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From Phil Steitz <>
Subject Re: [Math] Performance bug: Lessons to be drawn?
Date Mon, 31 Dec 2012 01:00:33 GMT
On 12/30/12 4:01 PM, Gilles Sadowski wrote:
> Hello.
> Are there lessons to be drawn from the problem discovered just after the
> recent release? Apart from pointing fingers, that is. :-}

Most important point - don't do that (point fingers) :)
> I presume that people who voted for the release did as thorough a review as
> they could.
> And the problem is not primarily one of unit test coverage. Some use cases
> will always escape the scope of unit testing: It is not reasonable to extend
> the tests suite with all imaginable use cases.
> One thing that comes to mind would be to announce the release candidates on
> the "user" ML, gently requesting those users who intend to upgrade to test
> the JAR in as many of their applications as possible. ["Let them speak now
> or forever remain silent." ;-)]
> For backwards-compatible releases, that does not seem to be a huge burden on
> the people that use CM.
> What do you think?

As I said in another post, I think the Tomcat community came up with
a pretty good way to deal with this, which was to cut releases and
then after the general user community had an opportunity to work
with them, assess their stability.  See [1] and browse tomcat-dev
archives for an idea of how this works in practice.  The basic idea
is that it is best to get code into the hands of users ASAP and
assess its stability after you have gotten some feedback, basically
acknowledging that you can't possibly anticipate all of the problems
that a new release might bring and enabling developers - and the
user community - to move *forward* to stable releases as we identify
and address problems in releases that do not get "stable" status.

So in concrete terms, I suggest that we move to a "release early,
release often" model with releases designated alpha when they are
cut and subsequently voted as beta or stable.  We haven't done this
is Commons before; but we have talked about it a few times over the
years.  Some wisdom from markt, mturk or other tomcat devs would be
appreciated here :)



> Regards,
> Gilles
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