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From Matt Hogstrom <m...@hogstrom.org>
Subject Frustrations of a Release Manager
Date Thu, 08 Jun 2006 23:40:11 GMT
I previously sent out an e-mail regarding the freezing of the branches/1.1 code so we can march
to a 
release.   I expect you could tell by the tone of the e-mail that I was very frustrated. 
My 
frustration arose from a private e-mail asking if IBM had some secret agenda and if that was
the 
reason I was trying to move the release out.  This really set me off.

You will have to be the judge as to whether IBM yields any undue influence on the project;
I believe 
the answer is no.  From my perspective, IBM goes out of its way to make sure we do not "force"
the 
community.  We carefully consider how we interact in the community.  not only about how we
conduct 
ourselves but what the appearance of our actions might be perceived.  Yes, we base a server
offering 
on Geronimo and we do have a vested interest in seeing the project succeed; however, so do
a number 
of other companies.  It is always a challenge to balance contribution and influence to ensure
your 
growing the ecosystem and I think we do a damn good job of it.  IMHO we actually are too conservative.

The reason I'm trying to move the release along is because it has been OVER FIVE MONTHS since
we 
have given our users anything else to look at.  Does anyone remember who they are?  These
are the 
developers who we're trying to create something for.  Developers that will be interested in
using 
our project.  I don't know about you but in this fast paced world of development people don't
sit 
around waiting for FIVE MONTHS for anything.  They will choose something else and then you've
lost 
them.  You've broken their confidence on your ability to deliver and consequently they'll
be less 
likely to believe you'll deliver when you say you will.

I am not pushing the release because of some secret IBM agenda.  I'm embarrassed that WE can't
seem 
to deliver something.  Originally we said end of January and then discovered that we had some

refactoring to do.  It will only take a few weeks we thought.  Two months later (and stalled

development on new innovation) we set a target date of April 28th.  Yes, I chose the date
but it was 
four weeks from the day I suggested it; we seemed to have consensus.  Unfortunately we found
that 
our changes (they were the right thing to do) caused us lots of heart burn in CTS testing.
 Few 
people were able to help with that for whatever reason so it was a long slow grind.  We burned
up 
April and then started into May.  Java One was in there for a week so we basically lost two
more weeks.

Continuing to try and get a release out we've diagnosed performance problems, survived an
SVN outage 
at Apache, a Codehaus outage, I've written numerous e-mails about getting 1.1 out and yet
we are 
still not in lock step as to what we're trying to accomplish.

In short, yes, I am frustrated not because some secret IBM plan is not coming to fruition
but 
because the community, of which I am apart, is dysfunctional to the point of laughability.
 We are 
now under Review and Commit.  We're not doing well there either but that is likely a separate
thread 
for discussion.  I know we're a volunteer organization but I hope that being part of a project
makes 
us a team.

If we cannot begin to operate like a team its going to be a slow painful process.

So, to answer the question about why I'm pushing to get a release out, there is no secret
IBM plot. 
  I simply want to get this release out to break the log jam on development.  In one e-mail
thread 
it was posed that new features were being added to a frozen branch and that was met with a
wink. 
One person simply said maybe we need balance, will you help me on the next release?  Wow,
what about 
this one.  Are we a team or a bunch of people that act as an Army of One.

I'll post another note with the schedule of the release.

Yes, I'm frustrated.  I know others are as well.

Matt

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