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Author Topic: Version management and future release issues  (Read 16136 times)
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Torne
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« on: April 03, 2006, 02:18:06 PM »

I don't mean to imply any lack of competence on the part of those doing the releases, but the last few do seem to have been plagued with install/upgrade problems and the like. I suspect this is due to a limited ability for you guys to test upgrading from all possible configurations - it's not your fault at all Wink

But.. in the light of that, I think it might be wise to release some kind of 'release candidate' before declaring that a version is final.. let people try upgrading their dev/test servers and only claim it's released when there are no significant problems being reported. Of course the final release version should be just the last release candidate, renamed (it's probably ok for it to internally identify itself as the next version, in order to make the final release *completely* identical to the last rc - this is what Firefox did for 1.5) - this means that there's no need to 'upgrade' one more time just to get the final release which shouldn't really have any changes.

It basically serves as a warning that though the code is tested to the best of your ability, it might not be quite 'there' for a given configuration - so don't push it to your live servers just yet Wink I know it's sensible practise not to do this anyway, but I can't really see a downside to doing the releases in this fashion - people who want the new version right now will install it whatever you call it Wink
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Talisman
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« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2006, 02:24:00 PM »

With this being the initial release by Dragonprime vice Kendaer and Eric, there have indeed been a few issues which we'll hopefully avoid in the future.  You make some good points, which we'll certainly consider and look at possible implementation.  We've also noted and discussed a few other minor items that will be done differently next time.

Transition is never easy, but we'll do our best to minimize the impact on the community.
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robert
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« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2006, 04:08:02 PM »

I agree with Torne.
I hope the new developers wont make the same mistake as previous ones, calling a new version anything other than BETA is very misleading when it hasnt been tested thoroughly under all conditions. Testing on one or two servers is hardly any proper test to say the least.

May I suggest any release you make clearly state the obvious:
Example:

Version BETA 1.1.0

and have it listed as such under "version"

When the BETA has been thoroughly tested and bugs repaired, then you can release it  and call it:

Version 1.1.0

There will always be those who will download the latest, even if it is buggy - however IF and WHEN their version CLEARLY states and is listed as BETA 1.1.0 ..it leaves little doubt in anyones mind that problems are expected and hopefully they will report them here so you can squash those little nasties. You want lots of people to download the BETA, so it can be run under as many differant conditions, platforms and configurations as possible to give it a thorough and semi-proper test to squeeze out any as many of those little nasties as possible.

Hopefully the BETA_READ_ME.txt and the BETA_Install.txt will also state that the BETA version they are about to install is currently "under test conditions" a "work in progress"  and their help in finding and reporting any bugs found is appreciated.

Please, do not be in such a hurry to toss out a version which hasnt been thoroughly tested. If you make one release every six months, thats about average with software.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2006, 04:25:48 PM by robert » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2006, 11:59:13 PM »

You're the fifth person to echo a lot of this and I agree wholeheartedly. My very first observation of seeing it there on the download page was, "I'm not downloading that yet!!!" and the second was, "OMG, SO many newbie admins are going to download that one!" People assume a bigger number is better.
 
As far as I can see the reason it came out in such a rush was the date being the one-year anniversary of the release of 1.0. While that date had some personal significance to the development team, in terms of what admins and players saw there was nothing much new. It was more a symbolic guesture of handing the game to the world. I personally feel that a BETA release of v1.1.0 would not have been any less wonderful to happen on the anniversary.

PLEASE... can we have that download link modified to read BETA and the 1.0.6 to read STABLE RELEASE until the bugs are ironed out? I realise that by the time I post this XChrisX has probably uploaded fixes to all the problems that we know about by now, but another one might come up tomorrow. There is no shame in having BETA there. It is still a monumental occasion that the new team have officially taken over the reins and put forward a release.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2006, 12:05:15 AM by SaucyWench » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2006, 04:40:43 AM »

I still should point out that it's probably best to keep the contents of the archive using the next stable version number - i.e. treat a release candidate as 'exactly what we want to release, to the last character, if no problems are found' - this absolutely assures that there will be no problems accidentally introduced when the final version emerges, and it means that people who have been testing will not need to do one *more* upgrade just to get their version number or whatever updated.

A beta is not neccecarily the same as a release candidate... a beta implies that the software is expected not to be done yet, whereas the release candidate is a more 'final' statement - 'we're done changing this, but we need to make sure we've not missed any problems'.

It worked very well for Firefox Wink
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Nightborn
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« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2006, 04:59:15 AM »

I strongly suggest to offer as a next relase a "minimum install package" and then a "modul addon" package as I've discussed this with Saucy and Elessa.

Normal admins are overwhelmed by all this at the very start. We should make the installer like newbieisland: block out what they not need from the very start.
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« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2006, 07:13:59 AM »

Hmm... I don't think normal admins are overwhelmed by the installer, just the new ones who have never been an admin for anything like this (or, more than likely, have never been an admin over anything). If they have been able to properly prep their server for the game, running the installer should be the easiest part... just click, click, click.

I think we should just keep the current installer and tweak the verbage in it a bit or maybe just include a detailed, step-by-step readme file in the package. In the section of the installer where you chose which modules to load/enable even has a "recommended"/"not recommended" comment beside it. New admins should really pay attention to this. Maybe this should be bolded, so as to get their attention or maybe have it read something like "Can be safely enabled at installation" or "Do not enable during installation" (you get the idea).





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Nightborn
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« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2006, 07:45:04 AM »

I know what you want to say.

But look at all the threads. A readme is simply not read.

We must do something more drastic.
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« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2006, 07:57:08 AM »

We must do something more drastic.

Beat them over the head with a stick?   Grin
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« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2006, 08:02:13 AM »

You can create endless README.txt, FAQ, install how-to threads...the problem is that those who need that information don't read them until it's too late.

We will be looking at ways to improve the installation to avoid the more common problems.
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robert
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« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2006, 11:52:43 AM »

You can create endless README.txt, FAQ, install how-to threads...the problem is that those who need that information don't read them until it's too late.

We will be looking at ways to improve the installation to avoid the more common problems.

The ReadMe and install has always and still to this day been ...lacking in clear, concise information. It does provide "bare bones" information which is good for those with sufficient knowledge and background and are already familiar with LoGD, online games and/or hosting. The problem occurs as mentioned above, with those who have decided to run an online game for the first time. Failure to provide a clear, concise, explicit, well written documentation is a failiure on the developers part to provide the basic necessities to all those who may be interested in using the software.

We already know there are hundreds and hundreds of servers out there running the game, many of which required no assistence at all. If we provide the proper documentation ...just maybe we can help a few more along the way with a smooth install.  Granted - there will always be someone out there who gets stuck or may be confused ..but isnt that part of what DP does? ...offer assistence?

All I am suggesting is lets give them proper documentation.
 - Failure to read the documents is a shame on them
 - Failure to provide it is a shame on us
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« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2006, 12:26:02 PM »

We've already started moving in that direction; you may have noticed the big red link in the menu, and it's associated forum board (which will soon contain usable information).

I had previously asked the community here to provide entries for the FAQs, but the response was...limited...
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« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2006, 12:52:50 PM »

You can create endless README.txt, FAQ, install how-to threads...the problem is that those who need that information don't read them until it's too late.

We will be looking at ways to improve the installation to avoid the more common problems.


All I am suggesting is lets give them proper documentation.
 - Failure to read the documents is a shame on them
 - Failure to provide it is a shame on us

the issue is, and remains to be, who shall step up to write such documentation?
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SaucyWench
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« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2006, 02:00:27 AM »

Hmm... I don't think normal admins are overwhelmed by the installer, just the new ones who have never been an admin for anything like this (or, more than likely, have never been an admin over anything).

You are now describing the "normal" admin.

Most have never been an admin on another LoGD before, many have never been an admin on anything at all, and the vast majority (YES!) have never had any exposure to a *nix environment before and find themselves some "hosting" without having any clue what the platform is at all... may we all weep for humanity... they then attempt to just whack the "red button" (installer) and expect it to all neatly evolve into their site, just like putting bread into a toaster and watching it turn brown.

The downside of the installer being easy is that it results in more admins who really shouldn't BE admins. However, we can't stop that, and so we should deal with it, rather that wish it wasn't so.

I think we should just keep the current installer and tweak the verbage in it a bit or maybe just include a detailed, step-by-step readme file in the package.

It's discussed elsewhere, but they don't read it. They wouldn't read it if it were concise or went through 500 pages of perfect instructions. Nightborn, Elessa and I are not suggesting the installer be changed at all. We're suggesting that the vast majority of modules are removed from the main zip file that the new admin unpacks into their webspace during the preparation for installation. It could certainly be in another zip alongside, with both zips inside the tarball. I'm not sure when the last time was that you ran the installer, but I did it yesterday. It's a pain in the ass! The huge number of modules on the module page is sheer stupidity. If I did not know all of them intimately I would probably think, "Ok, we can have all of those!!!" and activate every single one of them.

And they do.

And they all end up with carbon copy sites exactly like every other LoGD site out there that has come straight out of the box.

Seven cities including a Christmas city that is there all year and a Halloween city that never goes away.

18 commentary areas for them to maintain.

Honestly... a brand new setup should have one city, a bare minimum of specials, and will probably not need ANY of the admin tools included like Staff List or Points Wage. It's sheer craziness that every server has those, and it's not because they don't belong in the release - they do, but people need to consider *when* they are useful and when they are not. When 1.0 was released most people knew that admins have to pick and choose and tailor their server. Not anymore! There are people embracing this game who have never seen LoRD, Classic/DragonCat, or lotgd.de - they have no clue that less is more, no idea about game balance, and no idea why 7 cities is a bad idea with only 5 players.

We should be encouraging bare installs and then let the admins either pick and choose from the Module Pack, or come to DragonPrime to pick and choose and create a realm which is unique...
« Last Edit: April 05, 2006, 03:27:50 AM by SaucyWench » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2006, 06:39:19 AM »

Ok... I see what you're getting at now and after thinking about it, you guys are right. Having a base install with the extra core modules in a seperate zip inside the tarball or on DragonPrime is probably the best way to stop of the questions and it would cut down on game servers clones.

My only concern is that those extra core mods will be dispersed into DragonPrime for individual download instead of just a single zip file containing all of them. However, if you did split them up, maybe Talisman could rope off a special section for them in the download section.
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