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From "Shapira, Yoav" <>
Subject RE: production quality?
Date Wed, 30 Oct 2002 13:31:03 GMT
Every now and then a message along those lines comes up.  I've seen it
in all the open sources projects I've contributed to, and (what does
that say? I have too much free time? ;)) these are many.

I will quote a response, not written by me, that I think is a perfect
way to look at the process.  I hope Will won't mind being quoted ;)

>>From: "Milt Epstein" <>
>>Sent: Friday, August 23, 2002 10:11 AM
>> I mean, I understand (and sympathize with what you're saying), but I
>> also understand the position of those who want to wait until there's
>> "release"-quality code available.  I mean, what will the typical
>> manager say after the production system breaks down and you tell them
>> that you went with "beta"-quality code instead of "release"-quality
>> code.
>It's all a matter of expectations. I find that most people want the
>to work and aren't really caught up on release numbers and labels.
>Now, through probably painful experience, people have lower
expectations of
>1.0 code, "Beta" code, etc. They pretty much expect it to fail in some,
>perhaps critical, way. They may use the label as an indicator whether
>code is worth testing.
>But the real problem is not necessarily whether its Beta or Release
>quality, it is the testing facilities available to the consumers.
>If you had a deployed application and a solid, thorough feature and
>test suite of your application, then it shouldn't matter what the back
>code is labeled. If your test is complete and robust enough and thus
>confirms that your application will behave as designed, then Release or
>Beta are irrelevant.
>The dark side of this is that folks will say "Well, gee I don't have to
>'test' release code, it's already tested!".
>To wit everybody falls over on the floor in hysterics.
>The acceptance process for the software should be the same whether Beta
>Release. No matter how thorough the testing by the folks developing the
>application, no doubt they have NOT tested their software on YOUR
>application with YOUR load conditions on YOUR hardware.
>And it should go without saying that this applies to any major
>infrastructure component in your application, not just Tomcat. Don't
just >blindly upgrade your system to Solaris 9, Oracle 9i and new
Firewall >software and then throw the application live because it's all
"release >quality" software.
>There are disclaimers in those licenses for a reason. Caveat Emptor and
>Will Hartung

Yoav Shapira
Millennium ChemInformatics

>-----Original Message-----
>From: Martin Algesten []
>Sent: Wednesday, October 30, 2002 6:19 AM
>Subject: production quality?
>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
>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
>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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