At today's weekly status meeting, I proposed botrytizing SDK 0.10,
delaying its release until we resolve the remaining beta blockers, so we
can release it as SDK 1.0 beta 1 as soon as possible.
So far, we've employed date/quality-driven development cycles, in which
we ship a version about every four weeks with whatever features are
ready, blocking the release only on quality concerns (test failures,
docs mistakes, major functional bugs, etc.).
That strategy has been effective, since it has meant relatively frequent
releases that users can test and provide feedback on while allowing us
to hold features until they're ready.
However, we have reached a point at which we are very close to being
ready to ship a beta release, with most beta blockers being resolved,
while only a few remain.
Meanwhile, the importance of shipping a beta release of the SDK
continues to increase as we get closer to the final release of Firefox 4
and add-on developers increasingly look into creating add-ons for
Firefox 4 (or updating their existing add-ons), since they are much more
likely to try an SDK beta than an alpha.
If we stick with date/quality-driven cycles, freezing the release
tomorrow and shipping it next week, then our next opportunity to ship a
beta will be December 15 with the 0.11 release.
However, if we delay the release of SDK 0.10 until we resolve beta
blockers, we should be able to ship it this month.
So I think it's worth switching to a feature/quality-driven schedule for
this cycle, holding the 0.10 release until we land the rest of the beta
If we make this change, we would still freeze the tree tomorrow, locking
it down to fixes for release blockers (and driver-approved non-blocker
fixes). We would just include beta blockers in addition to quality
issues in the set of bugs that block the release.
We wouldn't hold the tree indefinitely, of course. Just as botrytized
grapes must be picked before they rot too long in order to become
delicious dessert wine, so too must we ship 0.10 before our botrytized
tree stays frozen too long in order to become a delicious beta release.
Even through the tree will be frozen, I encourage everyone to not be
shy about asking for driver approval to land changes during this time.
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