Should the standard Mozilla release day be moved to Thursday?

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B.J. Herbison

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Mar 13, 2012, 4:51:13 AM3/13/12
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Leaving the Mozilla release day on Tuesday will hit a Microsoft patch Tuesday twice in 2012, twice in 2013, three times in 2014. In the 61 Mozilla release days from 2012 through 2018, 16 (over 25%) hit a Microsoft patch Tuesday.

Since avoiding a Microsoft patch Tuesday is a reason to delay a Firefox release, we would get better release consistency by switching away from Tuesday release dates.

I propose Thursday: Not the start of the week and not a weekend, and provides a chance to react to the effect of a Microsoft patch.

Gervase Markham

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Mar 13, 2012, 6:37:12 AM3/13/12
to B.J. Herbison
On 13/03/12 08:51, B.J. Herbison wrote:
> I propose Thursday: Not the start of the week and not a weekend, and
> provides a chance to react to the effect of a Microsoft patch.

Historically, has 2 days ever been sufficient to react? If not, then
perhaps this change would not actually improve things.

But I like your thinking :-)

Gerv

Justin Dolske

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Mar 13, 2012, 2:46:22 PM3/13/12
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On 3/13/12 1:51 AM, B.J. Herbison wrote:
> Leaving the Mozilla release day on Tuesday will hit a Microsoft patch Tuesday twice in 2012, twice in 2013, three times in 2014. In the 61 Mozilla release days from 2012 through 2018, 16 (over 25%) hit a Microsoft patch Tuesday.
>
> Since avoiding a Microsoft patch Tuesday is a reason to delay a Firefox release, we would get better release consistency by switching away from Tuesday release dates.

There was also a previous proposal to shift the release cycle by a
couple of weeks. IIRC, the the 6-week cadence is cyclic, and doing so
would avoid both patch Tuesdays and the Christmas holidays.

Justin

Johnathan Nightingale

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Mar 13, 2012, 3:10:38 PM3/13/12
to dev-apps-firefox
Yeah, let's go back to first principles for a minute. Releasing every 6 weeks is a cadence we set for ourselves to satisfy several constraints. Constraints like:

- Delivering security and stability fixes on a regular basis.
- Getting new features out to our users promptly, and being able to iterate on the feedback we receive.
- Containing the amount of code change and change-interaction that happens per release.
- Giving ourselves time to react to problems discovered before release (on Nightly, Aurora, or Beta)

Releasing daily wouldn't work very well, it runs afoul of the last constraint. Releasing yearly would hurt us on the first 3. But the constraints are just about as well satisfied by 40 days or 44 days as they are by 42 days.

We derive great benefit from our current schedule. It satisfies these constraints much better than the old, monolithic release model did. But that is not to say that we should treat 42-day cycles as inviolate. We will adjust. We will add or drop days, or add or drop weeks when we need to. We'll be respectful of the fact that other people build plans around our plans, and try not to alter schedules without notice, but at the end of the day we'll do right by our users first and foremost.

Right now we're not looking at moving the release to another day of the week (tuesdays do have some nice properties), or adding a skip week somewhere to take us off-cycle for the next patch Tuesday, but those discussions are absolutely on the table when they make sense. I would gently suggest, though, that release week is the wrong week to start them. People's focus during release week tends to be a bit too tactical to really give you the debate you want.

J

---
Johnathan Nightingale
Sr. Director of Firefox Engineering
joh...@mozilla.com




Dr J R Stockton

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Mar 14, 2012, 6:05:40 PM3/14/12
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In mozilla.dev.apps.firefox message <9731791.2974.1331628673402.JavaMail
.geo-discussion-forums@vbze11>, Tue, 13 Mar 2012 01:51:13, B.J. Herbison
<bjher...@gmail.com> posted:
If it is released during (I suppose) Californian working hours on
Thursday, it will be received in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Antipodes
sometime on Friday, shortly before the weekend.

Microsoft use the second Tuesday of every month.

Firefox should go either to a one-month cycle or a two-month cycle, of
first third or fourth Tuesdays. Or, for intervals of six or seven
weeks, to the first Tuesday of months divisible by 3 and the third
Tuesday of following months, leaving Feb May Aug Nov fallow, putting
Christmas about half-way between two releases, and avoiding Easter to a
considerable extent.

--
(c) John Stockton, nr London, UK. ?@merlyn.demon.co.uk Turnpike v6.05.
Website <http://www.merlyn.demon.co.uk/> - w. FAQish topics, links, acronyms
PAS EXE etc. : <http://www.merlyn.demon.co.uk/programs/> - see in 00index.htm
Dates - miscdate.htm estrdate.htm js-dates.htm pas-time.htm critdate.htm etc.

Kevin Brosnan

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Mar 15, 2012, 4:29:56 AM3/15/12
to B.J. Herbison, dev-apps...@lists.mozilla.org
The problem with Thursdays is that takes a few days to get useful data
about the release. This would require a meeting during the weekend to
evaluate the release and check for issues that may require an
chemspill build. Should a major issue arise then it is almost
guaranteed to be on the weekend. This means tens of people from
various groups would give up any weekend plans (engineering, build,
release management, quality assurance, press, etc) to make sure
Firefox users get a fix in a timely manner. Thursday releases would
require people such as myself being on call every weekend after a
major release.

With the current schedule of Tuesday we can have an evaluation meeting
on Thursday and prep for a chemspill build possibly getting the
chemspill build out on Friday or early Saturday assuming the fix is
known.

I am strongly against Thursday as a regular release day. That being
said making sure a high quality build is in the hands of Firefox users
is important to me. If it means sacrificing the occasional weekend,
not a problem. Sacrificing a weekend every six weeks, I would rather
not.

Kevin Brosnan
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Asa Dotzler

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Mar 15, 2012, 4:50:42 AM3/15/12
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I don't think there are compelling reasons to move from Tuesdays as our
normal migration day and there are plenty of good reasons to stay with
Tuesdays. Patch Tuesday should not stop us from releasing, though we may
want to throttle a bit more when those streams cross.

- A

Johnathan Nightingale

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Mar 15, 2012, 10:15:57 AM3/15/12
to Asa Dotzler, dev-apps...@lists.mozilla.org
On 2012-03-15, at 4:50 AM, Asa Dotzler wrote:

> I don't think there are compelling reasons to move from Tuesdays as our
> normal migration day and there are plenty of good reasons to stay with
> Tuesdays. Patch Tuesday should not stop us from releasing, though we may want to throttle a bit more when those streams cross.


What Asa said. I appreciate the creativity, and there may be releases where we don't go out on Tuesdays for specific-to-that-release reasons, but Tuesdays are a pretty good spot in their own constraint-space, arguably a maximum.

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