impression than if I download something that's got a gazillion features
but crashes or behaves inconsistently.

Key to my impression is getting the sense of on-going development. That
is, if a feature I really want is missing from a stable app, I want some
assurance that the app is still undergoing development. If/when you
release 1.0, you need to make the point that development doesn't stop
here; it's just a beginning. That way, I'm more likely to stick around
and wait on an app I like to get the features I need. If I download
something that's incomplete AND unstable, I'm more likely to simply
abandon it and go looking for something else. There's no way 1.0 will be
seen as complete by EVERYONE. In fact, it's more likey to be seen as
incomplete (where's feature X? and Y?) than any of the 0.X.X releases
simply because it IS 1.0.

Given that 1.0 will be seen as missing some key feature by SOMEONE, your
best bet is to be as bugfree as possible, even at the cost of some
features. That way your reviews will read, "rock solid word processor,
can hardly wait until the next release when we'll probably see feature
X" instead of "still some bugs to be worked out and it's missing my
favorite feature X."


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