What is the future of phpBB????

Discuss general development subjects that are not specific to a particular version like the versioning control system we use or other infrastructure.
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Alien_Time
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Re: What is the future of phpBB????

Post by Alien_Time » Fri Jun 21, 2013 9:26 am

Wow! Very nic, polite and professional way of handling criticism / feedback, imkingdavid. Bravo! Your detailed explanation to the comments are very much appreciated. I like the way you responded without being all defensive. That's what we want see from developers. Cheers!

Frug
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Re: What is the future of phpBB????

Post by Frug » Fri Jun 21, 2013 3:36 pm

Alien_Time wrote:Wow! Very nic, polite and professional way of handling criticism / feedback, imkingdavid. Bravo! Your detailed explanation to the comments are very much appreciated. I like the way you responded without being all defensive. That's what we want see from developers. Cheers!
Agreed. Leadership is important and that's one part of proper leadership. (Another is making good decisions and enforcing them ;) )

Twig and symphony both sound great, and sound like pretty large rewrites for the code, so I bet you some of the impatience is because "3.1" sounds like a small feature release when this sort of stuff sounds like more.
DavidIQ wrote:The work that the GSoC students did was not just thrown away or "buried somewhere" as you seem to be suggesting. You should do a little more research over at github before you suggest things like that and make all sorts of irresponsible assumptions.
I believe his point is that sitting in a development branch on github is buried somewhere.

BTW github was also a good move, even if it hasn't created an explosion of new development, it's so much easier to navigate and get into.

code reader
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Re: What is the future of phpBB????

Post by code reader » Fri Jun 21, 2013 3:42 pm

DavidIQ wrote: Again, you are wrong. The work that the GSoC students did was not just thrown away or "buried somewhere" as you seem to be suggesting. You should do a little more research over at github before you suggest things like that and make all sorts of irresponsible assumptions.
you show misunderstanding about what is an expected result for GSoC. the fact that the code was merged to some branch on github is meaningless, if this branch do not relate to anything in reality. if there was some release date for this branch (even if it was a while away) it might have been a different matter, but when this branch is in "it will be release when it will be released" (aka "it's ready when it's ready") status, then this github branch meets the definition of "somewhere where the sun doesn't shine".

note that we are talking here about a GSoC 2012 project, so presumably, the student(s) finished their work almost a year ago.
a whole year after they finished, not only their work did not find its way into a released version, but there is not even any forecast for *when* will it be released, and you, my friend, call it "very good result".
it is _you_ who are very very wrong here.

peace.

code reader
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Re: What is the future of phpBB????

Post by code reader » Fri Jun 21, 2013 3:54 pm

Alien_Time wrote:Wow! Very nic, polite and professional way of handling criticism / feedback, imkingdavid. Bravo! Your detailed explanation to the comments are very much appreciated. I like the way you responded without being all defensive. That's what we want see from developers. Cheers!
I wholeheartedly agree and join. imkingdavid response was thoughtful and informative.

However, i think some of the things in his response do not signal good direction for the project.
let's look, for instance, at Twig: imkingdavid mentioned that there are quite a few issues with the template engine, and Twig will solve many of them.
This might be true, but i think it is still the wrong thing to do at this point in time.

when i enter a gas station, it is nice when the attendant also cleans my windshield. however, when i call roadside assistance because of flat tire (or because of busted engine block...) i do not want the person to start cleaning the windshield, i want them to get my car into driving status.
please let's get this car moving again, and _then_ attend to the template engine. at this moment, any activity not aimed directly at getting 3.1 released, is a misdirected effort, IMHO (and btw, this include GSoC projects).

peace.

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Black Antitoon
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Re: What is the future of phpBB????

Post by Black Antitoon » Fri Jun 21, 2013 6:21 pm

Thank you David for your response and for the updates about what is going on. It was very informative and useful. Good luck with the development!

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DavidIQ
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Re: What is the future of phpBB????

Post by DavidIQ » Fri Jun 21, 2013 8:05 pm

code reader wrote:a whole year after they finished, not only their work did not find its way into a released version, but there is not even any forecast for *when* will it be released, and you, my friend, call it "very good result".
it is _you_ who are very very wrong here.

peace.
Your definition of a good result: work was completed, merged and product was published. So you're saying all work from GSoC students in all other projects became a reality in their live products? I'm pretty sure that's not the case.

My definition of a good result: work was completed, passed code review, and was merged thus freeing developers from having to complete that particular task. In reality those students ultimately care about their grades, not if their code was actually used...let's not kid ourselves here.

I may have missed it but I'm not sure if you've actually suggested what you think needs to be done different. I can see from reading between the lines in your last post it seems like you are dissatisfied that there is no release date (or never has been for any of our releases). So what happens if we actually had a release date and missed that target because code is unstable? I would assume people would be even more ticked off at that...
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Re: What is the future of phpBB????

Post by Frug » Sat Jun 22, 2013 5:08 pm

DavidIQ wrote: I may have missed it but I'm not sure if you've actually suggested what you think needs to be done different. I can see from reading between the lines in your last post it seems like you are dissatisfied that there is no release date (or never has been for any of our releases). So what happens if we actually had a release date and missed that target because code is unstable? I would assume people would be even more ticked off at that...
He stated it quite explicitly, no reading between lines necessary. The release dates should be fixed and more emphasis should be put on rolling out new releases whether or not all the desired features are present.

If you want to read between the lines you can answer the unstable code question. You can postpone a release if it's unstable, but not because one of the features isn't completed. He did say that even pushing out an alpha release on schedule (which implies unstable code) is better than continuously delaying it.

I'm (mostly) in agreement with him. As a user and somewhat capable dev, I can install/test/maybe even help bugfix some minor issues. I have been holding out on an integration mod for ajax chat because I want to recode the integration to use hooks. Currently it requires editing functions.php which is lame.

Unfortunately as it stands I have absolutely no idea what to expect. 3.1 could be out next month or next year. I could try grabbing the source off github and trying to make it work, but I have little energy/time to do that (you can blame me for this, but that's just how it is - I like to play and contribute but I also avoid jumping balls deep into a side project that I don't know the status of and don't know how long it will take to get working. I see mentions of requiring command line for symphny, and I don't feel like getting that working now). So I'm left occasionally checking in and waiting an indefinite amount of time. It's... tedious. I may stop checking regularly before the alpha comes out.

Eventually I'm sure it will work out, and yes, I could certainly do extra work and help, but I agree with his criticisms in that it makes things less convenient for everyone else.

I think this is really nice: http://fuelphp.com/roadmap But maybe that's because I'm not a patient enough dev to click through forums.

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Re: What is the future of phpBB????

Post by code reader » Sat Jun 22, 2013 8:11 pm

DavidIQ wrote: I may have missed it but I'm not sure if you've actually suggested what you think needs to be done different. I can see from reading between the lines in your last post it seems like you are dissatisfied that there is no release date (or never has been for any of our releases). So what happens if we actually had a release date and missed that target because code is unstable? I would assume people would be even more ticked off at that...
it's not so much about satisfying me, personally: i can go play elsewhere[1].

it's about what's the right thing for phpbb to do.
i thought i stated what *i* think should be done, but let me break it down for you into smaller pieces, with greater details:
  • strive to stabilize the existing code to the point it is "alpha ready"
  • create an "alpha release", with as much fanfare over phpbb.com as possible, encourage people to begin testing it
  • continue with "alpha 2.. alpha n" releases, concentrate on stabilizing it further, digesting bug reports, until it's "beta worthy"
  • create a "beta release", with as much fanfare over phpbb.com as possible, encourage people to begin testing it
  • continue with "beta 2.. beta n" releases, concentrate on stabilizing it further, digesting bug reports, until it's "RC worthy"
  • create a "RC release", with as much fanfare over phpbb.com as possible, encourage people to begin testing it
  • continue with "RC 2.. RC n" releases, concentrate on stabilizing it further, digesting bug reports, until it's "3.1 worthy"
  • release 3.1
  • once 3.1 is released, plan 3.1.1: declare target release date, "merge window", and target projects to go into it. do not cheat on the merge window or on the quality of projects that are merged in. if a project targeted for 3.1.1 miss the window, push it to 3.1.2
  • stabilize 3.1.1 to the point of being RC ready. release RC1..RCn. do not compromise on stability, even if actual release date is missed.
  • release 3.1.1
  • repeat the last 3 steps for 3.1.2, 3.1.3 etc. when you are tired of it, name one of the releases 3.2 (e.g., instead of 3.1.12). when you are tired of it, name one of the releases 4.0 (instead of 3.15 - 3.14 should be enough)
in order to facilitate this, we should freeze any activity not contributing directly to this path, at least until the first RC. this includes practically all the activity on the project that happens currently: refactoring, twig, gsoc, and any other development.
i do not suggest to tell people what to do on their github forks - anyone can do whatever they want. but anyone who is part of the "core team" should put top priority on getting this !@#$%^& thing out the door already. nobody wants to see phpbb becoming a joke like duke nukem forever - and as of now, we are on a direct path to become exactly that.

the way i see it, alpha should happen within weeks of choosing this course of action. beta can be achieved within another 2 months (maybe less). RC should be achieved within another 2 months or less. RC to actual release really depends on the number of bugs reported, but it should probably not take more than 6 months, and with some luck, significantly less.

So, i do not think 2013 release is very likely, but if this project will get its priority right, it may achieve 2014 release.
in the current state of affairs, anyone who have been around the block a couple of times will not put money even on 2015 release.


and to your last point:
committing to a target date for something and missing it is not nice.
using this fact as an excuse for not committing to any target date whatsoever is plain stupid. this is what got phpbb into its current state[2]. do you think this is a good thing?

peace.

================================================
  1. and indeed i did go play elsewhere: as i mentioned several times in this thread, i pretty much disengaged from phpbb, after being somewhat involved for a long time. my involvement was not huge, but i definitely contributed my share of bug reports, ideas, and even some code.
  2. there is a story that goes with it (i am working from rusty memory here, so i might have some details wrong):
    back in 2.0 days, psoTFX made fun of someone who dared to suggest that version 2.2 (which was later renamed 3.0) will not be released in 2002. he then made a firm commitment that 2.2 will be ready before Christmas 2002. in reality it took the project another 5 years, plus change of leadership to get it (by this time it was called 3.0) out the door. this event was traumatic enough that phpbb made any talk about plans, dates, deadline or "release" a taboo. i think it's about time to overcome this trauma.

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DavidIQ
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Re: What is the future of phpBB????

Post by DavidIQ » Sat Jun 22, 2013 9:13 pm

Very good points code reader...we certainly appreciate the feedback and hopefully will use some/all of it to speed things up with regards to releasing 3.1. I'm hoping that your prediction of no release at least until 2015 will not hold true...but, as you said, if things don't change this might end up being the case. :-?

Thanks.
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Alien_Time
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Re: What is the future of phpBB????

Post by Alien_Time » Sun Jun 23, 2013 4:50 am

Very valid points code reader and I agree with you 100%. The release time is slow and when someone does ask about it, it's usually "it will be released when it's ready", "it's a volunteering job and we only work on our free time", "less developers with more work" or "why don't you join and help". Although these are all very valid points and I understand that, it's coming to a point that the release of major versions of phpbb are becoming a joke and taking years together to ship out eventually. It's obvious the current scheme of things aren't working the way it should. Hopefully your suggested method are taken on board and acted on. Appreciate your detailed feedback and suggestions. All very valid!

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