Fwd: Version 1.0 and numbering scheme

Subject: Fwd: Version 1.0 and numbering scheme
From: John H. Raines, Jr. (raines@one.net)
Date: Thu May 03 2001 - 08:11:53 CDT

I would add my vote to the concept of being more concerned about stability & documentation of the current feature set at this point instead of considering adding more features at this point. There was an initial feature set for Abi-word I'm sure... I would complete that set per the current plan & continue with the bug prioritization & triage. A robust application that DOES what it claims to do & doesn't crash or lose work is your most important feature at this point. Most of the things that have been discussed on this list lately (tables, letterheads, etc.) are covered in some rudimintary fashion. Those features or extentions of features not in Abiword should be added to the bug list as ENHANCEMENTS &, I suppose, if everyone votes for one of these enhancements as important for version 1.0 then it could be added. Otherwise, the roadmap for after version 1.0 would be laid out by the bug list.

For instance, the recent discussion of letterhead. I do not currently use this feature, but it appears that Wordperfect handles this as a kind of header. To allow letterheads, the following feature EXTENTION should be considered: a) Images in headers, b) Multiple headers & footers per document, c) Allow headers & footers to be assigned to individual document pages with up to 2 per page. This set of extentions to the header/footer feature would not only allow for the classic business letterhead format (full business name & address on 1st page with abreviated name on continuation pages) but would handle a multitude of situations (facing pages on front and back printed documents, chapter heading and numbering in books, etc.)

For what it is worth.

J. Raines

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On 5/3/01 at 6:31 AM projectd <projectd@negia.net> wrote:

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 evelopment 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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