For the last several months I’ve had the privilege of leading the new dedicated products team here at Phase2. Having a team solely focused on products does not mean we are shifting away from Open Source, but it does mean we are going to be changing our practices a bit to better support the community and our clients. We now have a more predictable development schedule for our products like Open Atrium, and we want to pass the benefits of that to the community and our clients. To that end, we will be working on regular releases with a more consistent version scheme.
Releases will have the following types:
Maintenance Releases - these will happen regularly (approximately once a month) and will include bug fixes, security patches and minor feature improvements/tweaks. We’ll signal these with version numbers that end in 1-9 (e.g. the “1” in Open Atrium 2.31).
Feature Releases - these will happen once a quarter and will add major new functions. They will generally require a little more care in upgrade because they may include big updates. These releases will end in zero, like our recent Open Atrium 2.30 release.
Major Releases - we have big ideas and plans, and some of them will require that we break compatibility and/or force a migration. We will be working on these big ideas, and we're aiming to have a new major release each year. Our next will be Open Atrium 3.0 in early 2016.
As we build our solutions, we want to be able to move fast and make lots of improvements, but we need to balance that with a strong testing/review cycle. Rather than keep our activities behind the curtain, we will still be working in public git repositories so that anyone can see where we are going. And, for folks that do not want to follow the day-to-day of development but want to be more involved, we’ll be following a release candidate strategy. Before new feature releases, as soon as we feel we’re feature complete, we’ll publish a release candidate (e.g. 2.30-rc1). We’ll then put the RC through its paces and if things go well and we get no reports of issues from the community, that will become the final release.
So, future releases will have versions that look like this:
By both developing in the open and putting our releases out for review before they are final, we hope to strike the right balance between being visible and collaborative in the community, and offering our clients access to well reviewed and tested releases. As we work to bring more solutions to market, rest assured that we’ll keep “open” as a strong part of our DNA.
Personally, I’m really excited to be working with a great group of folks, both on my team and in the community. Lets push it, and do something great together! If you would like to stay informed about Open Atrium developments, be sure to sign up for the Phase2 newsletter!