[Scummvm-devel] ScummVM 0.13.0 has been released. 0.13.1 plans

Thierry Crozat (Yahoo! Mail) thierry.crozat at yahoo.co.uk
Sun Mar 1 12:35:15 CET 2009

Le 1 mars 09 à 09:05, Eugene Sandulenko a écrit :

> Hi Team,

Hi Sev,
I am not in the team but I am giving my opinion anyway.

> As you noticed by the announcement, 0.13.0 is out. It is a really good
> release, and I am glad that also we are going with a quite high number
> of ports ready.

Great work. Thanks for your efforts (and thanks to all the team as  

> However, with this release, unfortunately very early I see the need of
> releasing 0.13.1. There are 2 important factors which make me so:
> [...]
> Lack of testing.
> I had several discussion with LordHoto about that, the one who  
> likes to
> step in as the release manager. Johannes has a vision that  
> releasing to
> the public Release Candidate versions and make them available visibly
> from the download page will somehow help this. Another his idea is to
> make release just once a year.
> I personally do not think that this will bring us any benefit besides
> higher load on the porters and builders. Also sticking "RC" tag to  
> some
> of the releases will basically make them no different from ordinary
> release, so it is trading a bad for worse. That is, we will
> have same or bigger amount of release cycles, but number of "stable"
> releases will decrease.

I don't see the difference between a RC and a pre-release (except for  
name and maybe the way it is perceived by users). Therefore I don't  
understand your point there. Anyway the current pre-release system seems
fine to me except that it needs a few adjustments (see below).

> As of making releases once per year. I closely watch our downloads
> page, and there is direct connection with frequency of our official
> releases and number of downloads. My personal goal is to outreach June
> 2006 record of downloads when we had over 150,000. I believe that only
> with DW freewaring we will be able to beat that.
> Thus, releasing more rarely will decrease our popularity, releasing  
> more
> often is not possible as that is more load on the porters.

I agree with you there. A release cycle of about 6 months seems good  
to me.
And I am looking forward to playing Discworld too :-)

> My own vision on improving this situation is this:
>  - Introduce automated testing. If we will reach GSoC this year, that
>    has to be the task #1.
>  - Make our prerelease builds more visible on downloads page. Perhaps
>    adding a temporary section on top of the page at the time of  
> release
>    with some explanations on stability of the pre- builds and giving
>    direct links to them. I was really glad to see that several porters
>    provided regular nightly builds at the testing period this time, so
>    that section will definitely have much content.
> Now I would like to hear your opinion.

Here it is: as one of the people who tested several games I can say that
we have only so much free time and that we don't own all the games.
Therefore the solution can only be to bring in more people to test more
games (and on more platforms) and to decrease the need for testers.

How to do that? Your ideas are as good as mine (and probably better).
As this was already noted on this list, automated testing would be a  
step forward. I hope somebody (a GSoC student?) will step forward to
work on this.

One of the main issue seems to be the pre-release (or whatever you want
to call it) visibility. Adding a pre-release section at the top of  
the download
page seems a good idea. But I don't think this will be sufficient.

For me the main issue is that people need to hear about the project
needing them to test games. I suppose there is only a small fraction of
users visiting the web site regularly. Most of them visit it when  
they have a
problem or when they hear about the project or a new release somewhere
else. Maybe some efforts should be done to pass the word among the
ScummVM user community, beyond posting a news item and in the forum.
For example target some gaming news site to ask them to relay the
information or post on other forums (e.g. make sure the information is
visible on mixnmojo or other sites and not only on scummvm.org).

Also it was news to me that Cine and Parallaction engines needed testing
more than other engines. Few people outside the ScummVM developers
know which engines have been heavily modified. Maybe this should be
mentioned in the news item (only new games were listed this time).

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