Re: Firefox 3.5 release candidate builds: new and exciting!

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Re: Firefox 3.5 release candidate builds: new and exciting!

Frédéric Buclin
Le 17. 06. 09 11:16, Mike Beltzner a écrit :
> June 16th: Firefox 3.5 beta users get updated to an early release
> candidate version
> June 19th: target public ship date for Firefox 3.5 Release Candidate 1
> end of June: target ship date for Firefox 3.5

So if RC1 is released in two days and 3.5 final at the end of the month,
when will RC2 be released?? Are you saying that the current rc2buildX
will never end as RC2 but as final directly?
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Re: Firefox 3.5 release candidate builds: new and exciting!

Mike Beltzner
On 17-Jun-09, at 2:27 AM, Frédéric Buclin wrote:

> Le 17. 06. 09 11:16, Mike Beltzner a écrit :
>> June 16th: Firefox 3.5 beta users get updated to an early release
>> candidate version
>> June 19th: target public ship date for Firefox 3.5 Release  
>> Candidate 1
>> end of June: target ship date for Firefox 3.5
>
> So if RC1 is released in two days and 3.5 final at the end of the  
> month, when will RC2 be released?? Are you saying that the current  
> rc2buildX will never end as RC2 but as final directly?

I wouldn't worry too much about the build reference versions as I've  
published them above in this note. Version numbering here gets  
confusing, really.

On June 19th, we hope to release (on our website, as a full download)  
a release candidate. Right now that would be the rc2build2 version, as  
it's the latest thing we have. So, in other words:

June 16th: Firefox 3.5 beta users get updated to an early release  
candidate (rc1build2)
June 19th: Firefox 3.5 beta users get updated to the official release  
candidate, which is also put up for direct download (right now this  
would be rc2build2, but that may yet change!)
end of June: target ship date for Firefox 3.5

cheers,
mike
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Re: Firefox 3.5 release candidate builds: new and exciting!

David Tenser
In reply to this post by Frédéric Buclin
On 2009-06-17 11.36, Mike Beltzner wrote:

> On 17-Jun-09, at 2:27 AM, Frédéric Buclin wrote:
>
>> Le 17. 06. 09 11:16, Mike Beltzner a écrit :
>>> June 16th: Firefox 3.5 beta users get updated to an early release
>>> candidate version
>>> June 19th: target public ship date for Firefox 3.5 Release Candidate 1
>>> end of June: target ship date for Firefox 3.5
>>
>> So if RC1 is released in two days and 3.5 final at the end of the
>> month, when will RC2 be released?? Are you saying that the current
>> rc2buildX will never end as RC2 but as final directly?
>
> I wouldn't worry too much about the build reference versions as I've
> published them above in this note. Version numbering here gets
> confusing, really.

Indeed; I thought I was reading that we already know there will be an
RC2, but I see now that RC1 >= rc2build2. Thanks for clearing that up!
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Re: Firefox 3.5 release candidate builds: new and exciting!

John J Barton
In reply to this post by Frédéric Buclin
Mike Beltzner wrote:
...
... This build is *not* being released on the beta download
> page; if someone out there wants to get at it, they should first become
> a beta tester by downloading a beta and then they will receive the updates.
...

Perhaps some can explain this sentence to me. To me it says: "The build
cannot be downloaded; if you want to download it, first download it."

I don't get the whole idea anyway. If I have a beta, I get the updates
asap. If I don't have a beta, I can't get the updates asap (duh). So the
only thing new here is that if I don't have a beta I also can't get one?
How is that new and exciting?

jjb
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Re: Firefox 3.5 release candidate builds: new and exciting!

Mike Beltzner
On 17-Jun-09, at 8:31 AM, John J. Barton wrote:

> Mike Beltzner wrote:
> ...
> ... This build is *not* being released on the beta download
>> page; if someone out there wants to get at it, they should first  
>> become a beta tester by downloading a beta and then they will  
>> receive the updates.
> ...
>
> Perhaps some can explain this sentence to me. To me it says: "The  
> build cannot be downloaded; if you want to download it, first  
> download it."

It means that the build which we are shipping as an update to existing  
beta users (via the built in Firefox software update mechanism) is not  
yet available at http://www.mozilla.com/firefox/all-beta.html

The primary reason we're doing things this way, as explained in the  
original post, is to get our 800,000+ beta users helping us on daily  
testing as part of our QA phase on a milestone

> I don't get the whole idea anyway. If I have a beta, I get the  
> updates asap. If I don't have a beta, I can't get the updates asap  
> (duh). So the only thing new here is that if I don't have a beta I  
> also can't get one? How is that new and exciting?

The new thing here is that while (in the scenario you posit) you would  
get an update asap, you would not be able to download it from the  
Firefox Beta Download web page, yes.

I find it new and exciting as a process change. Others find it  
slightly odd. I'm glad that you find it warm, comforting and not  
disturbing. It means we can move on.

cheers,
mike
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Re: Firefox 3.5 release candidate builds: new and exciting!

John J Barton
In reply to this post by John J Barton
Mike Beltzner wrote:

> On 17-Jun-09, at 8:31 AM, John J. Barton wrote:
>
>> Mike Beltzner wrote:
>> ...
>> ... This build is *not* being released on the beta download
>>> page; if someone out there wants to get at it, they should first
>>> become a beta tester by downloading a beta and then they will receive
>>> the updates.
>> ...
>>
>> Perhaps some can explain this sentence to me. To me it says: "The
>> build cannot be downloaded; if you want to download it, first download
>> it."
>
> It means that the build which we are shipping as an update to existing
> beta users (via the built in Firefox software update mechanism) is not
> yet available at http://www.mozilla.com/firefox/all-beta.html
>
> The primary reason we're doing things this way, as explained in the
> original post, is to get our 800,000+ beta users helping us on daily
> testing as part of our QA phase on a milestone

FF3.5b4 and FF3.5b99 did not work with Firebug. So we found a nightly
build from June 5 that worked and directed our users to that build. I
would like to direct them to a newer build. I tested the RC1 build2 last
night and it looks great. So I posted the link in our blog. Then I was
told that I should not do that.  So I am disappointed that there is not
a way for Firebug users to get a newer beta as soon as possible. If
800,000 is good, wouldn't a few more just be better?

jjb
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Re: Firefox 3.5 release candidate builds: new and exciting!

Mike Beltzner
On 17-Jun-09, at 8:56 AM, John J. Barton wrote:

> FF3.5b4 and FF3.5b99 did not work with Firebug. So we found a  
> nightly build from June 5 that worked and directed our users to that  
> build. I would like to direct them to a newer build. I tested the  
> RC1 build2 last night and it looks great. So I posted the link in  
> our blog. Then I was told that I should not do that.  So I am  
> disappointed that there is not a way for Firebug users to get a  
> newer beta as soon as possible. If 800,000 is good, wouldn't a few  
> more just be better?

I don't know who told you not to point your own testing audience to a  
specific build. We ask that people don't reference a specific build on  
the FTP site and say "this is a beta, go get it!" or the like, but  
that's mostly to protect our servers from overload. I don't think that  
will be a problem in the case you mention, though.

Be aware that if you point people to a nightly build, they'll start  
getting nightly updates. If you point people to that RC build, they  
won't be on the beta channel, they'll be on the release channel.

For your general user audience, I'd suggest you wait a couple of days  
until all-beta is updated with a pointer to the release candidate. Or,  
if you want to advise that they become Firefox beta testers, have them  
download Beta 4 and check for updates.

Neither of these things seem particularly hard to do, if you are  
willing.

cheers,
mike
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Re: Firefox 3.5 release candidate builds: new and exciting!

John J Barton
In reply to this post by John J Barton
Mike Beltzner wrote:
> On 17-Jun-09, at 8:56 AM, John J. Barton wrote:
> For your general user audience, I'd suggest you wait a couple of days
> until all-beta is updated with a pointer to the release candidate. Or,
> if you want to advise that they become Firefox beta testers, have them
> download Beta 4 and check for updates.

I updated my advice with this information.

>
> Neither of these things seem particularly hard to do, if you are willing.

I know all of this stuff seems easy for you. But I could not figure out
from your original post how to get a copy of the release candidate.  Now
I see that you can update 800,000 users in few minutes but to update the
web page takes several days. To avoid waiting on the web page, users can
load the old build and update it.

It's funny that browsers and software updates are getting faster but web
page updates are getting slower.

jjb


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Re: Firefox 3.5 release candidate builds: new and exciting!

prmatt11
On Jun 17, 12:09 pm, "John J. Barton" <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> Mike Beltzner wrote:
> > On 17-Jun-09, at 8:56 AM, John J. Barton wrote:
> > For your general user audience, I'd suggest you wait a couple of days
> > until all-beta is updated with a pointer to the release candidate. Or,
> > if you want to advise that they become Firefox beta testers, have them
> > download Beta 4 and check for updates.
>
> I updated my advice with this information.
>
>
>
> > Neither of these things seem particularly hard to do, if you are willing.
>
> I know all of this stuff seems easy for you. But I could not figure out
> from your original post how to get a copy of the release candidate.  Now
> I see that you can update 800,000 users in few minutes but to update the
> web page takes several days. To avoid waiting on the web page, users can
> load the old build and update it.
>
> It's funny that browsers and software updates are getting faster but web
> page updates are getting slower.
>
> jjb

Got it. Now this all makes sense. I will mainly be testing -moz-border-
radius and-moz-box-shadow, so I will report with any bugs.
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Re: Firefox 3.5 release candidate builds: new and exciting!

Bugzilla from jruderman@gmail.com
In reply to this post by John J Barton
I guess it's good that our existing beta users are getting new builds
more frequently.  But why not also put those builds on the web page?
Is putting new builds on the web page way more work than it should be?
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Re: Firefox 3.5 release candidate builds: new and exciting!

Mike Beltzner
In reply to this post by Frédéric Buclin
Hey Jesse,

The release candidate hasn't finished the QA cycle yet, so we're not
comfortable publishing it as a completed milestone.

cheers,
mike

----- Original Message -----
From: dev-planning-bounces+beltzner=[hidden email]
<dev-planning-bounces+beltzner=[hidden email]>
To: [hidden email] <[hidden email]>
Sent: Wed Jun 17 16:03:28 2009
Subject: Re: Firefox 3.5 release candidate builds: new and exciting!

I guess it's good that our existing beta users are getting new builds
more frequently.  But why not also put those builds on the web page?
Is putting new builds on the web page way more work than it should be?
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Re: Firefox 3.5 release candidate builds: new and exciting!

Bugzilla from jruderman@gmail.com
In reply to this post by Frédéric Buclin
We're comfortable shipping it to 800,000 users who downloaded the last
beta, but not to the next 200,000 users who come by to download the
latest beta?  This doesn't make sense to me.  Is it just a PR thing?
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Re: Firefox 3.5 release candidate builds: new and exciting!

Mike Beltzner
This isn't a beta, it's a release candidate. There's a different  
expectation of quality, and more importantly, when we publish such a  
release we are effectively saying: "this is it; this is the version  
that we believe is Firefox 3.5"

So, yes, we're unwilling to take that step until we've finished all QA  
on the product.

Further, we're comfortable sending an incremental update to our beta  
testing audience, who have effectively agreed to receive in-
development software; we do believe that the update we delivered this  
morning is at the quality level of our previous beta releases. There  
is additional quality assurance testing, though, that we perform on a  
release candidate as compared to a beta. We would like our beta  
audience to help with that additional testing.

Also, we already know that the final version of the release candidate  
(rc2build2 is presently the latest revision) will be slightly  
different than the update we just shipped (rc1build2). So I don't  
think we can state "this is our release candidate of Firefox 3.5." We  
know that it isn't yet. What we can, and have stated, is that this is  
an early version of our release candidate.

All of this - all of it - was in the original email I sent. I  
encourage you to re-read it.

cheers,
mike

ps: I find your comment about this new mechanism being "just a PR  
thing" incredibly offensive. Not just to me, but to our PR team at  
Mozilla, who are the most open, honest and forthright group you'll  
ever care to meet.

On 17-Jun-09, at 5:01 PM, Jesse Ruderman wrote:

> We're comfortable shipping it to 800,000 users who downloaded the last
> beta, but not to the next 200,000 users who come by to download the
> latest beta?  This doesn't make sense to me.  Is it just a PR thing?
> _______________________________________________
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Re: Firefox 3.5 release candidate builds: new and exciting!

Michael Lefevre-2
In reply to this post by John J Barton
On 17/06/2009 16:33, Mike Beltzner wrote:
> It means that the build which we are shipping as an update to existing
> beta users (via the built in Firefox software update mechanism) is not
> yet available at http://www.mozilla.com/firefox/all-beta.html
>
> The primary reason we're doing things this way, as explained in the
> original post, is to get our 800,000+ beta users helping us on daily
> testing as part of our QA phase on a milestone

At least the terminology, if not the idea, seems a bit odd here (which I
thought when I saw the first-run page text as well).  "Our basic QA
isn't done yet, but we've automatically updated you to this pre-release
release candidate build anyway."

If you've shipped it to 800,000 users, is it really not a "milestone" or
a "release"?  (Although I guess maybe the idea is to avoid having
"release candidate 1" on a web page which will get slashdotted and have
3,000,000 people run it, is that it?)

You said in the top post that the thing that is shipped in a couple of
days will be "release candidate 1".  How does that make sense when it
will come after (or be identical to) "release candidate 2 build 2"?

If rc1build2 was a released release candidate, then wouldn't the next
release have to be "release candidate 2".  And if rc1build2 wasn't a
release, then shouldn't rc2build1 have been rc1build3?

I guess the answer may be that the process was worked out while it was
happening and the numbering happened before the sequence was decided, in
which case I think I understand everything now you've posted about it,
so that's fine.

Michael
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Re: Firefox 3.5 release candidate builds: new and exciting!

Bugzilla from jruderman@gmail.com
In reply to this post by Bugzilla from jruderman@gmail.com
Ok, I think I understand why ship this almost-release-candidate build
to existing beta users but don't put it on the beta page.  Giving it
to existing beta users is a clear win; I think we all agree about
that.  But listing it on the beta page would cause confusion:

* Calling it "beta 7" would make some people expect new features, make
others wonder why we're having so many betas, and confuse everyone
when we recast the build as a release candidate.

* Calling it "release candidate 1 build 1" or something along those
lines is confusing, and prevents users from joining the beta channel.

* Calling it "the latest beta" is vague.

* Additionally, it has been through slightly less QA (so far) than a
normal beta, so it might be ok to give it to existing beta users (e.g.
because they opted for an early beta) but not new beta users.

So, we don't list it on the beta page.  This causes some confusion of
its own, and some people end up testing an older build than we'd like,
but neither of these problems is huge.  It's also a great chance to
shake out updater bugs: if updating fails for a small percentage of
users, we can be pretty sure they'll complain.
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Re: Firefox 3.5 release candidate builds: new and exciting!

John J Barton
Jesse Ruderman wrote:
> Ok, I think I understand why ship this almost-release-candidate build
> to existing beta users but don't put it on the beta page.  Giving it
> to existing beta users is a clear win; I think we all agree about
> that.  But listing it on the beta page would cause confusion:
>
> * Calling it "beta 7" would make some people expect new features, make
> others wonder why we're having so many betas, and confuse everyone
> when we recast the build as a release candidate.

Next time consider calling it beta 7. Then you can educate users that
'beta' means "fixing bugs, not adding features", and "more betas is
better than less betas, because it means the final release will have
high quality". Plus no one gets confused because there is no release
candidate.

>
> * Calling it "release candidate 1 build 1" or something along those
> lines is confusing, and prevents users from joining the beta channel.

So don't.

> * Calling it "the latest beta" is vague.

So don't.

> So, we don't list it on the beta page.  

But if was called b7 you could list it. And not have all of this.

jjb
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Re: Firefox 3.5 release candidate builds: new and exciting!

Mike Shaver
On Thu, Jun 18, 2009 at 12:28 AM, John J.
Barton<[hidden email]> wrote:
> Next time consider calling it beta 7. Then you can educate users that 'beta'
> means "fixing bugs, not adding features", and "more betas is better than
> less betas, because it means the final release will have high quality". Plus
> no one gets confused because there is no release candidate.

We *did* consider calling it a beta, and decided not to.  One reason
is that we don't want people evaluating it as "beta software" -- they
should be holding it to the same standards as released software in
terms of what they would report as problems, and we have seen an
unfortunate number of "I would have reported it, but I figured it was
beta so I'd see if it just got fixed next time" on bugs we would have
rather heard about earlier.

Linus talks about this phenomenon periodically, as it affects the
Linux kernel -- you don't get that last push of testing until it's
declared as "done", so we're trying to walk the right line between
"testers, please be very picky" and "world, we're not yet ready to
call it Firefox 3.5".  I think we've made a *huge* step forward in
letting our beta testers be closer to our key endgame QA cycle here,
naming nitpicks aside.

Mike
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Re: Firefox 3.5 release candidate builds: new and exciting!

John J Barton
In reply to this post by John J Barton
Mike Beltzner wrote:
> On 17-Jun-09, at 8:56 AM, John J. Barton wrote:
...
> For your general user audience, I'd suggest you wait a couple of days
> until all-beta is updated with a pointer to the release candidate. Or,
> if you want to advise that they become Firefox beta testers, have them
> download Beta 4 and check for updates.

I've read all of this thread again. I still can't make out what the deal
is.

If we go to the all-beta site now we become beta testers but we get the
RC build by check-for-updates. That much I tried and it works.  A bit of
silly extra pointless work but whose counting.

If we wait a few days and go to the all-beta site we get the RC build
but don't become beta-testers? So the all-beta becomes the site for RC
download at that point and the beta program closes? This does not mesh
with the whole story of how great the beta program is, so I don't think
that is what you meant to say. I guess.

jjb
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Re: Firefox 3.5 release candidate builds: new and exciting!

Mike Beltzner
On 18-Jun-09, at 12:05 AM, John J. Barton wrote:

> I've read all of this thread again. I still can't make out what the  
> deal is.

Believe it or not, I'm ok with that. You understanding isn't a pre-
requisite. Sorry that you're not grokking it, let's please move on.

cheers,
mike
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Re: Firefox 3.5 release candidate builds: new and exciting!

Peter Weilbacher
In reply to this post by John J Barton
On 18.06.2009 09:02, Mike Beltzner wrote:
> On 18-Jun-09, at 12:05 AM, John J. Barton wrote:
>
>> I've read all of this thread again. I still can't make out what the
>> deal is.
>
> Believe it or not, I'm ok with that. You understanding isn't a
> pre-requisite. Sorry that you're not grokking it, let's please move on.

Yeah, just title your next post with "new and confusing" and we'll all
be OK with that.
   P.
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