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From "Martin Algesten" <>
Subject production quality?
Date Wed, 30 Oct 2002 11:19:14 GMT
Hi all,

Just some thoughts.

I've been using the 3.3.1 release for quite some time in a
mod_jk/apache/linux kind of setup and all was fine. Though a couple of
weeks ago I felt a need to start looking at new versions of all my
API's/products in order to make sure I stay on top of things and don't
end up with unsupported versions.

What do we mean with production quality?
According to the Tomcat project home page, 4.1.12 is a production
quality release, however using it in real life makes me question the
usefulness of such status. I've been monitoring this list and also tried
to contribute by discussing/submitting patches for the bugs I've
encountered. I don't have an issue with how long it takes to resolve
these issues, after all we are all doing this for fun (more or less ;)
). However I do think we have a responsibility in what signals we're
sending regarding how useful a release really is. The current 4.1.12
release have some quite nasty issues that in some production setups
makes it more or less useless. In my opinion the most nasty issues are
those that directly breaks internet standards and the core API (10373,
13846, 13040).

What about quality control?
Well, the bugzilla do allow for a Severity, Priority classification.
Perhaps we should start classifying bugs more actively using these
switches. This could be combined with a policy that we don't make a
release before certain levels of issues are all resolved? I also get a
feeling that we as developers are somewhat in the wrong position to
label things as "production quality". The watchdog tests are all very
well, but can never replace real life scenarios. Perhaps we need a new
label such as release candidate? Perhaps we should be more in the spirit
of other open source projects, (OpenSSL and Mozilla comes to mind),
where the release cycle seems to more involve end users and have a more
cautious labelling of releases.

This is not intended as criticism of anyone. After all Tomcat is a
fantastic project with fantastic people contributing. Good work all!


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