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V1.0: To release or not to release ?

March 29, 2010


As the author of Config::Model, I’ve often pondered whether my project was mature enough to be released as 1.0. After all, every time I seriously use it, I  find new bugs or need to make it easier to use or even add some new features. So I thought that my software was not good enough for V1.0.

Then again, all other software have the same issues: fix bugs, improve usage and follow user requirements.

Then, I’ve realized that wondering about software quality is not the right question. Sure, you need a decent quality level for 1.0. But the more important is not there. The most important is the compatibility pledge. Do I pledge to keep backward compatibility so people can rely on me and my software? Will I do my utmost to preserve the work done by others ?

In fact, that’s what I’ve been doing for several months now, all the changes I’ve made are backward compatible (even if warnings are issued) and people have a smooth migration path.

So, yesterday, I’ve released Config::Model V1.001.

Ta-da ! 😀


From → Config::Model, Perl

  1. jimcooncat permalink

    I remember back in ’87, my boss telling me that 1.0 was the first public release. A 2.0 signified a new data file format. So you could use any of the 1.x software with the 1.0 data file format, but you had to run a data conversion before you could use 2.0.

    0.x software was in-house use only, and could have multiple data formats. Because it wasn’t public, there was no need to walk a user through data conversion when it went 1.0.

    Made a lot of sense to me at the time, and others seem to follow this convention sometimes. Of course, so many people never even heard about this.

    How foss programmers never reach 1.0 on anything they own is a mystery. With my boss’s old method, 1.0 would have been stuck on anything that was shared with the outside world.

    • Well, in FOSS, there’s the “release early, release often” philosophy, which is quite good, mind you. A private vs public release does not make sense. So, releasing before 1.0 is normal and recommended. Since there’s no real trigger to do a public 1.0 release, some project may be tempted to keep releasing V0.x.

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