[Development] Proposal: let's change the release schedules a bit

Volker Hilsheimer volker.hilsheimer at qt.io
Thu Dec 8 12:59:59 CET 2022

For me, the argument that Eddy makes is very strong: a milestone or deadline right after holidays has the potential of ruining those holidays, without giving any meaningful extra time to get features done.

Releases of operating systems have some relevance: new macOS and Windows versions have in recent cycles happened around March/April and October/November. But even if we try to have the Qt release shortly after those to claim quick support, in reality it would probably be “technology preview” status anyway, knowing how much time it takes to make new CI configurations significant. And TP status can just as well be achieved based on beta and preview versions. Linux distro cycles are more relevant to align with as we are upstream, but in practice I’d expect more practical value in having the first or second patch release in a distro. So in summary, I don’t think any of those need to have a strong influence on our .0 release timing.

What I don’t quite understand is why a long beta period is a problem. We get valuable feedback from community and customers during that, and I vaguely remember some reports of regressions coming in pretty late in the process, just before or even after the release candidate. I don’t know whether those reports came in late because users wait until things look almost ready (i.e. RC available), or because it simply takes time before enough users try out a beta. In the former case, a longer stabilization cycle makes no difference; in the latter case, we should rather make it longer.

Perhaps we have some data on that (how do download figures develop compared to tickets in JIRA reported against preview versions), but I haven’t seen anything that I’d consider conclusive. And without knowing, I don’t see much value in trying to optimize things either way. Eddy’s concern on the other hand is very tangible.


> On 7 Dec 2022, at 12:48, Jani Heikkinen via Development <development at qt-project.org> wrote:
> Hi!
>> Jani: what is the problem with that calendar interval's present length ?
> We need ~13 weeks (real working time) from the feature freeze to the final release. Currently we have holidays during that period and so on we need to reserve much longer calendar time for that. E.g. with Qt 6.5 this time is planned to be a bit more than 15 weeks and with Qt 6.4 it was a bit more than 16 weeks. 
> For me this hasn't been a problem at all but I have heard some other opinions as well; someone wants to finalize new things during holidays and someone isn't that much in holiday e.g Christmas time. For those this would give few weeks extra implementation time between the releases...
>>> I would sooner move the schedule half a month earlier - November FF for February release, May FF for August release - and accept the calendar interval between the two.
> Unfortunately this isn't good option; finalizing the "summer" release would be done during summer holiday season and it won't work. For winter release this could work...
> And please note: I am not proposing to move Qt 6.5 FF; It will stay 9.12.2022 as planned. But this would be something for Qt 6.6 ->. But like I wrote above this isn't anyway mandatory for me, just a proposal. If most of us prefer the existing frame then let's just continue with that :D
> br,
> Jani
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Edward Welbourne <edward.welbourne at qt.io>
>> Sent: maanantai 5. joulukuuta 2022 17.17
>> To: development at qt-project.org; Jani Heikkinen <jani.heikkinen at qt.io>;
>> Ivan Solovev <ivan.solovev at qt.io>
>> Subject: Re: Proposal: let's change the release schedules a bit
>> Ivan Solovev (5 December 2022 14:42) wrote:
>>> Also, as a developer, I personally find it good that we have FF before
>>> the holidays. Because having it right after the holidays would anyway
>>> mean that I need to have everything ready before the holidays. But
>>> I'll just have less time for that.  I can imagine that the Release
>>> Team has different opinion, though.
>> I have a sneaking suspicion Jani's idea is that, with no holiday between an
>> August FF and October release, it may be possible to narrow the interval
>> between them.  However, for January to April there is a holiday intruding,
>> Easter, which isn't even at a fixed point in the calendar from one year to the
>> next.
>> Like Ivan I do not relish the prospect of a FF shortly after a holiday; it would
>> mean getting back from a holiday to a frantic rush to get things finished up,
>> the anticipation of which might hang over the holiday.  I would sooner move
>> the schedule half a month earlier - November FF for February release, May
>> FF for August release - and accept the calendar interval between the two.
>> Jani: what is the problem with that calendar interval's present length ?
>> Eddy.
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