Streaming bug fixes, instead of waiting months for larger bug fix updates

bzcomputers

Well-known member
I would like to see XenForo move to a different way of handling bug fixes by streaming them out to customers every week or continually, instead of waiting for a single larger bug fix update every 2-4 months.

It seems a lot of reported bugs are recognized and fixed internally quite quickly but the end user customer may not get it for months. If it is a simple fix why not push it out immediately. Even some bug reports come in with solutions that are acknowledged as being the correct fix and again there may be a wait for months before the official version update is available. I do understand some fixes are more involved and may require additional testing internally, and those fixes can be streamed when they are deemed safe and ready.

It seems the streaming approach at bug fix updates (and even the streaming of additional new features) for software is becoming more popular as the modern internet has made it possible.

I think most customers would be happier to see bug fix updates more frequently and additional features introduced more frequently instead of them all being bundled together for distribution a later date.
 

Mendalla

Well-known member
Monthly would be the most I would want, similar to what MS does. For a part-time volunteer admin like me, more frequently would be problematic.

I would also suggest, however, as someone who lives in the IT world in my day job, that overly tight release schedules raises pressure to get stuff out the door rather than test it properly. Every fix, even a simple one, needs to be regression tested to make sure it does not break anything else. That's where I find companies with tight release schedules, like MS's Patch Tuesdays, often slip up. We have had more than a few issues at work over the years due to prematurely released patches.

All of which is to say that while I would be happy to see fixes coming out more frequently and regularly, I would rather see them come out on a schedule that is sustainable for Xenforo, meaning fixes aren't just pumped out the door but are actually tested properly. If that means fixes come in a third point release ever two months, I can live with it.
 
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bzcomputers

Well-known member
Remember we are talking about bugs that are existing, something is already broken with the software here, and it has been confirmed broken that is why XenForo has created a fix for it in the first place.

How often do you think XenForo creates a bug fix and the fix that is issued makes it worse? I would guess not very often at all, but only XenForo knows themselves.

I'm all about stability and quality too, but I don't think speeding up the frequency of bug patch releases to fix already existing, known bugs is going to affect that.
 

JRobert

Active member
I think the developers are already doing a good job with fixing bugs quickly and releasing patch versions as appropriate. I don't need more frequent releases.
 

hstammlerj

Active member
I'm all about stability and quality too, but I don't think speeding up the frequency of bug patch releases to fix already existing, known bugs is going to affect that.
XenForo has a great code quality and I really appreciate it. But, more rational spoken: please keep in mind for nearly half the releases in 2.1 and 2.2 branches at least one patch level was published because something was unintentionally broken and didn't work as expected in the release.

So, for me there is already a good balance of release speed and quality which shouldn't tip over.

You may say that this also can be seen as an argument for a shorter, more dynamical release cycle (code fast, release fast, fail fast, patch fast), but I think this approach doesn't fit to the XenForo ecosystem, because:

Remember we are talking about bugs that are existing, something is already broken with the software here, and it has been confirmed broken that is why XenForo has created a fix for it in the first place.
The majority of XF installations utilizes a relevant number of addons and very different server environments. Every single addon and configuration may be affected by a bugfix un-/intentionally.
Fast release cycles work like a charme for "enclosed" bundle-released environments. Every additional/optional library and interface support, every 3rd party addon and every configuration variation factorizes the possibilities for new problems with every single release.

Even more important, I assume the majority of XenForo admins stick to this argument:

For a part-time volunteer admin like me, more frequently would be problematic.
In a perfect world, everybody should have switched to XF 2.2 for a longer time already. But, more rational spoken: please consider how many questions still rise even for XF 1 issues. So I assume @Mendalla speaks out what many XenForo users and maybe even some addon developers thrives: we all have limited time and work hard to keep up with the release schedule even today.

For me, I keep running a 2.1 instance because by now other topics/modules were more important to be fixed first. We did already some testing and there won't be major blockings, but the final 2.2 update may happen just the same day or week 2.3 beta will be released. And I'm not unhappy with it.
 
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