Hi Johnathan, all,
On 04/16/2012 04:56 PM, Johnathan Nightingale wrote:
> Howdy folks,
> The new Fennec is getting close to beta quality. We're taking down
> the remaining beta blockers and hope to push it in the next few
> weeks. As with major desktop releases in the pre-train days, we feel
> a lot of pressure to lock this one down and get it out the door. Part
> of this pressure is internal, because we are getting close and we can
> feel it and we don't want any surprises. Part of it is external
> because it's really much better than the XUL fennec currently in the
> market, and we want to get these improvements out to users.
> Fennec is based on Gecko 14, which is still on mozilla-central for
> another 9 days. I'd like to ask that we move mozilla-central to
> APPROVAL_REQUIRED for the next 9 days so that we can reduce the risk
> of a late-landing change breaking Fennec.
I don't think this is a good idea. One of the reasons we moved to the
train model (AIUI) is that we realized that this "pressure to lock this
one down and get it out the door" did not, in fact, improve "this one".
Indeed, the patches for those "blocker" bugs would often be rushed in
right before shipping the release, more complex and less well tested
than would be deemed responsible for other bugs. This is the last week
of the cycle; *nobody* should be pushing high-risk patches at this
point. Not to "desktop" code, but not to mobile code either.
Secondly, if we have 26 bugs that absolutely block a good user
experience for Fennec, maybe we should think again about how ready it
*actually* is. Clearly, Fennec is not ready *right now*, or we wouldn't
need to introduce this bureaucracy. What, then, makes us believe that
next week, we will be ready? We don't know what state we will be in by
then; the proposal is to land, every day, several probably-intrusive
patches, whose interactions have not been tested (AFAIK).
Why should we believe that those patches will improve the situation
enough to make us happy to ship Fennec? Will we not be landing lots of
new code to aurora, too, to fix regressions from the blockers (as those
are unavoidable), or to further improve UX (because we're human—our code
is never good enough)?
Finally, it is also not clear to me why the risk of Fennec-breaking
changes is, apparently, deemed greater in the normal (platform and
desktop-specific) patches, than in the patches for those Fennec-specific
I suggest that we leave the trees open, and remind those who push to
mozilla-central or any of its integration repositories (all people we
trust to be responsible enough not to break a product used by several
hundred million users, after all), that the last week of a cycle is
*never* the time to land high-risk patches.