a self debriefing

Allen Winter winter at kde.org
Mon Sep 8 22:29:30 CEST 2008

On Monday 08 September 2008 14:25:20 Aaron J. Seigo wrote:
> some questions i'd suggest asking ourselves (please add your own as well):
> * what has the 6 month cycle won us in terms of real benefit thus far?
For me, there is a real benefit in having a regular cycle.
I won't argue here if 6 months is the best frequency.

> * are we getting the return in commitment promised from third parties due to 
> the discipline of a 6 month cycle, or do we need to re-assess that with them?
No idea.

> * how long before we can disentable the development cycle from it, ala Dirk 
> and Sebastian's presentation at Akademy '08?
That's another thread, but I think we should start planning.

> * if that disentanglement will take more than a year, how do we deal with 
> aligning our development with Qt? (our most critical and quickly evolving 
> component)
My understanding is that the Qt release cycle isn't that predictable.
But Thiago published the expected dates for the next year or so.
Thus, we might be able to plan 4.3 with the Qt cycle in mind.

> * under what circumstances should we allow ourselves to alter the plan for the 
> cycle we are currently in at the time?
We need to do better at the beginning.    We need better planning tools.
Even a calendar with important, relevant events would help.
Once we have a schedule, we should only vary each milestone
by 1-2 weeks (as we have always done), depending on the state of the code.
(showstoppers, etc)

> * how do we define "useful predictability"? is it knowing that the goal in N 
> cycles from now will be 6 months, or is it more important to know with 
> certainty what the next 2-3 releases will actually be?
I like being able to say that there will be a new KDE 4.x every Y months.

> * are application developers being well served by the amount and form of 
> communication thus far?
No, I think we stink at communication.

> * are the libraries being well served by the amount and form of communication 
> thus far?
See previous answer.

> overall, i think the release team is doing a very good job. the above 
> questions are not an indictment or a measure of distrust in the process. they 
> are, rather, out of respect for what is working and a desire to see this team 
> remain a healthy and well-oiled machine.
Me too.
My biggest areas of concern, in no particular order:
 - improving communication
 - improving schedule planning
 - finalizing our set of module coordinators
 - 6 months? 8 months, 12 months?...
 - "summer in trunk"

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