thoughts, ideas, code and other things...

Friday, May 21, 2010

Release early, release often, release immediately?

Okay nothing much for this post, but I was just thinking about the RERO philosophy apparently popularized by ESR in CATB (I guess I won't need to read the 256 pages).

Anyways so I was wondering if releasing immediately is a good thing to do? Picture yourself working whole night over a cool project that you intend to release for the public. Its 6 AM, you're done with your last commit, nothing seems to be broken, yet is it the right time to release? The problem has nothing to do with any sort of technicalities, but is a psychological one and completely based on my experiences with such quick releases.

The question is, are you left with enough energy after working for 2-3 days straight to take the criticism, suggestions and comments seriously in a positive way? At least I as a lone developer of something that I put forward to the public haven't been able to harness the feedback that people gave me. I ponder over the reasons, and I'm not sure of why is that. But mostly it went something like this -
  • "Could you possibly include feature XYZ into it?"
    and I think - oh cummon, I just got over with this work and now I need a break.
  • "This stuff seems broken, I cant move X to Y."
    and I think - who said I made it for you :/
  • "It would be nice if you include ABC and XYZ also"
    and I just write a good reply to the person, add it to my non-existant list of todos in mind or Tasks in gmail and it stays there forever.

This has happened many a times, even valuable suggestions have just ended up in a todo list rather than getting implemented and the projects hardly getting touched again.
How do you go about it? or is it just me who keeps hopping over ideas and leaves the old ones half done. Or is it the procrastination that engulfs on dawn of winter and summer vacations.

An interesting observation over procrastination. During this end sem exams, we were given a 5 day prep leave, and LOL I completely spent the whole time writing some piece of code instead of doing maths. Same story for any intermediate breaks between exams, reading something, watching some anime, writing some code but zero preparation for any exam. And yes a hell lot of ideas cooking in your mind for coming vacations.
Surprisingly it happens, not once but many times, that when exams end - I go completely blank over things I had planned. And with "Oh come on! exams just got over!" mentality I start spending days being useless to myself and everyone else.

And even though some new work arrives, I still end up behaving as if I'm super busy with things. Hoping to get rid of this soon and maybe hack this "Not doing what I am supposed to do at this time." way of life for greater goods.


Okay the blogger WYSIWYG editor is really not good on chrome. It doesn't render <, > properly and end up putting in loads of DIVs instead of beautiful Ps as in firefox. Why can't they have a standard across two browsers for same webapp.

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At May 22, 2010 at 8:20 PM , Blogger Abhishek Mishra said...

Oh haven't seen "The Myth of the Genius Programmer" yet, seems interesting. New ideas can be prototyped overnight, but yes good software -- impossible overnight.

Also giving it for review might distract your software from the lines of KISS to feature-bloat. To have a bunch of known people test it before release would be good, people who have been involved indirectly since the starting.


At May 22, 2010 at 8:22 PM , Blogger Abhishek Mishra said...

Rockstar programmers too have been in discussion lately - the ones who take everything upon them and finish it overnight. I believe the reason for birth of a rockstar programmer has a lot to do with kind of employees around him/her.
That rockstar wouldn't be a rockstar when working with a highly passionate team I guess.

/me heads back to watch lp upgrade status with "how slow!?" in mind.

At May 30, 2010 at 1:50 AM , Blogger Yuvi Panda said...

Same here. I've lots of code sleeping here, dead and forgotten. Infact, I can count with one hand the amount of stuff I've 'released', and with a single finger the one project I released that people actually used.

Maybe we can form some kinda network to review each others' code?

At May 30, 2010 at 2:04 AM , Blogger Abhishek Mishra said...

Any +1s for a ReviewBoard setup. Its a good webapp for it actually, used by real world projects like KDE and certain well known organizations.

Will have to figure out the workflow of reviewboard though.


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