Monday, February 11, 2008

Is DTP 1.6M5 ready?

As we wrap up the DTP 1.6M5 cycle, we thought of trying a more transparent way for deciding to promote the milestone build. We described this method in the Approved Build Sign-off Process for DTP, and it was accepted by the PMC and project leads. So, following this new process for DTP 1.6M5, we designated a candidate build date, produced a candidate build on the designated date and looked for sign-off notices to be posted on the DTP PMC mailing list by the end of last Friday. At best we would have received three sign-off emails, at worst, zero. It only takes a quick scan of the DTP PMC email archive to see that the grand total was zero.

Today we’re essentially back to how we’ve promoted DTP milestones in the past. That is, in the absence of any bug severe enough to delay the milestone, we promote. No severe bugs being found is a good thing, assuming there is testing. One sure way not to find any bugs is simply not to test and hope for the best. Works sometimes with luck, but generally is not considered a best faith effort, especially when your components are the foundation for others in the release train. During previous DTP milestones, I have been smoke testing the builds, and I rely on the project leads to work with their teams to do more complete testing. We think that this testing is taking place, but do we know? Do you want to know?

So, this leads me to my request for this week: I’d like to get feedback from the community about your expectations. Was the previous (“see no evil – promote”) process good enough, or would you like your DTP project leaders to say that they’ve completed a best faith testing effort and the build is milestone/release candidate/release ready? I have no interest in tracking and seeking conformance to policies that the community does not gain value from. In DTP 1.6M5 we’ve resolved 65 bugs. Does silence mean “ready to go?”

This week please send your thoughts about the sign-off process to the DTP PMC mailing list or the newsgroup. We’ll collect these and make a decision next week about whether to rescind the sign-off process or to delay promotion of future DTP milestones in the absence of sign-offs.