[Python-Dev] Re: Stability and change

Tim Peters tim_one@email.msn.com
Wed, 10 Apr 2002 02:08:58 -0400

[Skip Montanaro]
> ...
> The only way a significant change in the development model is
> going to work is if the effort necessary to generate micro releases drops
> drastically.

I'm still vague on what frequent microreleases are thought to buy us, but
I'll skip that here.

> If churning out a binary installer *suitable for a development branch*
> can be reduced to a few minutes, fine.  If not, then I suspect either
> someone else will have to take that task over from Tim or Windows
> installers won't get cut for development point releases.

Building a Windows installer goes fast.  It's usually only the testing that
takes time.  It's a GUI, not a makefile, and has lots of buttons and
options, sets up lots of stuff specific to Windows, stuff that needs to be
done differently under the covers across different flavors of Windows, and
it needs to be tested across different flavors of Windows under user
accounts with different privilege levels, and on and on.  Windows is a
friggin' mess this way.  The other thing that bites is that *because* I do
so much testing, I'm the one who finds the last-second bugs (not mentioning
pydoc by name <wink>).  When that happens, the whole world grinds to a halt
in emergency mode until it's fixed.

I don't know whether the SF file page is still intact, but if it is you can
see that we get *most* prerelease downloads from the Windows builds, whether
it's the first alpha or the final release candidate.  OK, the page is still
partly useful:  we got 1700+ downloads of the Windows 2.2.1c2, and about a
third of that for the Unix tarball.  It's hard to know exactly what to make
of that, though, as Windows users seem to download anything with an .exe
extension without knowing why <0.5 wink -- but thousands of people routinely
downloaded the Windows debug-build zip file when I used to ship that too,
and I've counted the number of complaints since I stopped shipping it on one

If we want to release an untested installer, it will go much faster.  It's
not in my nature to do so, but I can be paid to be unprofessional <wink>.