Ubiquity 0.1.6 and Release Scheduling

As we’ve mentioned before, Ubiquity 0.2 has fairly broad, visionary goals that won’t be fully satisfied for some time. So we’re going to be pushing its changes to the 0.1 line at more regular intervals as we continue to develop it.

By “pushing its changes” we mean that we’ll effectively be disguising our work-in-progress 0.2 as a 0.1.x release. For instance, Ubiquity 0.1.5, which we released about a month ago, is essentially the same thing as 0.2pre7; similarly, Ubiquity 0.1.6 will basically be the same thing as 0.2pre13, only with our more experimental features—such as locked-down feeds and python feeds—disabled by default and unadvertised on Ubiquity’s front page.

There’s a couple reasons for this:

  • Ensuring that the general public is using the same codebase as testers and developers means that our code gets to be used by “the real world” more quickly, and means we’ll know about bugs closer to the time that they were introduced into the software.
  • Releasing new public updates at a regular interval is a direct way of letting our users know that Ubiquity is still alive and kicking, and getting better all the time.
  • We can get feedback from the broad public more quickly, so that if we’re really going the wrong direction with something, we can know about it before we’ve invested too much time and effort into it.

So we’re aiming to release a new public update to Ubiquity at least once every two weeks.

Things you can do to help

Ubiquity is a community effort, and we welcome contributions!

  • Testing. Please try out the release candidate and bang on it! Try it out on every operating system that’s convenient for you to try it out on, and on every version of Firefox too (3.0, 3.1 beta, or 3.2 alpha). Any comments to this post about where it works or doesn’t will be very appreciated.
  • Release Notes Documentation. The 0.1.6 release notes can always use more help; please feel free to edit that page and fix a TODO if you enjoy technical writing, and leave a comment here or on IRC if you have any questions. Keep in mind that the wiki tracks all changes, so even if you mess up, we can always revert the changes. Experimentation is good!
  • Ubiquity Tutorial Documentation/Testing. Feel free to try out the user tutorial or the author tutorial with the release candidate and make sure everything still works. Regardless of the outcome, post back here to let us know what you found!

Thanks for reading this. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reply to this post or poke us on #ubiquity on irc.mozilla.org.

This post was originally posted on Atul’s blog at toolness.com. If you have any comments on it, please leave them on the original post.