As you might know, Joomla 1.6 beta 10 was released on Tuesday. Some people wonder why it takes that many beta versions to finish Joomla 1.6.
There is a lot of activity in the project. Nonetheless, here has been some disagreements and people have left the Joomla 1.6 Bug Squad. Others have since joined, and I hope we will see more activity in the coming weeks and months towards a Release Candidate for Joomla 1.6.
In this post, I look at some of the factors involved in the bug fixing of Joomla 1.6.
Bug fixing stats
As you can see from the below chart, a good number of bugs have been fixed. For beta 10 the number of fixes are higher than previous releases (102).
Let's hope we soon see the first Release Candidate for Joomla 1.6. This will, however, mean that the Bug Squad leaders manage to create a positive environment and rally people to contribute to the bug squashing.
So when will Joomla 1.6 RC1 be released?
According to Andrew Eddie, the Release Candidate will be released as soon as all issues defined in a list as blocking a RC is fixed:
This is a stored query of the open High and Medium High priority issues which we've defined as the condition for blocking 1.6 RC. When that list is empty, we are ready to release RC1. Simple :)
How simple it is in reality remains to be seen. At the time of this writing there are 23 items in the list Andrew Eddie refers to. 6 of them are of priority 1 and 17 of priority 2:
What else is blocking the release?
There has been some controversy and disagreement around the paying of key developers. Read more on the background here. However, this has been decided on and we're moving on. Those contributing to the bug squad will do so as volunteers, working for our common good.
Challenges with bug fixing
One observation I heard about was the fact that most of the bugs are related to the new ACL system in Joomla 1.6. This new Access Control List system controls who can see what in the system. It brings in new challenges as the developers work to implement it in various extensions.
Also, there might be varying abilities by the people contributing fixes. I'm not pointing at anyone in particular here. I'm just aware, from past experience with development, that there are people out there wanting to contribute code and not possessing the skills to do so in the best way possible. This means that every fix has the potential to introduce new issues and bugs...
Comparing us to Drupal and WordPress
The Joomla development process is not perfect. But if we compare it to other projects, like Drupal and WordPress, we might end up somewhere in the middle.
WordPress has a history of smaller updates, being 'light and agile', as one WordPress user put it. Drupal, on the other hand, had their code freeze 12+ months ago and are still in Alpha stage. The Joomla 1.6 code freeze was in May this year.
One might say that both Drupal and Joomla has failed in the way they handle new major versions. That's probably why Joomla has moved to and Drupal is considering a move to fixed release schedule.
How to help? Contribute to the Bug Squad
Do you have anything to contribute? Oh yes you have. If you can install the latest version of Joomla 1.6, you are indeed able to help.
Even if you don't know anything about php or code you can still help. We need testers. The more people that test and find issues the quicker they can be identified and fixed. If you can use Joomla!, you can help speed up the release by testing the latest version and reporting any issues you find. Just ensure that you provide as much information as possible. Including how to replicate the issue you are reporting.
Install Joomla 1.6, join the bug squad and report your findings.
Join the Joomla Bug Squad