Drop Alphas and Betas (was Re: Releasing Alphas and Betas without "freezing")

Chris Wilson afrowildo at gmail.com
Mon Jun 18 12:30:34 UTC 2012

On 18 June 2012 07:36, Rick Spencer <rick.spencer at canonical.com> wrote:

> Therefore, I propose we:
>  1. Stop with the alphas and betas and win back all of the development
> effort
>  2. *Increase* the cadence of ISO testing to whatever we want or
> whatever the community team can manage
>  3. Spin a trial ISO near what is not beta time (maybe around current
> kernel freeze?)
>  4. Spin ISOs for release candidates
>  5. Maintain the current Alpha and Beta designations as development
> targets only (i.e. don't spin a special image for them).

>From the point of view of a community member:

The term Alpha can be quite frightening to some people, given that it's
traditionally been associated with unstable software in the early stages of
development. The few times I've installed Alpha version of Ubuntu it was no
more than a couple of days before I had to revert back to the previous
stable release because it was so unusable. In the 12.04 cycle, that was no
longer the case and the Alpha was quite usable, so I think that since we've
broken with the instability during the release cycle, perhaps we should
break with the Alpha designation as well. If we want to get more people
involved in testing early on, then I think this would be the way to go.

I also think adding the "Release Candidate (RC)" designation towards the
end of the cycle would encourage more people who are quite wary of
installing pre-release software on their computer to get involved with last
minute testing since RC indicates that it's pretty much done and all that's
left is to iron out some minor glitches.

I think releasing more Betas would also go towards getting more people
involved in testing, as most people would give a new Beta a test once it's
released, but forget about it soon after. Releasing a Beta each month,
based on the last successful test ISO build, would give more milestones for
people to get excited about, and bring back people who had drifted away
after some earlier testing.

Therefore, I propose:
1) Beta 1-4 at the end of months 1-4
2) Release Candidate release at the end of month 5
3) Full release at the end of month 6
4) All the while with new test ISOs being spun up every 2 or 3 weeks (or
greater if that's too fast)
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