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From wi...@msoft.com (Will Hartung)
Subject Re: How close 'till release?
Date Fri, 23 Aug 2002 18:43:57 GMT
From: "Milt Epstein" <mepstein@uiuc.edu>
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 system
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 the
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 load
test suite of your application, then it shouldn't matter what the back end
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 or
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 infrstructure
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 all
that.

Regards,

Will Hartung
(willh@msoft.com)




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