> Just my two cents worth on the release being held back by Windows;
> I think that, regardless of your position on Windows as an operating system,
> or Windows users, that putting out a release that is crippled would be
> downright humiliating to the *whole* Inkscape project.
Someone not used to the way Linux distributions are done and how a lot
of open source projects are handled could get that kind of
misunderstanding. I've re-read the whole thread,and unless Google
filtered some emails, I can assure you your perception might feel a bit
spacey to most people following the discussion.
The open source world has a habit of frequent releases. They sometimes
cause regressions, but it's often like that in the OS world. Some
features that work in Ubuntu 6.10 stop working in 7.04, and sometimes
they only get repaired in the next version - a 6 month wait.
It's not disrespect for the users (although when you're not used to it
it can feel like that). It's just that fixing this function would
prevent others to use another needed feature, and time being of the
essence (esp. with the 6-month-release distros), you can't have your
cake and eat it.
On the other hand, Windows program installation is a tad different than
what is done on a Linux distribution. Since users grab the program and
install it themselves, it makes it possible to release a fix really fast
- that is, Windows users would only be hurt for a few days (the time to
squash the bug), something most people would consider a slight annoyance
compared to having no other choice than to wait 6 month for a fix (which
is the case in, for example, Ubuntu).
Up to now the people responsible to get Inkscape out have always cared
not to fall into that trap. Each time an updated code would provide bad
results in certain cases, the outdated code has been provided to allow
people the same behaviour they were expecting to get (like with the two
different .pdf export modes).
That doesn't mean everybody thinks the same (and it's ok since it's the
final decision that matters), and they're free to say what they think
would be the best. Personally, even though I know it won't happen, I
wouldn't find disrespectful to release 0.46 on all platform and
advertise it, even if print sill doesn't work on Windows. Just advertise
it so people know what to expect, and 0.46.1 will fix the bug like other
.1 releases have done for other bugs before. That, or just start the
campaign for 0.46.1 (see my comments below - who remembers Open Office
2.0 anyway when what we all started to use was at least 2.0.4?).
> Let's ask, what is pushing us so hard to get the next release out? In a lot
> of these projects there is an impetus based on saving face, which is about
> bringing new features to fruition. IMHO, the saving face needs to be done by
> being a little patient, or at the very least not releasing 0.46 for Windows
> until it is pretty right.
> Again, what is the aim? Is it purely to further the name of Inkscape, or is
> there at least some desire to further SVG as a viable option is a largely
> proprietary world? I have heard that said a number of times, and used as a
> reason to include or reject features. This project is meant to be about a
> good SVG editor, and the rest is a nice by-product. Again, a good reason to
> hold off just a little.
I don't really understand how one could have gotten the idea that
releases would be done to save face. Inkscape releases have been
opportunities to show Inkscape's features to people that don't know yet
about it - a nice habit from a healthy developed program.
The aim has never sounded to me as a face saving option. It is quite
normal to desire sharing with as many people as possible the benefits of
a program one (not me, I'm not a programmer) has devoted efforts to.
That mean simultaneous releases on all platforms. Which might not be
feasible with 0.46 - but which could be done for 0.46.1.
> Let us also ask, if Linux users
Prejudices _hurt_ even when you don't take them personally. I don't know
how you'd appreciate being told you're a moron because - f.e. - of your
skin colour, but remember most people don't like it.
To be clear : most Linux users are on Linux because It Just Works. You
pop in the CD, and 20 min later you're free of most hassles. No
antivirus to update, not hd to defragment, no freakin' firewall to set
up, no looking on the Net for hours to install all the programs you
need, no dozens of CD+license keys to install, no hopeless search for an
obscure registry key, no freakin' drivers to download - they're on the
CD, and if they're not they should be. All the apps are already in the
menus, and they update themselves magically when there's security fixes.
Most Linux users just don't care for technical expertise because _they
don't need it anymore_ - and that's why most switch in the first place.
Being told that we're techies, geeks, or anything like that is just a
cheap way to single out people.
And to come back to the idea of beta releases for Linux users: as a
"Linux user",I hate it when something break, because I'm not used to it.
It shouldn't happen on production machines, and I'll never learn to cope
with it (or I would be using Windows).
> For many Linux users it makes no difference whether or not there's
> an official release, because the pre2 package is stable.
Pre2 packages are not supposed to appear in any sane distribution. I
wouldn't be happy about it, and none would be, whatever the OS, even if
you tell me it's stable.
Getting 0.46 final in both Fedora 9 and Ubuntu 8.04 doesn't mean the
advertising campaign need to start in March or April. Most users won't
upgrade or install their OS right away, and the users that will do so on
release day aren't really concerned by the launch advertising campaign
(i.e. they will have an updated Inkscape anyway).
However, not having 0.46 in the repositories in time means there will be
no way for the vast majority of Ubuntu Inkscape users (speaking about
what I know, Fedora might be more reactive) to test and use 0.46. Only a
very small percentage of Linux Inkscape's userbase would use autopackage.
Considering 8.04 is a _LTS_ hurts even more. Ubuntu policies being what
they are, there's the possibility 0.46 won't get in the repos if it's
too late, and only a handful of people use the backports. That's _3
years_ more of 0.45.1, and that's a 3 years nightmare of backporting the
security fixes from 0.46 to 0.45.1. That will most certainly mean they'd
be happy to SRU 0.46, but the decision will be done by people that
probably aren't in this mailing list.
If 0.46 isn't in 8.04, it will never be in the repos at the same time as
the advertising campaign - which mean no true "simultaneous release,
since an autopackage sitting idly on inkscape.org isn't as useful. From
experience, even for updates that fulfil Stable Release Updates
requirements, it takes almost 2 months for the packages to get reviewed,
approved and released. Not including the annoying fact that usually the
package has first to be done for 8.04+1 (8.10),and 8.10 base won't be
there till a few weeks after release (mid May?).
It is a somewhat painful aspect of some Linux distributions, and the
problem showed itself in the past. If 0.46 can't be ready on Linux in
time, it will make it in 6+ month but it already happened last October
(got to use Gmail Archives :) ), and it's already the 6+ month version.