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Re: Lessons Learned

On 3/19/07, Jonathan Blandford <jrb redhat com> wrote:
On Mon, 2007-03-19 at 15:36 -0400, Max Spevack wrote:
> On Mon, 19 Mar 2007, Luis Villa wrote:
> > The repeated slippage of release dates, and recent discussions about
> > 'must have' features for the next release, make me suspect that Fedora
> > has no answers to the question, or at least none that are any better
> > than Debian's. Fedora may not value democracy over the product, but it
> > doesn't seem to have replaced democracy with anything that is decisively
> > better for the product.
> My take on slipping release dates.  We *always* slip.  But then again,
> almost all software projects do.
> This is because we start out by saying we want to try to do the release
> every 6 months.  And that can guarantee that it happens in 7 or 8, because
> the physical act of slipping the release causes some level of shame and
> urgency.
> If we just said at the beginning 7 months, then I think we'd *still* end
> up slipping, and it would really be 8 or 9 months.

Saying that we always slip seems to be a self fulfilling prophesy for

I think that this is correct. It is probably the one thing that I know
as true from the days of 4.2 and way before. You set the schedule, and
then you silently add the extra 2-3 weeks that you know you will need
because thats the way its always been. When I first got there the
developers were working hard on this or that.. but the word was 'well
we are just going to slip a bit.'.

It is always something.. glibc needs a tweak, wait a week and we will
ahve an X update, we almost made the KDE release date... etc etc.


If we really wanted to do time-base releases, the MustHaves page would
just say:

"Is it April 26th yet?"

... I feel an extremely strong feeling of dejavu here.

and we'd work backwards from there.  Barring doing something that
radical (which GNOME does, to somewhat mixed results), I bet we always
slip a couple months, every release.


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Stephen J Smoogen. -- CSIRT/Linux System Administrator
How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed
in a naughty world. = Shakespeare. "The Merchant of Venice"

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