REBOL 3.0

Full Speed Ahead?

Carl Sassenrath, CTO
REBOL Technologies
20-Jul-2010 19:39 GMT

Article #0327
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We've got an interesting situation. Normally, when I release a developer test distribution, it's fairly well tested. It generally works... that is, I spend a fair amount of time on unit testing to make sure that the dist is worthwhile.

However, that's about to change. The conclusion of recent discussions with key developers indicates that they would opt for more frequent releases over better tested releases. In other words, move the major burden of testing from me to developers.

I've pointed out the problems with this approach, and maybe I'm just old fashioned, but it generally goes against my experience and development practices.

For example, with regard to the current R3.A100+ releases involving the extension API, if we just "dump the code" out to the dev-comm, we have:

  • Parts of the API may not work at all, because of course, they are not tested. There will be some really serious errors.
  • Parts that work incorrectly are just going to confuse developers, and they'll get frustrated.
  • Basic functional testing will just flood CureCode with tickets, most of which should not even be posted there.
  • Without an official testing approach/policy, there will be no consistent test suite over time... just a bunch of hacked together test fragments.

Robert and others assure me that these issues are either not a big problem or can be solved.

Well, I'm fine with giving this a try, but it also means that other members of the dev comm will need to step up and deal with the resulting chaos and anarchy... turning the noise into information, and relaying it sanely back to me.

So, this is new. We've not tried it before, but I'm willing to do so. I'll let Robert handle the management and organizational aspects of this process, and we'll see where it leads.

To me this is an experiment. It makes many fundamental assumptions about motivations, efforts, and organization. But, I think we'll learn something, one way or the other. If it works out, then it is of benefit to all primary developers. If it does not work out, then we'll just go back to how we've done it for so long.

Are you ready? If so, then "damn the torpedoes, it's full speed ahead."

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