Lessons Learned

Max Spevack mspevack at redhat.com
Mon Mar 19 19:36:48 UTC 2007

On Mon, 19 Mar 2007, Luis Villa wrote:

> The repeated slippage of release dates, and recent discussions about 
> 'must have' features for the next release, make me suspect that Fedora 
> has no answers to the question, or at least none that are any better 
> than Debian's. Fedora may not value democracy over the product, but it 
> doesn't seem to have replaced democracy with anything that is decisively 
> better for the product.

My take on slipping release dates.  We *always* slip.  But then again, 
almost all software projects do.

This is because we start out by saying we want to try to do the release 
every 6 months.  And that can guarantee that it happens in 7 or 8, because 
the physical act of slipping the release causes some level of shame and 

If we just said at the beginning 7 months, then I think we'd *still* end 
up slipping, and it would really be 8 or 9 months.

So I don't have a problem with slipping release dates.

And I think having an enumerated list of "must have" features that is a 
subset of all the "features we said we wanted a few months ago" is also a 
good thing.

Perhaps I'm missing your point a little bit, Luis.


P.S.  There is a fine line, I suppose, between talking about things in 
public and talking them to death.  I believe that if we don't talk about 
them in public before a final decision is made, overall that will hurt the 
project, because lots of people will feel like they weren't involved.  On 
the other hand, having an open conversation leads to long threads because 
many people feel the need to chime in with their opinion.  It takes extra 
time to listen to what everyone has to say.  A little bit of speed is the 
price of openness, but it's a trade off that we choose to make.

Max Spevack
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