July 24, 2008

Test the Betas, Already!

OK, if you saw the last mention of the Beta 2 release of Python 2.6 and 3.0 you might have got this message, but the subject line makes it pretty explicit.

Every time a new release comes out it goes through the alpha, beta and release candidate stages without enough people actually downloading it and making sure their applications run. (Then, surprisingly often, within a month or so of the final release someone comes along and says "Hey, this breaks feature "X").

The developers are taking a lot of care to try and ensure that the next version comes out bug-free. Wouldn't it be nice if we could provide an army of savvy testers to saturate the betas with potential problems, so they don't become problems in the release candidates or final release?

Your language needs you! Seriously ... and particularly if you run the Windows version!


Paul Moore said...

For Win32 developers, the more projects that distribute Python 2.6 and 3.0 binary installers for C extensions, the easier it will be to test.

So projects out there - start distributing 2.6 and 3.0 compatible binaries now! Don't wait for the final release!

TJG said...

"... and particularly if you run the Windows version!"

Good point, but of course this means getting holding of binaries for external modules, or compiling-your-own. I'm quite willing to do the latter, but that often means going through a surprisingly awkward series of quests for library code etc., setting up VS projects and so on.

I applaud the work which Mike Driscoll has done in this respect but he can't compile every flavour of everything.

I applaud the fact that, for example, the pyodbc maintainers already offer binaries from 2.4 to 2.6. Hopefully other library maintainers can (and maybe already do) follow suit.

Steve said...

@Paul and TJG: Thank you both for making this important point.