Another RC release?

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guice
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Another RC release?

Post by guice » Mon Dec 03, 2007 8:30 pm

Not to be the cynical one, here, but from my understanding of development cycles (that's to say, how I would and have done them) RC releases aren't your beta releases. They stand for "just before" live releases. They are suppose to be the polished up code to take out the quick bugs that were overlooked within the Beta phases.

However, we have yet another RC release on a development cycle that looks very much like a beta development cycle. I have to ask, why so many RC releases? "When it's ready" is perfectly fine. However, with so many RC releases, I'm getting the impression phpBB3 was not even ready to leave Beta to begin with.

RC isn't suppose to add in any feature or functionality changes -- just bug fixes. But yet, every "big" RC release seems to break all templates. That sure sounds like functionality changes to me.

Now, don't get me wrong. I would love to see phpBB3 released, and soon. But with RC after RC, it's quite disheartening. Is phpBB3 really ready? Its current release cycle would point to No. When will it be ready? From the looks of it, another year or two.

I'd just like a logical understanding as to why there are so many RC releases. All the projects I've done have never gone above 3. If they had, the project was most likely thrown back into beta stages because anything above 3 generally means it wasn't ready for RC to begin with. In reality, the final RC release is your Gold release.

Why all the RCs? And will phpBB3 devs be throwing phpBB3 back into Beta status because of all these problems they are having with RC releases? If you tally up all the RC patches, it's extremely obvious these are not Release Candidates.

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karlsemple
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Re: Another RC release?

Post by karlsemple » Mon Dec 03, 2007 8:36 pm

This conversation has come up before, there will be as many RC releases as is needed. The software is not a beta software because it is fully supported live and is stable enough to be used on a site, this board is using it as an example and so are many others. However bugs which have needed fixing have merited the release of further RC releases. The templates being broken by RC6 was an unfortunate side effect of changes made after the security audit, not other RC releases have done this and it is unlikely to happen again.
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Kaitlyn
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Re: Another RC release?

Post by Kaitlyn » Mon Dec 03, 2007 9:41 pm

Other than the RC5->6->7 Security Audit for the release, I haven't seen a lot of broken themes from RC to RC...

Basically I imagine they'll release an RC, see how many bugs & issues get reported on it for a while. If there is a fair amount of them then they fix 'm, and release another RC to start over again and let people test and report. Once they have an RC Release that has minimal to no bugs reported on it for some time, that'll end up being Gold.

Personally, I don't care how many RC's it takes, it's a good thing to know they won't release it Gold before it's ready and they are happy with the final result.

~K

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Xclavo
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Re: Another RC release?

Post by Xclavo » Tue Dec 04, 2007 5:26 am

Does anyone here notice the avatars of the team developers and team members? they are kinda gold'ish... they must know something we dont... yet. :ugeek:

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Re: Another RC release?

Post by Phil » Tue Dec 04, 2007 5:30 am

The goldish doesn't necessarily mean anything.
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Re: Another RC release?

Post by Stallyon » Tue Dec 04, 2007 8:21 am

Gold-ish avatars? This sounds like the QA conspiracy theory over at Area51 :lol:
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Re: Another RC release?

Post by KFCSpike » Tue Dec 04, 2007 8:40 pm

guice wrote:Not to be the cynical one, here, but from my understanding of development cycles (that's to say, how I would and have done them) RC releases aren't your beta releases. They stand for "just before" live releases. They are suppose to be the polished up code to take out the quick bugs that were overlooked within the Beta phases.
See what you're getting at guice, but my understanding (and I'm not even close to being an expert in development cycles of major projects like this!) is that the beta releases are 'use at you own risk' type stuff.
I used beta versions in a test environment with a few test users realising that if anything went wrong then tough.
On a project this size, it is impossible to fully check a beta for bugs as the vast majority of end-users would not install it in a live environment because of the lack of support.

When beta versions were (reasonably) stable, the devs released the first RC and offered support for it.
This support for the RC versions meant that a lot of users like me (running a small board) could run it in a live environment, and because the software was now being used a lot more then more bugs would be found and fixed.
As each new RC was released, more and more users would have the confidence to install and run live, so some of the more elusive bugs would be found, leading to a new RC.

My opinion, as an end-user, is that I don't care whether its called RC1, RC8 , Gold, Olympus, PhpBB3 - if it works and I get support if it goes wrong then that will do me :)

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Re: Another RC release?

Post by guice » Tue Dec 04, 2007 9:18 pm

I guess that's what's getting me the most. I've never correlated RC with officially supported software. That's what released builds are about, with patches afterwards if required. phpBB guys just do things differently, I guess.

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Re: Another RC release?

Post by wmtipton » Tue Dec 04, 2007 10:54 pm

I prefer the way things are done with phpbb3, quite frankly.
I used to get so sick of getting software that was supposedly 'finished' that seemed like it was put together by some highschool dropout, buggier than a roach motel.
If it goes to RC114, Ill be here waiting for gold.
Id think that anyone not wanting to deal with the way the phpbb folks are doing things would either just use some other software or wait for a gold release.

It seems better to go that route than trying to force a buggy gold release upon the rest of us who are PATIENTLY waiting for one.
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guice
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Re: Another RC release?

Post by guice » Tue Dec 04, 2007 11:09 pm

Patiently? While admittedly phpBB3 has gone through some hard times, do note my join time. phpBB3 has been talk about since and before that time. ;)

I think Area51 originally came up sometime in 2002, with hopes of phpBB3 being soon....nope. I'm not being impatient by any means though. For me, it's more of an additional tool for arguments for phpBB3. I can argue that "hey, it's officially released! Upgrade now!" However, in its current state, that argument cannot be made and it makes it many times harder to convince people to upgrade their phpBB version.

You're also talking to a guy that has spent the past 3 years /pushing/ people to drop PHP4 and turn off register globals. I've given up "waiting." I'm all out pushing now. Update or loose all support. That's my motto. ;)
The way I see it, sooner phpBB3 comes out, the sooner phpBB can drop support for 2.x.

And if I had it my way, phpBB wouldn't be able to function with register_globals enabled nor will it be able to function on PHP4 ... but that's just me. Thank god PHP Devs are finally ending the life of PHP4. I've been able to use that, ever since the announcement, to push people off PHP4.

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Re: Another RC release?

Post by KevC » Tue Dec 04, 2007 11:19 pm

Code: Select all

2006-06-17	2006-06-17 20:28	release_3_0_B1
2006-08-12	2006-08-12 15:37	release_3_0_B2	
2006-11-12	2006-11-12 19:45	release_3_0_B3	
2006-11-27	2006-11-27 20:31	release_3_0_B4
2007-01-28	2007-01-28 13:43	release_3_0_B5
2007-05-20	2007-05-20 14:32	release_3_0_RC1	
2007-06-24	2007-06-24 12:49	release_3_0_RC2	
2007-07-08	2007-07-08 15:51	release_3_0_RC3
2007-07-28	2007-07-28 09:19	release_3_0_RC4
2007-08-24	2007-08-24 14:06	release_3_0_RC5
2007-10-13	2007-10-13 12:30	release_3_0_RC6	 
2007-10-14	2007-10-14 19:12	release_3_0_RC7
2007-12-01	2007-12-01 13:16	release_3_0_RC8
That's a pretty good production rate in my opinion. The betas did what they needed to do. The number of bugs fixed in those was huge.
The speed of progress with the RCs has been very impressive when you consider the complexity of the software.
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guice
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Re: Another RC release?

Post by guice » Wed Dec 05, 2007 12:18 am

Oh, I agree. I am pleased to see the RCs keep'in coming. Although, as I stated before, it would be nice to see things hit 1.0 soon. But I do understand the motto "it'll be ready when it's ready" all too well.

My original point was more about your process of doing things; I rarely see things go past 3 RCs. Firefox and PHP both finished out at 3. Most Firefox releases stop at RC2. Above 3 generally means it wasn't ready for RC just yet.

As for calling it RC for support purposes, it's still hard to push that along. RC by its definition is not "production release." And unless it's a production release, people will not upgrade to it. These days, it doesn't even matter the number of bugs in it (look at Microsoft! Okay .. bad example. lol). I want people to upgrade and I can't make a push for phpBB3 until it's released. At least then I can finally tell a bud of mine (a vB fanatic) it's released. He's been following (kinda) phpBB since 02 (and prior) as well.

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Re: Another RC release?

Post by Kaitlyn » Wed Dec 05, 2007 2:47 am

To each their own on how they manage projects? More importantly the resources at their disposal...
phpBB I imagine depends a lot on the community to help with testing, as such it makes sense that they release Release Candidates more often and let the community at large beat them down. Larger Projects like PHP or Firefox probably have fairly large QA Teams in and of themselves, as well as professional backing & resources so they can do a lot of their own testing with internal resources, hence a less frequent need for 'public' release candidates.

That's how I figure things, and who can really blame the team here for taking advantage of one of it's most valuable assets for one of the most difficult tasks it has to overcome?

~K

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Re: Another RC release?

Post by wmtipton » Wed Dec 05, 2007 2:48 am

Patiently?
I dont remember saying that everyone was being patient about it ;)
What I said was that those who CANNOT be patient might want to find some other software for now so as to not make the devs feel the need to go for gold BEFORE it is ready to go gold.

I have 6 fully functioning forums running presently ALL using RC8 and I honestly do NOT want a 'gold' stamp on the product until it is 'finished' in the devs opinions.
Final release of a buggy product is simply an unacceptable scenario and one reason why I dont buy any software these days without testing it first.
Ive spent thousands of dollars on software of all sorts over the years and a good percentage of that money was wasted on trash that developers rushed out the door for whatever reason or another.

At this rate, my suggestion to the devs here is to not allow ANY coercion to cause them to put their name a gold release until THEY are SURE they have a FINISHED product worthy of that name...

:)
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Re: Another RC release?

Post by Son of a Beach » Wed Dec 05, 2007 3:27 am

I'm happy with the way the devs are doing it, now that I understand a bit better.

My only gripe is the usage of the term "release candidate" (RC). I understand that they needed to distinguish between the unsupported betas, and the newer supported (but not finished 'gold') releases. However, 'release candidate is (in my opinion) the wrong term for this. I think this is what is confusing many people. phpBB seem to be using the term 'release candidate' to mean a fully supported pre-release (ie, a fully supported beta version). But to most people, 'release candidate' means 'we truly believe this one is likely to be released as gold'.

But in the end, it's all just just semantics. Just unfortunately confusing sematics.

Edit: In any case, my production forums now run on RC8 - I finally gave up waiting for 'gold' and took the plunge. I was initially (when RC4 was just out) dead-set on waiting for gold, but initially, I thought that gold was going to happen some time soon. I've given up waiting, as there is no timeline, so no guarantee that I wouldn't be waiting another 3 years. Free software, no obligations, etc, etc. In any case, I'm very happy with RC8.
Last edited by Son of a Beach on Wed Dec 05, 2007 4:06 am, edited 2 times in total.

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