[development] Module developers, please do *proper* releases !

Doug Green douggreen at douggreenconsulting.com
Tue Feb 19 12:38:12 UTC 2008

Thanks Earl, I'm in the process of creating releases.  While I was
already on the DRUPAL-5-2--6 tag, coder was still a bit out of date!

Earl Miles wrote:
> ...
>> But now, the d.o issue's start coming along... and I maintain these
>> modules outside of the client development process.  At what point do I
>> create a new release?  After I fix the first bug/feature request?  After
>> the second?  After the third?  Multiply this by 20 modules, and for me,
>> it comes down to a question of time and help.  I tend to create releases
>> when a user reports that I forgot to create a release or when users
>> start reporting bugs in previous releases, that I know are already fixed
>> in dev.  This is a really difficult problem and question for me. 
> Well, look at it from the other side of the coin. When you're building
> a client site, don't you find it easier when whatever module you're
> using has a decent release workflow? There are release notes
> (theoretically) and version numbers. It's easier to report bugs
> against specific versions, and you can get a feel for how far out of
> date your -dev is. And you get some shielding from bad commits.
I really don't rely on the release system.  I figure that most small
module maintainers are as sloppy as me, and that using the latest "dev"
version actually provides cleaner bug-fixed code.

We've had this discussion within CivicActions, and I'm pretty sure that
I'm alone in my process:

I build client sites from every module's dev branch.  I still pull
everything from CVS, usually the DRUPAL-5 tag, but sometimes the
DRUPAL-5--2 or DRUPAL-5--3 tags.  This usually gives me the latest "dev"
version of the module.  If it's a true "dev" (i.e., under development)
version, I discover this pretty quickly and either get the new latest
version or revert to some stable version; I believe that I've only run
into this a couple of times in the last year (btw, both occurrences were
with views and/or panels).  When I find bugs, I submit patches, and it's
very rare to build a client site without submitting at least a couple
patches.  So if that CVS version I pulled is just the latest non-stable
branch, I think that using this "dev" version actually helps the module
maintainer find (I find them) and fix (I fix them) problems.

> The act of rolling a release, once you've done it a few times, takes
> only about 5 minutes. Be sure to use dww's cvs-release-notes.php which
> will generate release notes from commit logs for you. Then it's a
> matter of...tag, generate release notes, create release node. You are
> finished.
Thanks Derek, that script really helps!

Doug Green
douggreen at douggreenconsulting.com

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