Faster 11.0 release and then a 12.0 release to get more features 'stable' faster or longer 11.0 beta? (Same overall timeframe)
John T. Haller Homepage) - September 23, 2012 - 5:35pm
Hey gang. We're debating between doing a longer beta for 11.0 and including all the features we want to or splitting it between an 11.0 and a 12.0 for about the same timeframe to get 1/2 the features out to 'stable' users faster. We're talking about integrated file associations instead of needing an add-on, retention of app installers, customization of platform folders, new automation functionality, search enhancements, speed improvements/app caching, proxy support, app store searching, etc.
Now, the time to complete these features would be the same either way. And, overall, we're looking at about 1 month of time for implementation, testing and translations for all the features mentioned. But, the split would allow us to get specific features into stable user's hands that are complete or nearly complete and don't require a ton of testing or translations (keyboard accessibility, app caching/speed improvements, proxy support, etc) as soon as this week without having to wait a few more weeks for other features to be completed, translated and fully tested (integrated file associations, customization of folders, themes, etc).
We're leaning towards doing a separate 11.0 and 12.0 release to get more features 'stable' faster as many, many more folks use the stable branch than the beta. One key bit is also getting keyboard navigation and screenreader accessibility 'stable' as fast as possible. We're going to be doing a platform release every week either way -- sometimes two (like last week) -- so this doesn't affect release frequency or total development time. 11.0 Beta 2 is dropping tomorrow with new features, translations and bug fixes, for instance.
If we do the separate strategy, I think we can have a viable 11.0 out this week or next and then immediately start on 12.0 to get things moving. We could even continue this approach and possibly do more often stable releases every couple weeks or once a month if needed/desired. Especially since incremental updates of the platform beginning with 11.0 Beta 1 will likely be about 1MB and really quick to install (under a dozen files instead of a few hundred small ones like app icons and theme images).
We wanted to see what some of our other users and developers had to say first, though. So, what say you, good people?