So you’re an Ubuntu developer working on features for the upcoming release, you don’t have anywhere near as much time as you’d expect to actually do the development work. What happens if you’re replacing something that works with something completely new? Can’t you just target a later release, and work continually until the feature freeze of that release?
It turns out that you can’t. There is an incredible emphasis on the Ubuntu planning process of targeting features for particular releases. This is the exact thing you’re not supposed to do with a time-based release schedule.
Unfortunately Canonical’s own performance-review and management is also based around this schedule. The Ubuntu developers so employed (the vast majority) have such fundamentals as their pay, bonuses, etc. dictated by how many of their assigned features and work items are into the release by feature freeze. It’s not the only requirement, but it’s the biggest one.
Your new feature is going to take twelve months of development time to fully develop before it’s truly a replacement for the existing feature in Ubuntu. What you don’t do is spend twelve months developing and land it when it’s a perfect replacement.
What you do do is develop it in 12-13 week bursts, which means it’s going to take you roughly four release cycles before it’s ready rather than two. And you land the quarter-complete feature in the first release, replacing the older stable feature.
And you land the quarter-complete feature in the first release, replacing the older stable feature.
I just introduced a bunch of new checks to the developer process there; I just introduced code review, mandatory unit tests and then piled functional tests and verification tests on top.
Jorge Castro says:
September 8, 2011 at 11:35 pm
“I just introduced code review, mandatory unit tests and then piled functional tests and verification tests on top.”
Looking at the amount of resources available on one hand, and the amount of work required to do just this one line of your plan, how would you proceed with this?
Don’t get me wrong, I dig the Chrome-style approach here, but you’d have to at least start with a very small subset of the distro and be brutal about it, do we really have “the pieces already there”?
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I don't know how this can be a good thing since teams like Linux Mint spend a month or so to tweak the OS and tailor their own intentions to it. If Ubuntu does indeed move to a monthly release, how does this affect the Ubuntu branch of Linux Mint?
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