rethinking the "New" development changes

General discussion of development ideas and the approaches taken in the 3.x branch of phpBB. The next feature release of phpBB 3 will be 3.3/Proteus.
Forum rules
Please do not post support questions regarding installing, updating, or upgrading phpBB 3.1. If you need support for phpBB 3.1 please visit the 3.1.x Support Forum on phpbb.com.

If you have questions regarding writing extensions please post in Extension Writers Discussion to receive proper guidance from our staff and community.
bobtheman
Registered User
Posts: 63
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 4:00 pm

rethinking the "New" development changes

Post by bobtheman » Sun Dec 27, 2009 8:41 pm

This topic is in regard to the older blog post, http://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopi ... &t=1715935 , concerning the new development changes. I personally would like to discuss these changes in hope for a better understanding and in depth discussion ... something other than the "cool new updates" responses from the support forums side.
Significant phpBB (development) changes

Postby Acyd Burn » Wed Jul 29, 2009 1:34 pm
Hello,

We are very pleased to announce some planned improvements to phpBB's development process and release cycle. These changes are a direct result of our past experiences with the development of phpBB 2.0.x and 3.0.x, and will directly impact development direction, release strategy and version numbering.

After two great years of phpBB 3.0.x and the heroic plans for 3.2.x, we are again running into problems similar to those faced during the development of 3.0.x. In an effort to provide the community with a more solid groundwork, we have discussed and agreed upon the following changes:

phpBB 3.0.6

phpBB 3.0.6 will be released as planned.

Version numbering system

At the moment, we are using the former Linux kernel version numbering system, which we believe is no longer suitable for phpBB. We will be using a custom system specifically designed around phpBB and oriented toward a controlled release schedule.

We will continue using the X.Y.Z scheme, with the first number representing the major version, the second number representing feature releases and the last number representing maintenance releases. Unlike before, no significance will be given to even/odd numbers, so consecutive numbering (0,1,2,3...) will be used.

Here are some examples:

* phpBB 3.0.x (current stable branch)
* phpBB 3.1.0 (first feature release of the stable branch; architecture is the same as with 3.0.x)
* phpBB 3.1.1 (first maintenance release of the 3.1.x branch)
* phpBB 3.2.0 (feature release of 3.1.x once 3.1.x becomes the stable branch)
* phpBB 3.x.0 (subsequent feature releases, based on the architecture of phpBB 3.0.0)
* phpBB 4.0.0 (completely new software with a new architecture)
Im ok with everything here

Release strategy

We plan to have up to two supported branches at any given time; a stable branch (currently 3.0.x) and a feature branch (planned 3.1.x). Stable branches will continue to be supported for around 6-9 months after the date of a new feature release. Exact dates will be announced well in advance to provide MOD and Style authors with the ability to coordinate the releases of their own packages.

Each feature branch will have a tiny list of new major features and multiple new minor features, while maintenance releases will focus on bug fixes. Planned features will be announced to the public as a roadmap with additional small features being added as necessary. Overall architecture will be maintained as much as possible within feature branches to ensure maximum MOD and Style compatibility as well as smooth updating from the stable release. The automatic updater will support feature updates and, as always, assistance will be available for users updating their boards to the latest version.

We will continue releasing maintenance versions for the stable branch during the support period, with the last release aimed for around one month before the end of support. If necessary, patches for critical security issues will be released for a short period of time beyond the end of support date.

Such a release strategy prevents users from having to wait years for a feature that would've previously only be added in a major release (X.0.0). Necessary or commonly requested features will now be added to a feature release and available much sooner. This also allows us to properly concentrate on phpBB4 without the pressure of a community actively waiting for a small set of new features.
So the purpose of this is to allow users to continue to use mods until the developers of these mods have the time to make them compatible with the new release? As a corollary we are splitting up the development into two branches and giving users/admins an unnecessary option or choice .. the decision to update to a new feature release or not. Now with this i foresee some other issues like.. having to explain the difference between the two, how to update, how to downgrade back to the "stable" branch etc etc.

Wouldn't it be much easier and manageable to create a release schedule or some form of a plan and instead have a stable release and beta releases or "RC". This would benefit the development and be more user friendly. Then, mod devs would know that phpbb 7 beta1 is scheduled to be released on march 17 2011. depending on how the first beta release goes we can make an educated and maintainable forecast for the next beta releases if needed and then when all testing is done an actual release. Our current development schedule "or lack of" instead accomplishes this. stable branch of 3.0.6 is out with lack of support for development, throw in discussion of phpbb4, and we haven't even forecasted the release of 3.1, 3.2 etc etc.

To combat our old viewpoint on release schedules, "Its done when its done" wow how obvious. To say that we cant set a goal for a release date, and forecast our expected developmental contributions is unacceptable. Yes it may be unethical to set guidelines on individuals that contribute development time free of charge, but we are not doing that. What we can do is look at past experiences and see that user "bobtheman" has contributed 200 hours of coding for the past three years straight and its a good odd that he will do so again this year. Add in adequate time for unexpected occurrences and we can make at least a educated guess on when phpbb4 beta1 will be released.
This also allows us to properly concentrate on phpBB4 without the pressure of a community actively waiting for a small set of new features.
The concentration of the community as a whole should be on two things only, the current stable release and improving it as needed, and developing the next stable release. It almost seems that you are forecasting the release of phpbb4 .. by saying it will take a release of all of this .. 3.1 3.2 3.3 etc etc before 4.0 could be released.

if phpbb4 is as important as it has been made out to be, which i agree with for various reasons, then it would be in the best interest to set an actual schedule for phpbb4 and open the community up to its development to expedite the process because releasing 3.1, 3.2, 3.3 to get to 4.0 may not be necessary. If we dont then its no more important than the secrecy and elitist development of 3.2.

before you continue work on phpbb4, im interested and want new features in 3.3 please :roll:

Desdenova
Registered User
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2009 6:45 pm

Re: rethinking the "New" development changes

Post by Desdenova » Mon Dec 28, 2009 3:53 am

Wouldn't it be much easier and manageable to create a release schedule or some form of a plan and instead have a stable release and beta releases or "RC"
Please remember that the developers do have to work for a living and thus cannot constantly code for phpBB. There's this stupid thing called "real life" that tends to take priority over hobbies (and let's admit, phpBB is a product of the hobbies of many people). I'll say it now: the phpBB group is more focused on releasing a quality project instead of meeting a deadline, which is the way an open source web application should be.
It almost seems that you are forecasting the release of phpbb4 .. by saying it will take a release of all of this .. 3.1 3.2 3.3 etc etc before 4.0 could be released.
Incorrect. phpBB4 will be done when it is done, not when there's been 5 or 6 major releases of the 3.x branch. Again, phpBB is more focused on a quality product and not a deadline.

code reader
Registered User
Posts: 653
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2005 3:01 pm

Re: rethinking the "New" development changes

Post by code reader » Mon Dec 28, 2009 4:17 pm

bobtheman wrote:Wouldn't it be much easier and manageable to create a release schedule or some form of a plan and instead have a stable release and beta releases or "RC".
in general, there are two (maybe more, but let's limit the discussion to two) release schedule modes: time driven and content driven.
"content driven" is the mode used by phpbb. it means you decide on the content of the next release, and then "it's ready when it's ready".
"time driven" means you decide on a release schedule, and the content of each release is determined by the actual features you had time to develop within this time constraint.

i think your suggestion here amounts to a suggestion to switch from content-based release schedule to time-based.
this requires a very significant shift in attitude. atm i do not foresee phpbb move in this direction, but i have been known to be wrong in the past.

bobtheman
Registered User
Posts: 63
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 4:00 pm

Re: rethinking the "New" development changes

Post by bobtheman » Tue Dec 29, 2009 4:52 am

code reader wrote:
bobtheman wrote:Wouldn't it be much easier and manageable to create a release schedule or some form of a plan and instead have a stable release and beta releases or "RC".
in general, there are two (maybe more, but let's limit the discussion to two) release schedule modes: time driven and content driven.
"content driven" is the mode used by phpbb. it means you decide on the content of the next release, and then "it's ready when it's ready".
"time driven" means you decide on a release schedule, and the content of each release is determined by the actual features you had time to develop within this time constraint.

i think your suggestion here amounts to a suggestion to switch from content-based release schedule to time-based.
this requires a very significant shift in attitude. atm i do not foresee phpbb move in this direction, but i have been known to be wrong in the past.
Thank you for that information.

I think that we can mix the two, and by doing so we can better serve our users. Heres how, if we continued on a "content driven" release mode ... there could still be a forecasted time frame or date of the release. so the purposed new features could have a deadline to be submitted, after the feature freeze we could then make an educated estimate of the time needed to complete the changes and give the community a scheduled release date.

to be honest im really not interested in a traditional release schedule perse... more so just a time frame of the upcoming releases that we are already discussing (3.2 and 4.0). To promise a new release every three months may be impractical and hinder proper development. Now setting a time frame for a release is fully within our capabilities.

we should, and are able to make a realistic deadline of when 3.2 will be released. But for us to ponder, discuss, and even develop 4.0 when 3.2 hasn't been given the proper recognition and attention that it desperately needs is impractical. Which is why we have members panting over 4.0 and clueless of 3.2, they could care less.


to get off topic for a sec, the fact that 4.0 will be extremely different than 3.0 should be irrelevant to the end user because there should be an upgrade path from 3.x to 4.0 that is seamless. Therefor 3.2 should be receiving all the attention and glorification first, leaving our community focus on two versions "current and next stable for release".

User avatar
ToonArmy
Registered User
Posts: 335
Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2004 7:31 pm
Location: Bristol, UK
Contact:

Re: rethinking the "New" development changes

Post by ToonArmy » Tue Dec 29, 2009 6:03 am

bobtheman wrote:we should, and are able to make a realistic deadline of when 3.2 will be released. But for us to ponder, discuss, and even develop 4.0 when 3.2 hasn't been given the proper recognition and attention that it desperately needs is impractical. Which is why we have members panting over 4.0 and clueless of 3.2, they could care less.
You might wish to clue up yourself considering 3.1 is the next release of the 3.x branch.
bobtheman wrote:to get off topic for a sec, the fact that 4.0 will be extremely different than 3.0 should be irrelevant to the end user because there should be an upgrade path from 3.x to 4.0 that is seamless. Therefor 3.2 should be receiving all the attention and glorification first, leaving our community focus on two versions "current and next stable for release".
This forum was never opened to discuss anything related to 3.x and it's releases, there are topics on phpBB.com for that purpose. This entire topic is off topic, 4.0 is happening, slowly but it is happening. Hence why we are discussing it.
Chris SmithBlogXMOOhlohArea51WikiNo support via PM/IM
Image

bobtheman
Registered User
Posts: 63
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 4:00 pm

Re: rethinking the "New" development changes

Post by bobtheman » Tue Dec 29, 2009 2:32 pm

ToonArmy wrote:
bobtheman wrote:we should, and are able to make a realistic deadline of when 3.2 will be released. But for us to ponder, discuss, and even develop 4.0 when 3.2 hasn't been given the proper recognition and attention that it desperately needs is impractical. Which is why we have members panting over 4.0 and clueless of 3.2, they could care less.
You might wish to clue up yourself considering 3.1 is the next release of the 3.x branch.
bobtheman wrote:to get off topic for a sec, the fact that 4.0 will be extremely different than 3.0 should be irrelevant to the end user because there should be an upgrade path from 3.x to 4.0 that is seamless. Therefor 3.2 should be receiving all the attention and glorification first, leaving our community focus on two versions "current and next stable for release".
This forum was never opened to discuss anything related to 3.x and it's releases, there are topics on phpBB.com for that purpose. This entire topic is off topic, 4.0 is happening, slowly but it is happening. Hence why we are discussing it.
considering we are on 3.0.6 i would assume 3.1 would be the next release... im just referencing 3.2 for the sake of argument. The fact that 4.0 is "happening" doesn't make my points invalid, if anything they complement it. Im in no way saying we should stop development of 4.0 because we have already rang that bell and it would be impossible and unethical to do so. But what we could do is when 4.0 is released, we should only focus on 4.0 and 4.x or 4.1 ... and not bring up after a month passes 4.2 and 4.3 and 5.0. but what we could do is give developmental focus on 4.0 and attempt to bypass 3.2 and 3.3, having a feature freeze on 3.0.6 and only releasing bug fixes and things related to security. Now, skipping from 3.0 - 4.0 seems crazy but "US" as the dev community have already rang that bell.

what im asking us to discuss in its simplicity is this,
a release schedule
focus on only two versions (current and next release) no stable and feature release and then four upcoming releases.

to talk off topics, the fact that 4.0 is already in development when 3.1, 3.2, 3.x haven't been released yet ... well you get my point.

User avatar
ToonArmy
Registered User
Posts: 335
Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2004 7:31 pm
Location: Bristol, UK
Contact:

Re: rethinking the "New" development changes

Post by ToonArmy » Tue Dec 29, 2009 3:23 pm

Look this has already been decided, I don't understand why you keep pushing this. When 4.x release is approaching we will wind down work on 3.x, but this is years off yet. If we just leave 3.x to stagnate without a replacement this will be very bad for us and users. The correct place to discuss 3.x's continuing development is http://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopi ... &t=1715945
Chris SmithBlogXMOOhlohArea51WikiNo support via PM/IM
Image

bobtheman
Registered User
Posts: 63
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 4:00 pm

Re: rethinking the "New" development changes

Post by bobtheman » Mon Jan 04, 2010 8:14 pm

ToonArmy wrote:Look this has already been decided, I don't understand why you keep pushing this. When 4.x release is approaching we will wind down work on 3.x, but this is years off yet. If we just leave 3.x to stagnate without a replacement this will be very bad for us and users. The correct place to discuss 3.x's continuing development is http://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopi ... &t=1715945

This is about 3.x and 4.x, so if you want to continue bantering the validity of my category selection feel free but its a waste of time. Because something has been decided doesn't default the decision to be correct. I am merely purposing a different viewpoint because im certain of its benefits.

so to come back to basics, i ask that we evaluate how many versions of phpbb we are currently developing and ask if this is practical.
ToonArmy wrote:If we just leave 3.x to stagnate without a replacement this will be very bad for us and users
I agree with this, i disagree however with the way we are trying to tackle this challenge. having three or more versions being developed simultaneously at one given time doesn't allocate our limited resources as we should. I understand the importance of phpbb4, but if the community concludes that 4 takes precedence over 3's development than we need to treat it that way.

The development will not stagnate because we will be focused on two versions, current and next.

User avatar
DavidIQ
Customisations Team Leader
Customisations Team Leader
Posts: 1738
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2006 4:29 pm
Location: Earth
Contact:

Re: rethinking the "New" development changes

Post by DavidIQ » Mon Jan 04, 2010 8:25 pm

bobtheman wrote:having three or more versions being developed simultaneously at one given time doesn't allocate our limited resources as we should.
True...but once 3.1.x gets released development for 3.0.x will stop. Once 4.x is released development for 3.1.x will stop so on so forth. From looking at the different commits and bug reports and the discussions here, it looks like the dev team divides themselves up between the versions so once a version is completed they reallocate their resources. That actually seems pretty good to me. Yes, ideally they should ALL work on the new version but that only seems to work in a perfect world where there are no bugs found in your software.
Image

User avatar
ToonArmy
Registered User
Posts: 335
Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2004 7:31 pm
Location: Bristol, UK
Contact:

Re: rethinking the "New" development changes

Post by ToonArmy » Tue Jan 05, 2010 6:29 am

bobtheman wrote:This is about 3.x and 4.x, so if you want to continue bantering the validity of my category selection feel free but its a waste of time. Because something has been decided doesn't default the decision to be correct. I am merely purposing a different viewpoint because im certain of its benefits.
Discuss it all you wish, I've just said here isn't the place. This forum is for discussing the implementation of 4.x not general development policy.
bobtheman wrote:so to come back to basics, i ask that we evaluate how many versions of phpbb we are currently developing and ask if this is practical.
Currently, 1.
bobtheman wrote:The development will not stagnate because we will be focused on two versions, current and next.
You seem to have missed that when 3.1 is released 3.0 will be bug fixes only, which will probably just mean merging from 3.1 most of the time. By the time 3.2 is released 3.0 will no longer be supported.
Chris SmithBlogXMOOhlohArea51WikiNo support via PM/IM
Image

Post Reply