On Thu, 28 Aug 2003, Mike A. Harris wrote:
This brings up an important point I'd like to make to people.
available, those people will become upset and rant and rave.
Considering now that we have announced some dates in the beta
missed, we are seeing people rant and rave about it.
If people want to see estimated dates for things, then they need
to also realize that such estimates are JUST estimates, and that
Maybe this needs to be listed in 26 point font with bright red capital
letters next to any dates, with a little * afterwards pointing to the fine
Basically, wether or not any date is announced for a release from
*ANY* software project, any software project will be truely only
released "when it is ready" to be released.
Sadly, this isn't true. Have you ever used Netscape 6? The proxy dialog
didn't even work right ;( I am very glad that redhat releases when it's
ready instead of when they said it would be ready. It may be
frustrating at times to wait a long time for software to be released, but
I think it is far more disappointing to wait and then have something
If no date has been
also potentially may not be met.
Thus proves the rationality of the previous policy of not
pre-announcing release dates.
So dates truely do not provide people with any truely valueable
information, since the information is not something that can be
100% relied upon.
I agree with you, but I also write software, and people do always want to
know. I think they don't realize that programming work is typically not
done very uniformly. Maybe they immagine I can write 100 lines of code
per hour, and the project will be 4000 lines of code, and so take 40
hours, which is one work week. They might not realize that one day I
might write 1500 lines of code, and that the next, I might write only 5
lines. They might not know how tracking down a stupid bug took 4 days, or
that sometimes I actually plan before typing.
At any rate, you're not going to keep people from asking, and "when it's
ready" sounds smart-ass, no matter how accurate it is.
I think the best solution is this:
Put up a conspicuous estimated schedule on the web site where it will be
very easy for everyone to find. Also include in big bold letters that it
isn't accurate, and might not be met. Every few days, update it. It
doesn't have to be remotely accurate, but if the project is going to miss
the date, just move the date up a month or something. Then when people
ask, you can just say "look at http://rhl.redhat.com/sched.html"
back to work.
Of course, this is all just my own personal opinion, and does not
reflect any views of Red Hat.
of course ;)
OS Systems Engineer - XFree86 maintainer - Red Hat
-- noah silva