What are the community's goals for 2.0? [was Re: Getting serious about releasing]

**This is long, if you are involved with the gnome2 work at all, please
read and respond to at /least/ the last paragraph.**

This is going to end up split into two emails. This one addresses a
general gnome question and so I've redirected it to gnome-hackers and
not desktop-devel. The other addresses release-specific issues and so
will remain targeted at desktop-devel.

Please note that this is basically a freelance email; I speak neither
for Ximian nor for Sun. I speak as somebody whose name will (hopefully)
be in the about box; that's it.

On Tue, 2002-04-23 at 16:58, Havoc Pennington wrote:
> It's sort of a judgment call which bugs can be punted, but 
> I promise you have to punt on the scale of the appended punt-list or
> we may as well go ahead and update the schedule to show a release in
> September or later. Seriously.
> So, if you think a bug I listed should really not be punted, either a)
> fix it right away b) suggest a bug that I have as not puntable that
> you'd punt instead or c) have the guts to go ahead and argue for a
> September or later release. Please don't do c). ;-)

I'm going to do (c). Sorry. :)

We have two options right now:

	(1) a 2.0.0 that has no major, individually embarassing bugs, 	but a
huge collection of bugs that make the overall level of quality
	embarassing, but it Works For Us.

	(2) waiting and having a 2.0.0 that is completely free of highly
	embarassing bugs and has a very small number of bad bugs. It 	Works For
People Who Are Not Us.

I have yet to hear clearly say why (1) is a good idea. It is my belief
that the common belief is 'we have to release.' I still don't know why
'we have to release.' Reasons (that I consider not good) that I've

	*'well, the kernel did it.' The 2.4.0 kernel was /vastly/ 	embarassing.
It made people question whether Linus was qualified 	to maintain the
kernel. I hope not to be associated with a 	similar fiasco.

	*'we just need to have a release.' This is circular; we need to
	release because we need to release. 

	*'we'll get more testing.' Trust me, we don't need more testing- 	we
already have more bugs than we can handle.

However, I have yet to hear anyone explain why (2) is a good idea
either. So, here are my reasons why I feel (2) (havoc's (c), but in
July) /is/ a good idea.

	*There is a big fear that if we go for (2), we'll slip 	interminably;
Havoc's estimate is September. This is quite 
	simply not the case. This is unusual, but Sun's contract with
	Ximian/Wipro guarantees that (2) is achieved (for all intents and
	purposes) is no later than mid-July. So slipping until September 	will
not occur. Ximian, Wipro, and Sun will ensure that slippage 	is no later
than July. Yes, there will be puntage- we obviously 	can't fix
everything. But there will be a lot less puntage than 	Havoc has

	*If we go for (2), quite bluntly, we get a release we'll be 	proud to
put our names on. Option (1) (release Real Soon Now) I'd be 	embarassed
to show to my mother, because she's 	never used Linux and 	she'd find
bugs in 2-3 minutes. I shudder to think of the press and 	community
reaction we'd get. I was fucking proud of Evolution 1.0, 	and that was
because we waited until we got it right. I can't 	/wait/ to get my mom
using it eventually. That is not going to be the 	case with a 2.0
release that punts that many bugs.

So, I think we're faced with a very fundamental question: the GNOME
community can release something very soon that Works For Us, or we can
release something that Works if we're willing to wait.

/Personally/, speaking as an 'advanced' user, we're basically ready for
2.0. Speaking as a name in the about box, I /personally/ would be
completely embarassed to put my name on Havoc's proposed 2.0.0.

But I can't speak for the community. So, tell me- are you, the
community, happy with Works For Me? Would you prefer Works? Are there
reasons I'm not seeing why waiting is bad, or why not waiting is good? I
personally feel strongly, right now, that I want to wait for mid-July
and for Works. I do not want to settle for Works For Me. I want this to
be the best damn release we can have, and I'm willing to wait longer
until it is the release that Kicks a Lot of Ass. But I understand others
may not want to wait, and I'm willing to go ahead and put something out
there if others don't want to wait. I just don't understand why anyone
would want not to wait.


So... what are the community's goals for 2.0.0? I won't feel offended if
people say 'get 2.0 out the door'; if that is what the community wants,
I'll work my ass off to work with Havoc and whoever else to triage
things to make a quick release that is as good as possible. If the
response is 'we want quality and are willing to wait until mid-July'
I'll work my ass off to make that happen as quickly as possible too. I
just want to know what the community wants so I and the rest of the
release planning folks can adjust our release and bugzilla strategy
appropriately. Right now I feel like we're making a lot of assumptions
about what the community wants, and I'm getting sick of making
assumptions- I want to know what the hackers want for 2.0, and I want to
act based on what people who have written code for 2.0 want.


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