History and analysis of release 4.2
What happened for 4.2?
- The Original Plan (announced at end of September 2001): deadline for changes 30th November 2001, public release date 28th February 2002
- Tried to avoid a clash with Christmas/New Year, and Study Weekend
- What Actually Happened: the first alpha release was made 8th March 2002; beta release 5th April; public release 30th April 2002
- 2 months slippage; total release time 5 months.
Why did it take so long?
- DL were still developing many components into January 2002 (unrealistic expectations of what could be achieved?)
- Major changes still being submitted by external collaborators, a number of which had not been rigorously tested prior to submission and so required substantial patching and testing at DL
- Testing took longer than anticipated (~2 months)
Other problem areas
- Some major changes e.g. in CCP4 libraries were not communicated to external developers, causing compatibility problems
- Some changes in external contributions were not communicated to DL, causing CCP4i compatibility problems
- Some promised developments were not included in the release
- After a couple of alpha releases, test sites seemed to lose track of which version they actually had, making bug tracking/fixing more inefficient
Things which worked
- Automatic build and basic test at DL caught a number of problems early on
- 2 month testing with external sites caught more subtle bugs before public release (conclusion: testing is a good thing)