I am redirecting this discussion on users@ because it shall mainly interest most of users, while, after 2 weeks, palpably not developers:
On 21/03/2017 à 15:18, Clément David wrote on dev@:
After some private discussion by direct mail, Samuel pointed that I have to open the discussion to ask for your needs / advises for the release frequency ; thanks Samuel for that. Please find also attached a Scilab version timeline for reference. To clarify the discussion, I will use the convention major.minor.revision (6.0.0 == 6 major, 0 minor, 0 revision) where : * a revision only contains bug fixes and should be script compatible but might deprecate functions * a minor version remove deprecated functions * a major version is a Scilab partial rewrite IMHO an expected (with no strict application) period should be : * 6-9 months “revision” cycle * 18-24 months “minor” cycle (2 to 3 revisions) * much more for a “major” Do you have an opinion on the Scilab release period ? Which period will simplify your developments ?
In private, Clément's rationale is, mainly and AFAIU, that preparing the publication of each release takes some time: There is a list of things to do, like formating the release notes, publishing new online help pages, updating download pages in several languages, etc. Then, this time is not used for developments.
I was asking about the intentions of the Scilab team about the future release frequency, because i thought -- and still think -- that roughtly 2 years between 2 consecutive minor releases is incredibly long at the usual Information Technologies timescale.
Keeping such a slow rate would mean that we would have to wait up to 2 years between the inclusion of a new feature in Scilab, and its distribution in an official Scilab release! So to wait even longer between the implementation of any new feature, and its actual availability in Scilab. Even for the "smallest" features, as soon as they are new.
Obviously, we can't ignore that each publication needs or deserves some specific tasks that take time, and that this time should be minimized.
Moreover, we may note that contrarily to many free and open softwares, nighly built releases are available online for Scilab, mostly at every moment. From time to time, there are some short dead periods in these daily releases in which the most recently included features are available. These binary releases can be installed and used out of the box like every "official" release, without uninstalling the current "official" release from our computer. Actually, installing a new Scilab version never requires uninstalling other (even multiple) versions of Scilab on the same computer. Everyone can have as many Scilab versions installed on the same computer as wished, whitout any problem. It takes less than 5 mn to install a new Scilab. And add some additional 5-15 mn to reset our Preferences, install few ATOMS modules for it, etc.
This is very great and useful and safe.
So, after our last email, i came to the following conclusion: In my opinion, publishing revision 6.n.X releases is useless. For the future, we could expect
Hope reading other contributions and thoughts,
users mailing list
regarding future release cycles, I would really appreciate to see
offical releases as needed and based primarily upon stability criteria.
IMHO, for production use, especially after the big step from 5.x to 6.x,
it is inevitable to have official 6.0.x bug fix releases asap, otherwise
developers and users will stick to 5.5.x and get frustrated ...
Nightly builds are fine, as a testing and development platform, but not
really suited for end users ...
Regarding the incorporation of new features, it is IMHO not that
important to know, how many releases will be made per year.
It is important to know, when will a new feature be available and
In summary, I would like to see official releases as needed, rather than
following a rigid schedule.
PS: Why are Coverity Fixes not directly applied to the 6.0 branch?
users mailing list
In reply to this post by Samuel GOUGEON
My thoughts on releases. I agree that releases have been incredibly slow, but haven't spent time bickering about it. Instead, I'm pleased when releases are finally here. I've wondered about the organization(s) behind Scilab. It seems we get a new release every time Scilab is reorganized in some way ... and that there's lots of political stuff going on.
I hope that the Scilab 6 milestone means that Scilab (as in the software itself) is organized in a way suitable for the next many years. Hereby I imply that any 6.X release only has to reflect incremental (and preferably backwards compatible) improvements.
Personally I consider "nightly builds" to be bleeding edge, for developers, and not something I can use for my development - just as I cannot distribute Scilab code and reference a nightly-build version of Scilab to whoever might be interested.
>each publication needs or deserves some specific tasks that take time
Yes, typically minimized by writing a developer-oriented "how-to" release (aka to-do list).
IMHO regarding release frequency, the second-most important reason to release is so that the project appears alive and not dead.
On 10-04-2017 13:58, Samuel Gougeon wrote:
users mailing list
Wouldn't this question make more sense to be asked to the industrial partners of Scilab?
For simple hobby users like us that freely enjoy Scilab's scientific computing power for testing code and ideas, shouldn't the answer to the question be correlated with the frequency of their donations?
I am sorry if I do not understand much about free software, may be it updates itself freely too.
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