The hell of versions and SVN's

Discussion in 'MediaPortal 1 Talk' started by karlake, January 24, 2009.

  1. karlake

    karlake Portal Pro

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    Hi all!

    First! I Love MP and what you devs are doing with it! So the following is just a try to make the packageing better.
    I've been naggin' about this before, but It's an iomportant issue.

    The problem is how we release versions and SVN's.
    When 1.0.0 was released there was a long list of known bugs that was panned for 1.0.1.
    No problem with that but that and the fact that 1.0.0 gave us new ones, makes it impossible for an enduser
    to be content with the official release and wait for the next one. You need the SVN's to get the bug fixes for
    the critical issues. But then you also need to know that you are installing a "test-version" that gives you new development, with new bugs attached.
    You end up in a rat race of SVN's and you never get an "end user" friendly version that can be considered as
    a "function" under your tv.

    After installing latest SVN, the skin stoped working and the live TV is dead. For an end user, this makes MP
    unusable and we wan't endusers to use MP, don't we!?

    OK! So how do we solve this to make MP more friendly?

    I would like to see a separation between the versions.

    -After the release of a version, this version will not be developed any longer, but still be maintained with bug-fix
    SVN's until the next version is released and then it will die.

    -A copy of version code is made under the name of eg (1.0.1-"next-alpha). This version will not be released to the
    community until it comes to Beta or RC1 level.

    This will give end user a, more and more, stable version.
    It will give the skinners and plugin artists a chance to make their products nice and stable.
    It will give the devs some peace to do some real development, without the pressure of always have to consider that the latest development will effect the enduser.



    Reported bugs will have to be corrfected in two sources, but this dissadvantage is well invested extra work to
    let mp be usable for sooo many more users

    :D
     
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  3. gxtracker
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    gxtracker Retired Team Member

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    Hi karlake,

    What critical bugs were introducted into 1.0 that weren't present in the release candidates?

    I think the current SVN system that is in place is just fine: you have a base version used for regular end users (1.0) and the SVN's are your bleeding edge updates that will most likely break some functionality - use at your own risk type update.

    I've noticed some minor issues such as 0001871: Black screen after stopping video_ts playback - MediaPortal Bugtracker on my installation of MP 1.0, and I could upgrade to the latest SVN since it will be implemented in 1.0.1, but then I run the risk of breaking something else.

    End users should not be installing SVN's.

    Since MP 1.0 is under a feature freeze, we already have this in essence. All new bugs that are being worked on for 1.0.1 are just bug fixes and no new development.

    In general software development, Beta's and RC's should never be released to the end user. MP development is slightly different because community development can take so long, and most users of the product are highly experienced, they can release Beta's and RC's and still have them run stable. They do this to get more releases out to the user in a shorter time frame.

    Teeing off development like this and maintaining two source trees is a major development no-no. It's not just a matter of applying a bugfix to two different version - bug fixes can sometimes break other functional features. this means additional testing, QA, resources, etc...

    I think ultimately, the answer to the problem is this (and this is my own opinion :D): If you're using a version that breaks some functionality you require, then as an end user you have two options - revert to a previous version where this worked, or wait until a new version comes out that fixes it.

    You can report the bug, and install the SVN, but then IMO you are not an end user anymore - you are helping with development. :)
     
  4. karlake

    karlake Portal Pro

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    Well, that would work if all known bugs had been fixed before the release. But still, all developers knows
    that new bugs will be found and to wait for next official release is to long time for an enduser to wait for
    correction. I just found one last week, problem in my music that crashes MP.

    I've been "selling" MP to friends and family and they have deserted after a few mouths and converted to
    other MC's, XBMC, Plex and hwbased like popcorn and others. Everytime it has been a question of
    reliability, and I think it is so sad!
    :D
     
  5. Taipan
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    Taipan Retired Team Member

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    Hi karlake,

    You didn't answer this question:-

    which is in respose to your claim that "but the fact that 1.0.0 gave us new ones (bugs)" ...... :confused:
     
  6. Gixxer
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    Gixxer Retired Team Member

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    if u choose to install a release candidate instead of waiting for the final release you cant complain about there being bugs.

    its like if u got in the middle of the chain production of a car and try to drive it, and then complain that it does not work. well it is not finished,right?
     
  7. karlake

    karlake Portal Pro

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    Don't kill me! I'm just trying my best!

    Well, I think I did answer that with the example with the crash in my music that was not there before.
    2008-12-25, 00:41, confirmed bug about error in filmstrip view, two days after 1.0 release is another
    Just look in the bug report of 1.0

    But this entry was NOT intended to piss you testers off,, You do a great job and have no need to get offended.

    I think it was infinityloop(could be some other dev or tester, can't find it. thred closed) that made an entry some
    weeks ago to explain the bugs. He stated the MP1 source is very
    unstable due to many "hacks" in the code and was concerned about the fact that whatever you change, can lead to
    a failure somewhere else. It must be a hell of a job to be tester and you just can't get all of them.

    So don't make this about just one small sentence in an argument. It's a known strategy to every defense layer to break down a proof.
    Please don't play that game with me, I'm just trying to come up with a constructive solution to a problem. So I don't think I need an knife
    in the back for that. Frodo once stated that endusers views and experience should be taken as serious as the internal views of the "team".

    Fact is that 1.0 was released with a list of known bugs and that alone forces endusers to start downloading SVNs, so my
    argument is still valid. Another thing that forces users to go with the newest SVN is the fact that skinners and plugin devs have to
    make adjustments to new SVNs and soon your fav skin/plugin does no longer support the "old" official version.

    I pleaded that there should be an RC5 to fix the rest of the bugs but got no response.

    So, Please look at my plead again and try to put yourself in the shoes of an novice end user. This IS a method that many, or most
    software vendors ARE using. And it's NOT any personal criticism of any of the MP team. As I said, I love what you do!

    :D
     
  8. Paranoid Delusion
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    I still think the general advice is, if you have a stable system, firstly back it up, both program files and user data files, makes life a lot easier :)

    Remember svn's are for people who are be prepared to expect problem's and are willing to help debug them, especially with the changes now MP is temporarily out of freeze, just be aware a lot of plugins may just not work with this release, so advise disabling and reporting to the various developers involved.

    Thanks to all the people who are willing to do this, because it can be quite a commitment.

    Regards
     
  9. karlake

    karlake Portal Pro

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    So if you wait for the car to get off the production line, and still you find some "bug" in it, you just have to live with it until the next model is ready? What I'm talking about is the fact that I hate to drive a car on the production line, but I still need some kind of a warranty/service garage that can sort out the leaking roof
     
  10. Kossu

    Kossu Portal Pro

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    This is open source software, all the time these developers spend coding is their own free time. They can't offer any warranty what so ever. The source is available so you can fix the problems yourself if it comes to that.

    Personally I have had problems but I've managed to fix them all myself. I do see your point and it would be really nice, but that is gonna be hard as we would never be at a "final" version or sit between 2 versions for years with the svn's trying to fix every single bug. Most of the time bugs arise when a lot of people test the software since there are so many hardware and software combinations that it is impossible to be completely bug free.
     
  11. karlake

    karlake Portal Pro

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    Thank you!

    Finally someone that is anwaring my question!

    And not just picking on a singel word, giving some remarks about cars or stating that backup's are important, dhu!!

    Yes I know that no software is without bugs, but it must be much easyer to get the bugs sorted out if you are bugtracking to a fixed version, rather then a slippery slope between two versions. And it must be much easyer to NOT have to regard users in the pre-Alpha version of a new development. You can take on bigger issues and rewrite whole sections of the code, that the testers and and high-end users can start to debug, while the endusers is sleeping tightly in the old, but supported version.

    The fact is, that most endusers are forced to go with svn, for bug-fixes and for skin/plugin support that need "newer that SVN XXX version"

    I don't mind to have fewer and bigger-step versions, as long as I can get bugfixes to the present.
    It's nothing remarkable about this. Everybody else do it this way, OpenSource or Pro.
    Linuxvendors (like ubuntu)/Microsoft/firefox, you name it, they all do it.

    So this is a question about what do we wan't to be. Just a hack for people that can read sourcecode and fix the bugs themselfs or a the free mediacenter of choice, like firefox among browsers.

    I'm sorry to say that I suspect that I know the answar to thet question.

    btw, Paranoid Delusion, havn't had a stable version of MP to back up yet :D But I still do my backups anyway.
     
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