Frequency of new releases, a problem? 
Author Message
 Frequency of new releases, a problem?

As a recent "convert" to tcl (especially Tk :) I have to say,  it's
great!

I have noticed that in the 2 months since (I think it was about 2 months,
it's all a haze :) ) I first got a copy of tcl 7.0 and tk3.3,  it's now
up to tcl7.3,  and tk3.6 (both of which I compiled up today).

If my calculations are correct,  that's 3 "new" releases in 2 months!

Quite a few  :)

Now,  I'm curious,  are they bug-fixes?  Or up-grades,  or a bit of both?
With the best interests of tcl/tk at heart,  isn't it a good idea to
reduce the frequency of new releases?  I know tcl's meant to be extended,
but isn't this a bit much?  

Wouldn't it be better to release the upgrades as beta's,  and then after a
few months,  when most of the bugs are ironed out,  then release to the
G.P. ?

It's easy for me to get and install upgrades,  but if we want tcl and tk to
be taken seriously by people like NCSA (see the big Motif debate on
c.w.x) then stability is a big plus.

Just idle thoughts ....

--
Carl Brewer                             Ph :61-9-380-1893 | #include \
Systems/Network Officer, Reid Library   Fax:61-9-380-1012 | <std_disclaimer.h>

Merlin, where are you?  Call your Dragon, to weave a mist ....



Wed, 22 May 1996 18:15:22 GMT  
 Frequency of new releases, a problem?

|>
|> I have noticed that in the 2 months since (I think it was about 2 months,
|> it's all a haze :) ) I first got a copy of tcl 7.0 and tk3.3,  it's now
|> up to tcl7.3,  and tk3.6 (both of which I compiled up today).
|>
|> If my calculations are correct,  that's 3 "new" releases in 2 months!
|>
|> Quite a few  :)
|>
|> Now,  I'm curious,  are they bug-fixes?  Or up-grades,  or a bit of both?
|> With the best interests of tcl/tk at heart,  isn't it a good idea to
|> reduce the frequency of new releases?  I know tcl's meant to be extended,
|> but isn't this a bit much?  
|>
|> Wouldn't it be better to release the upgrades as beta's,  and then after a
|> few months,  when most of the bugs are ironed out,  then release to the
|> G.P. ?

Sigh... I agree that the recent situation is undesirable.  In fact there
was a beta cycle for the 7.0/3.3 releases, but unfortunately there were a
few fairly important bugs that didn't turn up during beta testing.  Thus
there was a 7.1/3.4 release to fix these.  I could have released these
as patches only, but many people don't look for patches until after they've
installed the most recent release, run into the bugs, and sent me mail.
I decided to make new releases to keep my mail traffic down to the point
where I can still get other work done.

Unfortunately, though, I wasn't conservative enough in the 7.1/3.4 releases,
and I also included several "harmless" other changes.  Much to my dismay,
one of these harmless changes turned out to prevent Tcl and Tk from compiling
on many machines, so I was back in the situation of getting tons of mail
again.  Hence 7.2/3.5.  However, I still hadn't learned my lesson, and I
included in 7.2/3.5 a fix for another bug that turned out to cause other
potential problems, which is why I withdraw 7.2/3.5 and went right to 7.3/3.6,
which *only* fixes the one portability problem in 7.1/3.4.

Anyway, I apologize for all the confusion this has caused, and I will be
*much* more conservative in future releases in order to keep this sort of
thing from happening again.  It is definitely not my intent to have new
releases every month;  the next new release probably won't be until
Tk 4.0 comes out, most likely late in the spring of 1994.



Wed, 29 May 1996 01:51:13 GMT  
 Frequency of new releases, a problem?

Quote:

>|> I have noticed that in the 2 months since (I think it was about 2 months,
>|> If my calculations are correct,  that's 3 "new" releases in 2 months!
>Sigh... I agree that the recent situation is undesirable.  In fact there
>Unfortunately, though, I wasn't conservative enough in the 7.1/3.4 releases,
>and I also included several "harmless" other changes.  Much to my dismay,
>one of these harmless changes turned out to prevent Tcl and Tk from compiling
>on many machines, so I was back in the situation of getting tons of mail
>Anyway, I apologize for all the confusion this has caused, and I will be
>*much* more conservative in future releases in order to keep this sort of
>thing from happening again.  It is definitely not my intent to have new
>releases every month;  the next new release probably won't be until
>Tk 4.0 comes out, most likely late in the spring of 1994.

Sigh. If this does not demonstrate the need for us (as a Unix user
community) to try and make the life of developers a bit easy, nothing
does.

Poor old John sounds pretty close to the stage where he is dead scared
of using just about anything more modern than V7 system calls.

What is worse is that his plight is *not* at all uncommon.

Push your vendors people, make 'em conform. Make it possible for
people like John to focus on improving Tcl/Tk, rather than fighting
system incompatibilities.

M.



Sat, 01 Jun 1996 20:49:46 GMT  
 Frequency of new releases, a problem?
   Push your vendors people, make 'em conform.

There's no way to push except to switch vendors.  They each _like_ their
little quirks.  At best it's death by posix.

Hey John, how about writing a new OS to go with Tcl? :-) :-)



Mon, 03 Jun 1996 15:36:57 GMT  
 Frequency of new releases, a problem?

Quote:

>   Push your vendors people, make 'em conform.

>There's no way to push except to switch vendors.  They each _like_ their
>little quirks.  At best it's death by posix.

If you are using Digtal furnished OSes on your box, complain via DECUS.  They
actually listen (you can normally corner one or more of the project engineers).

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==========================================================================



Tue, 04 Jun 1996 01:05:27 GMT  
 Frequency of new releases, a problem?

Quote:


>Sigh. If this does not demonstrate the need for us (as a Unix user
>community) to try and make the life of developers a bit easy, nothing
>does.

>What is worse is that his plight is *not* at all uncommon.

Yes, I maintain a set of CAD tools under generic Unix/X and with each
port to a new system doing a release gets scarier. Wouldn't be great
if there was a "one-of-every-machine" UNIX cluster out there in net
land, where people doing freely-distributable software could do 1-stop
regression testing before releases? Sounds like something the FSF or a
university CS department could get a grant for, and open up to the
community.


Tue, 04 Jun 1996 02:27:44 GMT  
 Frequency of new releases, a problem?

Quote:

> Hey John, how about writing a new OS to go with Tcl? :-) :-)

Well, Sprite *is* available on CD-ROM now.  We could all switch to
Sprite, or try and convince all the vendors to make it the new
standard version of UNIX...

        Wayne



Tue, 04 Jun 1996 03:09:28 GMT  
 Frequency of new releases, a problem?


Quote:
>...
>Well, Sprite *is* available on CD-ROM now.  We could all switch to
>Sprite, or try and convince all the vendors to make it the new
>standard version of UNIX...

        No. Wrong way. Tcl and Tk is a wonderfull package for more than
        just the various UNIXes. Keep it simple and portable. Don't
        make it rely on special OS-features!

        -- Eckart

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VMSmail:  PSI%26245050551130::MEYER (DATEX-P)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------



Tue, 04 Jun 1996 11:08:34 GMT  
 Frequency of new releases, a problem?
  Don't make it rely on special OS-features!

Don't cripple it avoiding them!



Tue, 04 Jun 1996 10:20:28 GMT  
 Frequency of new releases, a problem?

Quote:

>  Don't make it rely on special OS-features!
>Don't cripple it avoiding them!

    Tcl: it's a floor wax *and* a dessert topping!
    Jon



Tue, 04 Jun 1996 12:17:57 GMT  
 Frequency of new releases, a problem?


     Don't make it rely on special OS-features!

   Don't cripple it avoiding them!

Has this passed the point of absurdity yet?

There is one thing we can count on, in fact MUST count on, if we are ever
to force the vendors into supplying a decent software environment, and
that's _standards_.  Two good ones I can think of right off the bat are
ANSI C and POSIX.1, and that's not a bad start.  These have been official
for a few years now (ANSI C since 1988), so what's the hold up?

My philosophy at present is to: require ANSI C, and: run under non-POSIX
systems but with reduced functionality if need be.  It's definitely made
my life easier, and portability hasn't really suffered much either.

--

Institute for Fusion Studies, University of Texas at Austin

Faire de la bonne cuisine demande un certain temps.  Si on vous fait
attendre, c'est pour mieux vous servir, et vous plaire.
                                [menu of restaurant Antoine, New Orleans]



Tue, 04 Jun 1996 09:27:55 GMT  
 Frequency of new releases, a problem?

Quote:

>I have noticed that in the 2 months since (I think it was about 2 months,
>it's all a haze :) ) I first got a copy of tcl 7.0 and tk3.3,  it's now
>up to tcl7.3,  and tk3.6 (both of which I compiled up today).

>If my calculations are correct,  that's 3 "new" releases in 2 months!

That's nothing.  emacs19 was having a new release every 48 hours for about
two weeks after it came out.

e



Wed, 05 Jun 1996 10:34:06 GMT  
 Frequency of new releases, a problem?
I missed the original article (news is very screwy here at the mo), so
apologies if this screws up everyone's nicely threaded newsreaders :)





    >> |> I have noticed that in the 2 months since (I think it was
    >> about 2 months,

    >> |> If my calculations are correct, that's 3 "new" releases in 2
    >> months!

That's nothing to worry about.  In the space of one month (perhaps six
weeks) I've had to upgrade gcc from 2.5.3 to 2.5.7 for three different
architectures, plus emacs from 19.19 to 19.22 for one ... in one case
I was half way through compiling gcc-2.5.4 for the third architecture
when 2.5.5 came out!

    >> It is
    >> definitely not my intent to have new releases every month; the
    >> next new release probably won't be until Tk 4.0 comes out, most
    >> likely late in the spring of 1994.

Hmmm ... gcc-2.5.5 was supposed to be the final release until
gcc-2.6.0 in spring '94 ...

However, I'd much rather see patches released promptly for bug fixes
than having to sit around waiting for the next major release.

    Mark> Poor old John sounds pretty close to the stage where he is
    Mark> dead scared of using just about anything more modern than V7
    Mark> system calls.

John, don't do it!  Use those modern syscalls if you want to!

    Mark> Push your vendors people, make 'em conform. Make it possible
    Mark> for people like John to focus on improving Tcl/Tk, rather
    Mark> than fighting system incompatibilities.

Seconded, thirded and fourthed!

-- neilski
--
 Bones: "They're soft and |  _ __        _          | A sense of incredulity,  
 they make a nice sound!" | ' )  )      //     /    | as if you'd reached into
   Spock: "So would an    |  /  / _  o // _   /_  o |   a bin of apples and    
     ermine violin."      | /  (_</_<_</_/_)_/ <_<_ |  pulled out a pelican.  



Sat, 08 Jun 1996 21:58:27 GMT  
 
 [ 13 post ] 

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