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From Jeff Genender <>
Subject Re: Frustrations of a Release Manager
Date Fri, 09 Jun 2006 14:31:31 GMT

Aaron Mulder wrote:
> In the spirit of greater openness and communication, please elaborate
> on 'thing have been "quietly" injected into Geronimo'.

Personally, I would rather we not get into details as I do not want to
see this thread degrade into a flame-fest.  I would much rather that we
can all agree that there is a communication problem, and definitely
enough of a communication problem, that things were "quietly" being put
in and the issue and concern was raised by others.

Clearly people have raised that we need to communicate more, and the RTC
initiative, in and of itself, is an indication that we need to bring a
lot more discussion to the lists.  If this is not clear, then we have a
much greater problem that I had imagined.

> As far as I can tell, the main source of the 1.1 delay was that the
> module ID changes (new syntax, groupless or versionless dependencies,
> etc.) caused a ton of problems, in the TCK, the deployment tools, the
> console, and so on.  When the original deadline came, the product was
> not stable enough to ship.  I'm sure that some of the features I've
> worked on have contributed -- mainly the keystore changes, which
> caused some TCK failures until we updated the keystore configuration
> for it.  Still, we've talked about some of the reasons for this, and I
> think we all want to try to make the 1.2 changes more incremental and
> keep the TCK passing at all times to avoid major disconnects as we
> move forward.
> As far as the release schedule goes, I'm disappointed that we missed
> the deadline, and then didn't really update our road map...  If there
> was a new target date or plan it seemed pretty informal -- there
> didn't seem to be anything posted to the dev list or the web site, etc
> (though based on Jeff's comments it sounds like there was and I missed
> it?).  Now we're trying to put out a release when our only
> preview/release candidate has been available for less than a week.  I
> contrast that to the SuSE process where there were at least 12
> well-defined test builds (9 or more beta builds and 3 or more RC
> builds) at well-defined interrvals.  As a user, I certainly
> appreciated that I could get and try the latest, submit bug reports,
> check the release calendar for the date of the next test build, get it
> and test the fixes, etc.  I don't think that one build and 72 hours is
> sufficient to convince me that 1.1 is a stable release.  I don't feel
> strongly enough to override a majority opinion, if there is one, but
> I'd like to try a much more SuSE-like release strategy for 1.2 and see
> how it goes.  If that doesn't work so well either, we'll regroup and
> try something different for the release after.
> Thanks,
>    Aaron
> On 6/9/06, Jeff Genender <> wrote:
>> Bruce Snyder wrote:
>> > On 6/8/06, Aaron Mulder <> wrote:
>> >
>> >> I think it will help to have the schedule of the release.  No one can
>> >> claim IBM has a secret agenda if the time line is laid out there.  And
>> >> it's easy to wink if no one has any idea what the deadlines we're
>> >> working toward are.
>> >
>> > I agree with Aaron here - publicity of not only the timeline (i.e., a
>> > calendar of release schedules maybe) but also the Road Map may help on
>> > all fronts. IMO we should consider publishing and continually
>> > revisiting both of these items. I know that this won't be a popular
>> > suggestion on the committer side of things because we are a volunteer
>> > organization, but it would most certainly help our user community
>> > immensely.
>> I have to disagree here.  Although I absolutely agree a roadmap is
>> helpful and trackable, the timeline and release issues that Matt has
>> talked about is clearly an issue.  On these lists, Matt has made things
>> extremely clear regarding when our releases should be, along with group
>> consensus, and thing have been "quietly" injected into Geronimo.  I
>> share Matt's feelings and frustrations.
>> Minimally, if we cannot hold to a simple date based on agreement on
>> these lists, a roadmap, although helpful, will surely not be a panacea.
>> It is also my hope that there are not private emails going around
>> talking about "secret" agendas.  This would dismay me as I fully expect
>> that we are all adult enough to share our feelings with each other in
>> these lists.  If an email like this is being passed around, then we
>> clearly need to be working on our communication skills and have a long
>> way to go on learning to work with each other as a team.  I think
>> communication is the primary thing we need to deal with.
>> Jeff
>> >
>> > A wiki page of the Road Map along with a rough timeline would be a
>> > good start. I also think that tying the Road Map to a timeline will
>> > cause people to more closely examine the time a particular feature
>> > might require. But like the Linux kernel release schedule, determining
>> > any kind of regular release schedule may prove to be quite difficult.
>> > But IMO it can't hurt to have goals.
>> >
>> > Just my $0.02.
>> >
>> > Bruce

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