Release process changes

Anything related to PR, release planning and any other non-technical idea how to move the project forward should be discussed here.
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psi29a
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Re: Release process changes

Post by psi29a » 06 Sep 2016, 12:33

darkbasic wrote:Agree on the release videos, but I don't agree on changelogs and RC packages. This is a FOSS project, everyone has access to the git repo and everyone can pull rc tags. Testing should be encouraged: hiding discussions in private areas you are simply going to kill interest from outsiders. If they are not going to be interested they will never join the private areas and the project will slowly starve. Do it in public, raise interest, encourage testing, just strip the youtube links and avoid publishing packages on PPAs before you're ready. Also final version on git shouldn't be tagged until you're *really* ready to release. In the meantime branch it, tag RCs and test RCs: you can't blame a package maintainer for updating his package because he got an automatic notification that a new stable release has been tagged.
To be clear, this is purely for release and internal kitchen stuff. The point of this area was purely for management reasons which there should be no non-management input in.

Conversation around the lead up to the release itself will always be public, so bug-fixes, testing and RC builds will be made available.

The point-in-time of release, the tag for example by Zini, can be set internally for a simultaneous release. That way the tag appears at the moment that there is a blog post with videos and downloads. We already have a branch from master for release strategy, so this is a non-issue.

You can't avoid publishing packages on a public PPA if you are trying to create packages and want them to work and be ready for the release. I'm waiting to hear back from Canonical about if a private PPA for staging is possible.

swick
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Re: Release process changes

Post by swick » 06 Sep 2016, 13:54

Just putting my two cents out there:

I really like that this project is completely open with all communications and I'm not convinced that one reddit post seen only by a few people is a big problem.

It's understandable that you don't want this to happen but I'm also sure that people on here are generally good people, so maybe you should try something less drastic first.

For example having a big, red, flashing warning on material that you don't want to be shared, which says something like "This is promotional material and it would be really nice if you don't share this with the general internet", and only show the link after the user clicks on "ok".

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Atahualpa
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Re: Release process changes

Post by Atahualpa » 06 Sep 2016, 13:59

swick wrote:Just putting my two cents out there:

I really like that this project is completely open with all communications and I'm not convinced that one reddit post seen only by a few people is a big problem.

It's understandable that you don't want this to happen but I'm also sure that people on here are generally good people, so maybe you should try something less drastic first.

For example having a big, red, flashing warning on material that you don't want to be shared, which says something like "This is promotional material and it would be really nice if you don't share this with the general internet", and only show the link after the user clicks on "ok".
Regarding the "leaked" video link: I would call 6000 views in a few days and, at least, two follow-up release articles on other sites a problem. A warning message may not be enough to prevent this in every situation. It's just that our project has grown so big that we can't make everything public. But like others have said before, the Team forums will only include the necessary communication between team members.

swick
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Re: Release process changes

Post by swick » 06 Sep 2016, 17:57

Didn't know it was that much of a problem. Anyway, why not try some less drastic changes first? If it happens again you can still go ahead and make bigger changes. It's not like you have to do it now or never.

SquireNed
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Re: Release process changes

Post by SquireNed » 07 Sep 2016, 02:57

Another part of the problem is that on sites like Reddit, where up-votes are social capital, leaks and such are incentivized: the person who pushes some secret knowledge typically gets all sorts of up-votes, which may not really do a whole ton in terms of rewarding them, but certainly fire off the lizard brain.

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Re: Release process changes

Post by darkbasic » 07 Sep 2016, 13:55

psi29a wrote:
darkbasic wrote:To be clear, this is purely for release and internal kitchen stuff. Conversation around the lead up to the release itself will always be public, so bug-fixes, testing and RC builds will be made available.
Someone previously talked about testing RCs in the secret area, which makes no sense. There are ONLY benefits if you publicly test betas/RCs.
psi29a wrote:The point-in-time of release, the tag for example by Zini, can be set internally for a simultaneous release. That way the tag appears at the moment that there is a blog post with videos and downloads. We already have a branch from master for release strategy, so this is a non-issue.
You can also tag RCs in git as soon as it gets branched and when you're ready tag the final. It doesn't matter if the final points to the same commit of the latest RC.
psi29a wrote:You can't avoid publishing packages on a public PPA if you are trying to create packages and want them to work and be ready for the release. I'm waiting to hear back from Canonical about if a private PPA for staging is possible.
Why a private PPA? It makes no sense. Simply open another PPA called openmw-beta where you also publish all the RCs. Such a way everyone who wants to help testing RCs can use this PPA instead of the normal one. Again, if the latest RC ends up being the very same commit of the final (which may or may not happen) it doesn't matter.
What is important is keeping youtube videos secret, while avoiding releasing stable pacakes or tags. Such a way NOBODY will think you already released the next stable version.

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Re: Release process changes

Post by swick » 07 Sep 2016, 18:05

SquireNed wrote:Another part of the problem is that on sites like Reddit, where up-votes are social capital, leaks and such are incentivized: the person who pushes some secret knowledge typically gets all sorts of up-votes, which may not really do a whole ton in terms of rewarding them, but certainly fire off the lizard brain.
The recent "leaks" have not been because someone hates us or because sweet reddit karma - they simply misunderstood what's going on. It can easily be fixed by being more verbose and clear about what's going on and about what people should or should not do.

At this point I feel like I'm repeating myself.

Also, I really like darkbasic's ideas: RC and release tags on git; beta/RC PPA.

edit: One more point: if you want more RC testing, you really should make it more public. Maybe post it on the blog, maybe have a sticky RC thread.

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Re: Release process changes

Post by psi29a » 07 Sep 2016, 19:21

darkbasic wrote:Why a private PPA? It makes no sense. Simply open another PPA called openmw-beta where you also publish all the RCs. Such a way everyone who wants to help testing RCs can use this PPA instead of the normal one. Again, if the latest RC ends up being the very same commit of the final (which may or may not happen) it doesn't matter.
Already thought about this and it will happen eventually, but there is still going to be a private PPA. So testers get their openmw-beta, which I have been doing by hand anyway but now we can get more coverage. The Private PPA will host the finalized package that awaits to be copied over to the public PPA when release is finalized. It is quite possible they Canonical will say no, in which I would have no choice to keep things 'status quo'.

I'm all for more testing, so if others want to post on reddit or wherever... please do! I don't see how this change will effect how we currently do things in regard to testing.

From my point of view (which might differ from OP and critics):

Development remains the same.
Testing and RC threads remains the same.
Tagging for release remains the same, so if downstream is first to post their packages, so be it.

What is changing is:

Preparation for release will be kept private. This includes:
* PR material
* Packages OpenMW itself distributes

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Ravenwing
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Re: Release process changes

Post by Ravenwing » 07 Sep 2016, 21:28

So I've been lurking for the last couple of months but I can attest to the confusing nature of our releases. Apart from 0.40 taking a long time in general (fine, we all know this is volunteer), I stopped following the release thread because there were so many different discussions happening all at once. I also downloaded the Win 64-bit RC and played it when it was originally posted by Ace, everything worked for the short time I played it, and I think someone had already commented it was fine, so I felt no need to add to anything. But I've been wondering what's going on because our landing page still has 0.39 as the latest blog post.

I think in terms of what's already been said I feel about the same as darkbasic, but with less of a worry about beta testing. At this point, everything we're doing is beta testing, if it's delayed a week for someone behind the scenes to make sure it physically runs I don't think it's a huge deal. But I do think the ONLY things that should be going on out of view is video review and actual release communication. I personally enjoy reading the forums here because of the technical discussions. I trust the devs and other important people here enough to want to keep the public involved, but some of that discussion is inevitably going to take place on the hidden forums, which I think is a disservice to our community.

I don't think we necessarily have a public problem, we have a lack of organization problem. As I said before, I stopped following the release thread, because there was too much going on. I also think it's a bit ridiculous to have to read 4 or 5 pages into this thread to even find out what the impetus for this thread was. I don't mind doing that because I'm interested and appreciate the project, but as we've been talking about the general public, most wouldn't. I know we're often rightly concerned with PR and misinformation, but I think a lot of that is inevitable due to the relative difficulty of finding specific information. We have the very bare basics in our FAQ, and some scattered information on some scattered topics in the wiki. Everything else in held in the forums. The video leak became a problem for the same reason the videos are so valuable: the information is easy to absorb. I think the new structure for release information that someone came up with is a great step in the right direction to allow us to separate all this stuff into smaller and more relevant chunks, but making it all private is not going to help much. We're still going to be misinterpreted and misrepresented in the wider internet world. I think it would be nice to have concise articles and blog posts published in a clear way so someone completely new to the project can easily find what they're looking for without having to resort to the forums if they don't want to.

Sorry this was so long, and I say all of this in the most loving way possible. I'm even very willing to help, but I'll need some help to get started.

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raevol
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Re: Release process changes

Post by raevol » 07 Sep 2016, 22:07

Some clarifications:

None of what we are doing is beta testing. It's all alpha testing. Please don't ever call things Beta until we are officially in beta.

RCs need to either be kept private, or release packages need to be independent of the project release. Why? This is why:
Ravenwing wrote: I also downloaded the Win 64-bit RC and played it when it was originally posted by Ace, everything worked for the short time I played it, and I think someone had already commented it was fine, so I felt no need to add to anything. But I've been wondering what's going on because our landing page still has 0.39 as the latest blog post.
And to follow on to that, if you test a release package, PLEASE let us know that it worked, even if someone else already posted it works. We need those confirmations, and the more the better.

All "private" discussions can and should be made public after the release is finalized. We're not trying to hide things from the community, just trying to prevent miscommunication.

I'm still a huge proponent of Option 1 for all the reasons brought up in this thread. All the extra micromanagement and work required for Option 2, as well as an unavoidable backlash from the community from people who don't understand the reasons for this, or who choose not to understand because they want access to stuff they shouldn't have access too (probably because they are using it for social media points) is just going to be a mess for us. I still support Option 2 over the status quo, but I hope people can see why Option 1 would be so much better...

Edit: And just for reference this is exactly what the "private" forum is going to look like:

OP K1ll: Here's the linux tar.gz RC
reply 1 raevol: Awesome thanks! Alright, can someone give this a test?
reply 2 raevol: Did our Linux tester go MIA? We're waiting on this for the release.
reply 3 raevol: anyone? anyone?
reply 4 raevol: haallooooooooooooooooo

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