Reflections On The Release

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I have never worked as part of a shrink wrapped product team, which makes working on Subtext the closest thing to the experience. When a product team releases a product, they often stamp it with the acronym RTM, Release to Manafacturing, which is more and more becoming a misnomer as the only manafacturing being done is the manafacturing of hyperbole by the marketing team.

But I digress…

Release Party The other thing a product team does when they release is throw a release party! With an open source project with no funding, that is a bit more of a challenge. The party sort of gives double meaning to the word “release”. Shipping a product and the release party provides a release from the stress of getting the code ready for RTM.

At least that’s how I imagined it. I thought that after the release, I would feel contentment, euphoria, and relief, all without the help of a drug. Instead, I feel foreboding, anxiety, and fear.

Yes fear.

Bug in the system The fear that there we left something important out. The fear that there is yet some hidden but treacherous bug left in the code that will jump out at the wrong moment and eat the first born child of a user (or it might run format c:\ if the user is childless).

I am guessing this is pretty typical of the actual experience of releasing a product. This is the real feeling one gets, which is why they resort to getting really sloshed at the release party, to quell these disturbing thoughts.

Fortunately there are a few things that allay these fears. First is the extensive testing we performed (along with the nice suite of unit tests). As with any product, there will definitely be a few bugs that get uncovered, but they aren’t likely to eat anybody’s kids.

Earth from
Space Secondly is the great team of developers from all over the world that participated in getting this first release out there. It is nice to know that when I hit the sack for some shuteye, somebody in Italy, Turkey, New Zealand, etc… is just getting around to taking a look at the code. Eyes are on the prize 24 hours a day. :)

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5 responses

  1. Avatar for Simone Chiaretta
    Simone Chiaretta March 2nd, 2006

    Phil, what are you doing still awake at this time of the night?
    I feel a little bit of relief and relexation... and I'm happy we finally released that long awaited blogging tool.
    But also I fell like we still have so many things to do... so many features we have to implement...
    but let's party for a week before jumping in the new design phase toward the 1.1 release....
    Thank you Phil for letting me part of this great worldwide team
    Simo

  2. Avatar for Haacked
    Haacked March 2nd, 2006

    Ha! I couldn't sleep. Had too many ideas going through my head for the next release and all the project management involved. :)
    Thanks for getting involved Simo. I appreciate your contributions. Looking forward to that CC.NET setup. :)

  3. Avatar for Kelly Brownsberger
    Kelly Brownsberger March 2nd, 2006

    Nice job guys!
    I was wondering where I can find the installation screen casts? The links on this page [1] popup the homepage as far as I can tell.
    looking forward to test driving this. Thanks again -kb

    [1] http://subtextproject.com/D...

  4. Avatar for Haacked
    Haacked March 3rd, 2006

    Whoops! They are there now. Sorry about that.

  5. Avatar for Thomas Freudenberg
    Thomas Freudenberg March 3rd, 2006

    Congratulations, Phil, though I think you should call it RTW (Release To Web).