[wp-hackers] 120-day release cycle

Brian Layman Brian at TheCodeCave.com
Mon Oct 2 20:32:02 GMT 2006

>Three major releases a year is an awesome challenge.

I expect everyone here knows the axiom:
"Speed (of the release), Quality (of the release), Price (of the release) -
pick two" 

The "price" or "cost" is already set for WordPress release.  This is a
volunteer project.  The people working on the core now, are gonna be,
roughly, the same people who are working on it under a 120 day schedule.  In
fact, a few people might drop off as it moves from sounding like fun to
sounding like work.  It could go the other way too, I suppose; I guess we'll
see.  But chances are that full time people are not gonna be hired just to
meet that 120 day goal. I could be wrong, but I don't think there's gonna be
an extra 10 or 20 grand tossed into the pool to increase the workforce
temporarily.  So, the "price" of a release is set.

The "Speed" of the release will now be set too.  120 days. Period.  A hard

That means that it is only the quality of each release that will change.
I'm not saying that the schedule will make the release buggier.  What I am
saying is that you'll eventually have to make some hard choices about some
desired feature being dropped because it simply aren't ready for prime time.
That could make a release very thin - if a major feature (the major feature)
just isn't up to snuff.  Right now, WordPress would just slip the time/speed
of the release and fix the problem.  The 120 day hard release would
eliminate that possibility.  That is if you are saying it is a hard

If it is a 120 day "goal", that makes life a little easier.  You shoot for
120 days, but it might be 140 or 150...  That's probably better than what is
done now.  It is a still a jump to the other side of the scale, but it is
probably more realistic...  

All of this is to say, that you really need to decide now, how you want to
handle that choice you'll eventually face.  Is it: 120 days is 120 days is
120 days; features be damned**.  Or when push comes to shove, will you, 1
month out, choose to continue to work on the next big thing even though you
have significant problems in it still and you know you might not get a
quality code freeze.  Something for Matt and Ryan to think about...

(* Additionally, with a young project like WordPress, the features come fast
and furious.  As the project matures, you're gonna have to start thinking a
little more strategically and put more time into planning.  Plus big
features will need to be worked on for a longer period of time and that
takes resources from the current release.  That 2 months of free for all
development will be eaten up by more and more design time as the future robs
from the present resources.)
(** Sorry - I don't swear, but nothing else fit there and the literal
meaning applies...)
Brian Layman

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