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A pitch for patches

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The paradigm shift Chris Ryan wrote about in his blog post last summer is well under way and proving to be very successful. I'm talking, of course, about the patch release strategy we adopted just about one year ago. Under this "new" paradigm, we've been able to quickly release the most urgent bug fixes to our users so you can have them as soon as possible.

As Chris explained in his blog, the goal with the patch release strategy is to identify a small number of the most critical bugs--and then issue fixes for the bugs in "dot releases" following a minor (or major) release. We just released one such patch earlier this week. The 3.7.2 patch release is the second patch in the 3.7.0 series. It follows 3.7.1, which was released in the first week of June.

It probably goes without saying, but we strongly recommend that everyone upgrade to the latest patch release in the minor version you are currently running. That means, if you're in the 3.5.0 series, you should be on 3.5.6. If you're in the 3.6.0 series, go to 3.6.2. You get the idea.... And just so you know, we intentionally keep the number of bug fixes in each patch release to an absolute minimum. We don't want more than 5-10 (max) fixes in each patch. The reason for this is we want everyone to be confident when they upgrade to a patch release. Every bug fix that is considered for patch releases must be both a) critical and b) relatively discrete--that is, limited to a specific area of functionality. We don't include wide-sweeping changes in patch releases. Our goal is to keep the software stable.

To help keep people informed about new releases, we've created an Announcements forum. If you haven't yet subscribed to this forum, you should consider doing so. You'll be notified by email as soon as a release comes out.

Pierce Tyler

Vice President Knowledge Management
Pierce is a founding member of xTuple and, since 2001, has been responsible for the day-to-day technical support of xTuple's global community of customers and implementation partners. In addition to his support role, Pierce also manages product documentation and launched xTupleU. He was previously a manager for knowledge management at Great Bridge, a commercial open source company serving the PostgreSQL community. For many years he taught digital literacy and college English at Old Dominion University and the University of Maryland. He also worked as a beat reporter for various newspapers. He holds a B.A. from Wesleyan University and an M.F.A. in English from the University of Maryland, College Park.