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Regarding RC3 and RC4

Posted by Suki on August 29, 2020, 03:59:24 PM

Dear SMF Community,

Since the release of the last Release Candidate (RC) for the 2.1.x branch of SMF, we have been continuing the development of this new version on GitHub. There are 267 issues tagged for RC3 that have already been closed, meaning that those issues have already been solved and any fixes have been implemented. There are just two issues which remain tagged for RC3, and these are currently being reviewed by the developers.

As you may have noticed, there is now a Release Candidate 4. This is a change from the previous plan, which has resulted in almost every issue that was tagged for 'Final' now being tagged for RC4. The reasons why we have decided to go for another Release Candidate are as follows:

- Number of issues to test: When RC3 is released, it will include a total of 269 fixed issues. This is a significant number and we believe that having another milestone would be better for testing everything that we have added to ensure that the fixes have been implemented successfully, instead of going directly to 'Final'.

- Limiting the scope: We want to ensure that the release time between RC3 and 'Final' is as short as possible. Even though we have tagged almost every issue for RC4, if a new arises that is not related to Security, Upgrade, Calendar or Database, it will be tagged for 'Final'. Also, we have a number of issues which have been tagged for RC4 that already have a fix awaiting them as part of the release of RC3.  On that basis, the number of outstanding issues will decrease significantly as soon as RC3 has been released.

- Potential experiment with 'release early, release fairly often': in view of a clear roadmap and the limits having been established for RC4, we might try to see if we can experiment with and achieve this kind of approach.  If we can make this work to our satisfaction, it might help us to develop the software more quickly and efficiently for future versions and patches.  Please note that this is neither a guarantee nor a promise, but it is an idea that we are hoping to implement if possible.

Thank you for your patience.

Kind regards,
The SMF Team

Comments

Arantor on August 29, 2020, 04:02:58 PM said
Good to hear. Please let’s have more such updates in future.
SpacePhoenix on August 29, 2020, 04:05:43 PM said
Can a link to the "nightly build" version of 2.1 RC3 be added to he downloads page?
Suki on August 29, 2020, 04:26:12 PM said
Since we don't officially offer support (offer update packages) for release candidates we don't provide links for nightly builds on the downloads section, however and for those users that understand and are OK with running an RC on their own theres an unofficial nightly build on the 2.1 support board.
Antechinus on August 29, 2020, 07:35:30 PM said
I gather from the comments on GitHub that RC3 is basically a done deal, and is just waiting for someone to deal with the final pull request.
SugarD-x on August 29, 2020, 08:13:48 PM said
Thank you for the progress update and communication!!! ;D
videoed on August 30, 2020, 05:36:14 PM said
Thank you for the update. It is much appreciated!
Rock Lee on August 31, 2020, 02:12:27 PM said
I have no excuse for not testing 2.1 on a test site, I hope everything turns out great :)!
landyvlad on September 02, 2020, 01:06:27 AM said
A very welcome update - thank you so much!
shinglis on September 03, 2020, 08:02:51 AM said
Thanks for the update.
forumovod on September 04, 2020, 02:12:25 AM said
Yesterday I installed SMF 2.1 RC2 with github, and it turns out to be almost RC3 :)
SugarD-x on September 04, 2020, 02:59:56 AM said
Yesterday I installed SMF 2.1 RC2 with github, and it turns out to be almost RC3 :)
That isn't RC2. That is a development build in between RC2 and RC3.
Doug Heffernan on September 04, 2020, 07:06:42 AM said
Thank you for the update Suki. Keep up the great work :)
forumovod on September 04, 2020, 07:47:13 PM said
Yesterday I installed SMF 2.1 RC2 with github, and it turns out to be almost RC3 :)
That isn't RC2. That is a development build in between RC2 and RC3.

Screenshot installed SMF 2.1 with github.

Antechinus on September 04, 2020, 08:16:26 PM said
Yes, because the RC3 build hasn't been released yet, so they haven't bothered changing the version number in the footer yet. It's still a dev build.
GravuTrad on September 06, 2020, 07:25:45 PM said
Really great news. Thanks Suki. ;) (lead suki!)
SugarD-x on September 07, 2020, 01:13:01 AM said
Yesterday I installed SMF 2.1 RC2 with github, and it turns out to be almost RC3 :)
That isn't RC2. That is a development build in between RC2 and RC3.

Screenshot installed SMF 2.1 with github.


That is NOT RC2. RC2 was built at a specific point in time with the code. Anything taken off of GitHub since then is a later development build. As Antechinus said, RC3 hasn't been released yet, so the number hasn't changed. They don't update the number immediately after releasing a new version just to call it a development version in the repository.

The only way to get the actual RC2 version is by downloading it here:
https://download.simplemachines.org/

Or here:
https://github.com/SimpleMachines/SMF2.1/releases/tag/v2.1-rc.2

Note the date and tag on the second link.
forumovod on September 07, 2020, 11:48:56 AM said
That is NOT RC2.

If this is not a RC2, then why does it indicate that it is a RC2? :)
SychO on September 07, 2020, 12:16:16 PM said
That is NOT RC2.

If this is not a RC2, then why does it indicate that it is a RC2? :)

Because as it has been explained before, it only says RC2 because the version number is changed right before an official release is made, so the build you're using from github is technically not RC2 and is instead a development build between RC2 and RC3.
Antes on September 07, 2020, 12:18:02 PM said
That is NOT RC2.

If this is not a RC2, then why does it indicate that it is a RC2? :)

Because git-builds are not compiled officially to reflect the latest build number in the footer section. So till RC3 release, team does not change the version numbers in the file(s).
SpacePhoenix on September 07, 2020, 02:45:15 PM said
Are we literally now just waiting on a staff member to move RC3 to the downloads page to replace RC2?
Kindred on September 07, 2020, 02:48:36 PM said
No. The release process is not quite that simple.
Arantor on September 07, 2020, 02:56:28 PM said
If something is painful, do it more often (so you make it less painful).
DenDen60 on September 08, 2020, 08:07:41 AM said
No. The release process is not quite that simple.


Can you share a link that explain the process? I would like to know more.


I check this page https://github.com/SimpleMachines/SMF2.1/compare/6a55d92...release-2.1 and I see that there is a checking phase. Are there other steps?


Thanks
   
Arantor on September 08, 2020, 09:01:34 AM said
No, the process involves a whole bunch of things that are none of our business.
m4z on September 08, 2020, 02:46:53 PM said
The process is not public, mostly because most steps are behind-the-scenes stuff revolving around creation, testing and release of the software, language files, and customizations of this site.

Even if the process was made public, it would need to be heavily commented to even make sense to people outside the team. (Not saying you're too stupid to understand; I'm saying I myself don't understand parts of it because I don't know or don't have access to the things it talks about, so it's just technobabble to me.)
DenDen60 on September 08, 2020, 03:16:16 PM said
The process is not public, mostly because most steps are behind-the-scenes stuff revolving around creation, testing and release of the software, language files, and customizations of this site.

Even if the process was made public, it would need to be heavily commented to even make sense to people outside the team. (Not saying you're too stupid to understand; I'm saying I myself don't understand parts of it because I don't know or don't have access to the things it talks about, so it's just technobabble to me.)
Thank you m4z.


Your first sentence explained what I wanted to know. I did not want any specifics; just the general. ;-)
Arantor on September 08, 2020, 04:17:38 PM said
But *why*? What possible benefit does it have for you to know, other than to feel entitled to know something that wasn't explicitly explained in detail before, that is in no way relevant?
landyvlad on September 08, 2020, 11:09:34 PM said
Arantor - let's not make this another one of those threads eh.  Q asked, and answered adequately by m4z.
Let's move on.
MisterVector on September 09, 2020, 04:42:18 AM said
Why has it taken around 6 years to get from beta 1 to nearing RC3 today? That is a long span of time between these two versions.
m4z on September 09, 2020, 08:14:56 AM said
Why has it taken around 6 years to get from beta 1 to nearing RC3 today? That is a long span of time between these two versions.

Community/Translator perspective: The total community seems to be tiny compared to a few years ago, most languages have close to no support and no translators.

Team/Support perspective: A lot of people jumped off, onboarding people takes at least a couple of months… (Compare, f.e., 2005, 2012, 2016, and today.)

Code perspective: Because the changes were huge (that's a given after that time), only ~21 people in total helped (top right side; that number probably only includes people with merge permission), the total activity went down a lot, and currently only ~6 people (including you) are working on the code. And understanding the code takes time, too.

Testing perspective: Tests are manual, only ~1 person currently has the time to thoroughly test on multiple setups (we're working on it…)

And for all of the above: Even if we "select" people to help, not everybody actually ends up helping. F.e. of the newly accepted translators (maybe 1 applicant per month on average; maybe half of them are actually able to translate appropriately and are accepted), at least 1/4 never actually begins translating because they're scared off by the amount of onboarding documentation, or hugely underestimate the amount of work, or realize that they need a pretty good understanding of SMF and its features to be able to translate it. We don't know the actual reasons, because usually they never report back, and are stripped of their permissions again after some months of inactivity.

And, to say it again, even if some say it's not a valid reason: We're all volunteers.
I personally work 8-10 hours a day, and the rest is split between eating, sleeping, shopping groceries, health/sports stuff, family, and hobbies (one of which is SMF). In a normal week, I currently have 2-8 hours I can spend on SMF.
That goes into fighting spam, translation stuff, team-internal communication, reading support threads and sometimes being able to actually provide support (especially in the german boards, which are pretty dead regarding helpers besides myself), working on better testing of SMF, reporting bugs I find, and patching some minor bugs I find (I don't really speak PHP). The more stuff piles up in front of that list, the less chance I even get to the latter parts of it in any given week.

And, intended or not, massive amounts of rants waste our precious SMF time even more (if you expect us to read them; I'm only half through that thread, I usually only read 1 rant page daily, max). Stop complaining (not directed to you personally, MrVector!), start helping.

(It took me maybe an hour to write this post.)


Edit: Forgot spam.
Arantor on September 09, 2020, 08:17:12 AM said
Massive rants are how you know someone still cares. When there’s only silence, it’s time to move on.
marcosbr on September 09, 2020, 10:25:51 AM said

RC3 will leave ... They will charge RC4 and then they will fight for the final!
Exercise for writing and reading!  ;D ;D
Ricky. on September 09, 2020, 03:09:27 PM said
...
...
(It took me maybe an hour to write this post.)


Edit: Forgot spam.

Really appreciable.

Massive rants are how you know someone still cares. When there’s only silence, it’s time to move on.
I love reading his replies, sometimes they are really good and sometimes he just being aRantor. 
videoed on September 09, 2020, 03:56:39 PM said
@m4z, I subscribe every word. Thank you. I really don't understand the fuss. SMF is offered for free. If you believe in the project, then help. If you can't help, don't complain. And if SMF does not offer you what you want, then leave; use other freeware platform or consider paying for an alternative.

Thank you to all the coders still working on this wonderful forum. It may not have all the bells and whistles found elsewhere, but that DID NOT stop me from starting my forum 14-15 years ago and having it grow ever since. Even if SMF only released security patches I would still be more than satisfied and I can only  be grateful for what I have been given for free all this time. Once again. THANK YOU.

Bests,
d3vcho on September 09, 2020, 04:35:56 PM said
Massive rants are how you know someone still cares. When there’s only silence, it’s time to move on.

No. That's toxic.
Arantor on September 09, 2020, 07:09:01 PM said
Guess I'm toxic then. Oh well, it was nice knowing you all.
zappaDPJ on September 09, 2020, 11:02:08 PM said
SMF is offered for free. If you believe in the project, then help. If you can't help, don't complain. And if SMF does not offer you what you want, then leave; use other freeware platform or consider paying for an alternative.

Many of us quite rightly in my opinion have pretty much the same expectations of free software as they do a retail product. I run an after school learning facility for underprivileged children as a charitable trust. I don't get paid but it's subject to the same scrutiny as any other state or private educational establishment.

Just because something is free doesn't mean it shouldn't be subject to the same scrutiny as anything else and it doesn't mean that complainants with valid and constructive criticism have to contribute or disappear. Many of us contribute our free time to society elsewhere.

I have used this software for many years and I still have some faith in the project. However I will still post what I hope is considered constructive criticism even if I don't have the time to contribute in a more meaningful way.

Massive rants are how you know someone still cares. When there’s only silence, it’s time to move on.

Spot on. The majority of vBulletin owners let their feelings known in no uncertain terms when things went downhill there. Now there's silence because the majority migrated to Xenforo.

Rock Lee on September 10, 2020, 11:22:53 AM said
It may be my Latino condition (I am from Argentina) where they want to sell you a Pentium 4 or dual core as if it were from 2022 makes you think that something has been standing for so long it is not bad but if it eventually shows signs of working, it's already a very good thing. Many times it is difficult to understand everything takes time and knowledge as such adding is something voluntary that over the years changes many things.

I work between 10-12 hours repairing cell phones/tablet/PC, the comment "I don't see you did anything" or "You charge me for doing something silly" it is common currency, however they keep bringing their equipment to me for repair. Then the counterpart who supports with words, with confidence, what generating another type of personal treatment and understands the effort involved.

What leads to my conclusion is easier to complain about everything to see if something changes and it is the opposite... as they say it is easier to criticize than to do something. Also in this world there is everything both people support SMF (I include myself) and people only seek to criticize without quarter.
Doug Heffernan on September 10, 2020, 11:44:16 AM said
Massive rants are how you know someone still cares. When there’s only silence, it’s time to move on.

No. That's toxic.

What are you talking about? That is not toxic at all. From what I have seen Arantor cares deeply for Smf, and he has been nothing but helpful to a lot of users who have asked for support here.

Calling him toxic is uncalled for and respectless too imo.
SugarD-x on September 11, 2020, 06:34:12 AM said
To be fair, much of this discussion probably does belong in the rant topic, but in all fairness, that topic was needed. There was a serious lack of communication going on between the development team of SMF and its users, and many were losing hope that anything was going to happen. Understandably everyone now knows why, and the development team is making efforts to fix it, but the conversation needed to happen to keep the users from being in the dark and leaving.

Rants are not always counter-productive. In this case, much of it actually proved to be useful in bringing this community back to life. Unfortunately if everyone thinks this place is dead and no development is happening, no one is going to really want to step up and help out. That's why that communication is so important. The users demanding to hear updates doesn't mean they don't care. It means they do care and want to appreciate all the hard work. They just aren't seeing the work happen, and are getting concerned. This topic, as well as the rant one, proved to be extremely important in making the changes necessary to fix this.

While demanding updates and information in most cases could be seen as users being toxic and ungrateful, there are situations, like this one, where it is actually productive and necessary when things have gone quiet. If the SMF team is struggling, we all understand...but if they don't tell us, we have no way of knowing that. Communication is key, and with the marketing budget being absolutely nothing for SMF, (as stated by others, and not meant to be negative in any way here), that leaves personal interaction as the only way to get the word out. If no one makes the effort, no one knows what is going on. Since the SMF dev team was being quiet this time around, it was the community's turn to speak up and say something.
marcosbr on September 11, 2020, 11:37:23 AM said

I believe that once again we are on the wrong path ...
We need to have "news" yes, but it is looking like a fight!
These days I reported a problem. I already knew that there would be no answer because of corporatism, and this is bad ...
There are times when it doesn't feel like a conversation. It seems more like a dispute between those who “know more or send more”.
I believe that even because of the difficulty of "nationalities" (I want to believe that)
I think that's what d3vcho meant when he wrote: "No. This is toxic"
I don't think it's an offense to "people" and I hope to be right!
Many people here would be essential to the team. But I don't know what happens ... So I don't question it!
What is missing is the following:
Take this to the side of friendly conversation, not to a "war" of offenses and disputes!
Any offense, mistreatment or war ... It is toxic to me!
Human beings have to talk. Never fight!
SugarD-x on September 11, 2020, 12:34:17 PM said

I believe that once again we are on the wrong path ...
We need to have "news" yes, but it is looking like a fight!
These days I reported a problem. I already knew that there would be no answer because of corporatism, and this is bad ...
There are times when it doesn't feel like a conversation. It seems more like a dispute between those who “know more or send more”.
I believe that even because of the difficulty of "nationalities" (I want to believe that)
I think that's what d3vcho meant when he wrote: "No. This is toxic"
I don't think it's an offense to "people" and I hope to be right!
Many people here would be essential to the team. But I don't know what happens ... So I don't question it!
What is missing is the following:
Take this to the side of friendly conversation, not to a "war" of offenses and disputes!
Any offense, mistreatment or war ... It is toxic to me!
Human beings have to talk. Never fight!
I wouldn't really say anyone here is fighting. There have been some debates, but nothing really offensive. I'm not sure why nationality was brought into it. It has nothing to do with that. We're all here because we love SMF. Where we come from has no impact on that.

As far as RC3 goes, are there any developers available that can give us another update on how things are coming along with preparing RC3 for release? We're all excited to see it finally come to light! :)
marcosbr on September 11, 2020, 01:03:22 PM said

If you are from a country and translate a "wrong word"
A hug can become a kick!
Just for that ... ;)
SMF is not from "one country" is from the world!
DenDen60 on September 11, 2020, 01:07:25 PM said
Human beings have to talk. Never fight!


I would say that human beings need a clear, clean and precise goal so that they understand what needs to be achieved.
They also need clear, clean and precise objectives so that they know what needs to be done to achieve the goal. 
They also need to understand the means that they can use.
All these must be anchored in a vision and mission statement. These help create engagement.


The above is the responsibility of the management team, but to facilitate engagement, employees ( and or volunteers) need to feel that they played a small role in the process. 


Once this is done, then management and employees (and or volunteers) must work not only to achieve the goal and objectives they were set, but also to create an environment, or culture, that is conducive to get the work done. Unfortunately, it takes only a few persons not working with the others to make the car skid off the road. If this happens it is the responsibility of management to get these people back online. If they don’t get back online, they unfortunately need to be dismissed:( >:(


If this is done, then the level of engagement of management, employees, volunteers, clients, the clients of their clients, suppliers, in SMF case, those who develop themes, mods, offer hosting or services, etc. will increase. Which means it will be easier to attract new developers, new support specialists, more translators, more users, etc.


SMF is on solid grounds. It has a long history and it developed a great software. Hence, if the above directions are followed, it will stop the ranting and increase the level of engagement.


I think the next release can be used as an opportunity to recreate an environment that will make SMF great again ;-)


Good luck to all.
CoreISP on September 11, 2020, 07:20:59 PM said
As far as RC3 goes, are there any developers available that can give us another update on how things are coming along with preparing RC3 for release? We're all excited to see it finally come to light! :)

Since you already know preparations are being made, this comes across more like a request for an ETA to me. :P ;) Which is always “it’s ready when it’s ready”. Not a dev, but: the status is still the same. ;) Preparations are being made for the release. Despite it being a beta version, we still follow the same internal release procedures including quality checks. :) Rushing it has proven to be counter-productive, so we’re not doing that. (Not that it’s always been absolutely flawless despite testing, but we’re only human :P)

Anyway, as always we’ll publish a release post when it’s all done and you can rest assured the whole team (it doesn’t depend on just the dev team!) are working very hard to release it as soon as possible and it’s unlikely to take very much longer, but you’re going to need some patience in the meantime all the same :) If you really can’t wait though: you can essentially pull it from GitHub already, barring any potential last minute changes in the event we find something is (really) wrong during testing. :)
Antechinus on September 11, 2020, 07:34:39 PM said
If you want extra testing help, just give me a yell and tell me what you want tested. I can't help with code for esoteric stuff, but I can click buttons and look at things. ;)
CoreISP on September 11, 2020, 08:57:12 PM said
but I can click buttons and look at things. ;)

Man, last I checked you couldn't even button your own shirt... -_-
Just kidding, just kidding. :P Not sure what the plans are on pre-release, if any - will ask the devs! :)
Antechinus on September 11, 2020, 08:59:25 PM said
Ha! Why do you think I wear so many t shirts? :D
CoreISP on September 11, 2020, 09:13:04 PM said
Ha! Why do you think I wear so many t shirts? :D

If I were to guess, because nobody ever told you wearing only one at a time is sufficient unless it's very cold? :P
Maybe we'll do a round of SMF t-shirts sometime when 2.1 goes Gold. :) But first focus on RC3 and 4 now haha.