Yes, i was trying to keep it simple and practical by avoiding side issues or detail. Even so my
post turned out to be a lot longer than planned!
For some projects
stability = stagnation
ie that the 3.0.0 could be considered stable because pretty much all the bugs are known issues and
mostly written-up somewhere. That has never been considered good enough in LO. The earlier
releases in a branch are not considered "more stable" after the branch reaches .3 or .4. It's only
the .3 or .4 and onwards that are considered more stable.
Time-based releases vs "release when ready". Whichever methodology is used it's only after initial
proper release that the thing gets used on the mad set-ups out in the real world that most problems
surface and get fixed. With MS products many corporates wouldn't consider installing before
Service Pack 1 got released, which means it's only after SP 1 that many problems come to light!
So, i agree with Stuart and most of the rest of the project on this issue. I'm sure the arguments
about which is best will continue for another 7 years in most projects (and possibly longer).
We all get to play ginea pig but we would with proprietary software too. The difference is that if
a problem we reported does get fixed we get the fix for free along with all the updates that we
didn't help with. There is no paying for upgrades or being pushed into buying a different bundle
by some salesman.
From: V Stuart Foote <VStuart.Foote@utsa.edu>
To: "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>
Sent: Sunday, 4 August 2013, 16:58
Subject: RE: [libreoffice-users] stable vs new
In opening this thread ( Nabble http://nabble.documentfoundation.org/stable-vs-new-tp4068750.html
) Tom is correct in a practical sense. Stability is an inherent component of a mature product.
And testing during the development cycles by more potential user willing to invest a little time
in QA is essential to the health of the project.
But a key aspect Tom omits is that LibreOffice development and release stages are tightly
timed--and by proxy so is its support. Nor does he mention that the project has stayed on schedule
since inception--synchronizing to a six month minor release cycle implemented in a broader
ecosystem of Free and Open Source Software.
The Release Plan for LibreOffice publishes the release schedule, current status and a historical
record of the project, worth a read:
Keeping to the time based release plan means that the delay between initial release on a minor
version and the next minor version release is just six months. And that the delay between the
x.x.0 release and each bug fix release has been and will continue to be just one month. So,
while I don't completely agree Toms' assessment of how far along each bug fix takes things--it is
just not the way the user feedback, QA,and development work proceeds--but it is not unreasonable
Support has kept to the same cycle--for the most part--user documentation (static HTML or wiki
based, and published) can always use more active contributors and lags a bit as a result.
This is not just development churn, there is solid User eXperience, QA and development work at
every tick of the release cycle. And as a minor release nears end of its development life it gets
less and less development attention--QA and development resources long since shifted to new
development and bug fixes. Enhancements and bug fixes become more and more costly to push
backward with each tick in development cycle--so less likely to occur. In a sense that also is
stability, or maybe stagnation.
The project is on sound footings as a time based release, that is not going to change so no sense
in debating it here. Rather, if you have specific questions or comments about its implementation
or how best to make use of software from time based release managed project that would be a
a LibreOffice QA volunteer, focusing on accessibility issues.
p.s. For use Accessibility and Assistive Technology tools the use of a Java 7, Java Runtime
Environment and the Java Access Bridge v2.0.3 was not ported backward to the 3.6.x branch. It was
included in the 4.1.0 release, and has been patched for the upcoming 4.0.5 release. Users of
3.6.x must continue to use a Java 6 JRE (e.g. 1.6u45) and manual install of Java Access Bridge
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