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From David Blevins <david.blev...@visi.com>
Subject Thinking beyond 1.0 (e.g 1.1, 1.2) (was: Managing tasks for future releases)
Date Tue, 19 Jul 2005 19:58:04 GMT

On Jul 19, 2005, at 7:06 AM, sissonj@insession.com wrote:
> Maybe after M4 is out we should look at creating some further  
> milestone versions in JIRA and start assigning some of the tasks  
> that were in the Roadmap that Geir discussed to them, so we can get  
> a good visual on the project's plans.
>
> At the moment it isn't obvious (from JIRA) what needs to be done to  
> get to a 1.0 release, and how we are going to achieve that (steps  
> along the way).  The JIRA roadmap view is useful to see what is  
> planned for future releases and would probably assist prioritizing  
> work.  There are also a lot of unscheduled issues that would be  
> nice to place on a roadmap.  Maybe a review of tasks for future  
> milestones should be done at the end of each milestone?    Comments?

We are still hammering on M4, so I don't want to distract people to  
much.  Just want to get people thinking.

I have a couple things in my mind still in the abstract.  Will try to  
get them out in some sensible way.  Bare with me.

<rambling>
RELEASE OFTEN, PERFECT OR NOT

Ok, so it's been a year since M3 (ouch) and we have threatened to do  
an M4 several times.  Why did we keep putting off M4 even though we  
knew very well M3 was no good?  I think the reason is something along  
the lines of 1) being optimistic in many forms, 2) wanting the next  
release to be some form of perfect, 3) being focused on a couple (or  
one) very large goal.

More important than 1, 2 or 3 is time.

Let's ask ourselves:
   - How much usablility feedback could we have gotten in an entire  
year's time?
   - How many releases could we have done in the last year?
   - How many would-be committers and users did we miss out on by not  
releasing?

Let's be more humble and admit that every release is going to "suck"  
to some degree (i.e. not be perfect) and it's better to work on  
getting them out faster, not slower.

We need to stop making such a bid deal about the next release, which  
only slows it down, and start thinking two or three releases out.

Normally some form of competition would drive us to push releases out  
the door quickly and keep our goals in check with what people really  
do need now and what they would be fine having later.  There is  
competition out there, but it's us not competing with them, not the  
other way around.  Sorry, just calling it like I see it.

MILESTONES AND USABILITY

Alright, IMHO, we've outgrown milestones.  Better said we've attained  
our goal of passing the CTS, the major technical milestone.  Now we  
all are focusing on usability.  From my experience, obtaining  
usability is all about iterations, as many as you can get and as  
often as you can get them.  I think milestones will actually slow us  
down on achieving our goal of usability.

We are going to have to crank out a half dozen releases minimum over  
the next couple months in order to achieve the kind of growth we  
want.  At this point in the game it's all about momentum.  We need to  
be an unstoppable freight-train leaving a trail of release numbers  
behind us and picking up as much community we can carry as we go  
forward.

Pushing a milestone every three months is not going to cut it, nor is  
Geronimo 1.0 M12 such good idea either.

1.0, THE UNATTAINABLE GOAL (CROSSING THE LINE)

The 1.0 release is not about the cool things we want to add to make  
Geronimo great.  It's about reaching a point where you and the users  
agree on what will be supported in a year's time, which won't be much  
as it's a 1.0, not a 2.0 or 3.0 or 4.0.  That's it, no more, no  
less.  All sorts of cool things can be added later!

Here is the point where I have particular experience, ... you will  
cross that magical "1.0" line at some point, wether you choose to  
call it 1.0 or not!

At some point, people will start using the software and become  
dependent on whatever you are at the time.  Their expectations will  
naturally settle on what you have and not where you say you are  
going.  1.0 or not, you now have to maintain stability, only you  
weren't so clear on what was going to change and what was to remain  
supported (be at least backwards compatible), so now you are in the  
position to have to support much more than you wanted.
</rambling>

Anyway, those are my rambling thoughts and experiences.  Just  
throwing them out there for now.

-David




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