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Re: Stable Builds


Hello Margaret,

On Fri, Aug 29, 2014 at 7:19 PM, Margaret Johnson
<happyday.mjohnson@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> I am interested in donating money to CERN if the priority is on releasing
> stable builds.  Before I do this, I'd like to understand:

CERN does not work independently of the KiCad project. In particular,
KiCad goes in the direction that KiCad's project leader (now Wayne
Stambaugh) sets, in collaboration with and with the help of many
developers. At CERN we prepared a road map some time ago [1] which was
meant to trigger debate with the main developers. Many of the
milestones in that roadmap have since become milestones in the
official KiCad roadmap [2]. And we are of course very happy about
that. Developers paid by CERN will only take on work packages from the
official roadmap, and will do so in agreement with KiCad's project
leader, in a sequence that makes sense for the project as a whole. The
more development effort we put in, the faster we can move through the
roadmap, although admittedly "moving through the roadmap" is a bit
vague since the current roadmap still needs to be ordered.

> 1. what are your priorities regarding features (I see stability as a feature
> - so my priority would be dev and test members are focused on releasing a
> stable build.  This may not be the case for CERN.  So I'd like to gain your
> perspective).

A stable build is important to us at CERN, as is an easy way to
install in GNU/Linux, Windows and OS X and good up-to-date
documentation. I know a stable release is important for many other
people too, and it's in the official roadmap. It would be a so-called
"lightweight" stable release. By "lightweight" we mean one without
backports. That means that if there is a bug in the stable release,
users can choose to go to unstable or to wait for the next stable, but
they should not expect current stable to be fixed. I think this is a
good compromise between the legitimate need for a stable release many
people have and the limited resources of KiCad.

> 2. who is accountable for selecting and meeting a build schedule for the
> stability feature?  For example, if I donate what expectation should I have
> regarding time frame for stable release and who on the dev side feels awful
> when the stable release is not realized and will work extra hard to make it
> so?

Donating to CERN (or to anybody else you trust) will speed things up.
I know a lightweight stable release is high on Wayne's agenda, but I
think it would be extremely difficult for Wayne (and impossible for
me) to give a date. Wayne took over project leadership recently and he
said some days ago that we would be seeing some management action from
him in the coming weeks. I guess the lightweight stable release will
be included in the discussions.



[1] http://www.ohwr.org/projects/cern-kicad/wiki/WorkPackages
[2] http://bazaar.launchpad.net/~kicad-product-committers/kicad/product/view/head:/Documentation/development/road-map.md