Why so many versions?

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Insinuator
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Why so many versions?

Post by Insinuator »

I haven't been following Wesnoth for a while, so maybe I missed something, but I don't understand why there have been so many releases in the past few months. I understand the desire to keep people up to date with changes, but the 1.7 series of updates seems excessive. Several of those updates don't even fill a whole page of changes.

It is nice to have the latest and greatest, but when there isn't a significant change, it seems like a lot of trouble to put up a new version for such a piddling difference. In previous updates, changes were significant enough to notice without a "changelog". When there was a new version, there was anticipation, not mere obligation to get the new one. This can also interfere with multiplayer games, for new versions aren't always backward compatible.

Does Wesnoth really need five "beta" versions?

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Hulavuta
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Re: Why so many versions?

Post by Hulavuta »

I think maybe BECAUSE it's a beta, they are trying to get every single little detail done and to get it tested. And it's easier to test changes one at a time, instead of all at once.
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Gambit
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Re: Why so many versions?

Post by Gambit »

You have to think of wesnoth like a tree with two branches. The even numbered branch (currently 1.6.x) grows slowly. It only gets bug fixes and new graphics. Most everyone plays this. It is the "stable" branch. 1.2, 1.4, 1.6, and soon 1.8 were all "stable".

The other branch is the "development" branch. They add all the new features to that one so that they don't mess stuff up for the "stable" branch. It is the one that gets released a lot. 1.3, 1.5, 1.7, and soon 1.9 are all "development" versions.

The new features that they're testing now in 1.7 will be added to 1.8 and become the new "stable" branch once they are bug free. Then everyone will update from 1.6.5 to 1.8.0. If you're a normal player you only need to get the latest even numbered releases. The odd numbered ones are just for people who want to see (and help test) things that are coming in the future.

And never ever complain that a product gets updated too frequently. :P It could be the other way.

I hope I haven't confused you with all this.

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Bialo224
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Re: Why so many versions?

Post by Bialo224 »

Wow that was a very thorough answer Gambit.. It cleared up my uncertainty very well.

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Gambit
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Re: Why so many versions?

Post by Gambit »

This can also interfere with multiplayer games, for new versions aren't always backward compatible.
Forgot to add: Basically if you like multiplayer stick with stable. There's way more people on it anyways.

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Mystery
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Re: Why so many versions?

Post by Mystery »

Certainly was a boon to me as well, since I had been wondering why the devs were moving into the 1.8 versions, completely skipping the 1.7.x series as stable. I get it now... :eng:

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Zarel
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Re: Why so many versions?

Post by Zarel »

Gambit wrote:The other branch is the "development" branch. They add all the new features to that one so that they don't mess stuff up for the "stable" branch. It is the one that gets released a lot. 1.3, 1.5, 1.7, and soon 1.9 are all "development" versions.
You missed something - the development branch is now in beta stage, which means that it's going to be stable soon, which means it no longer has any new features, only bugfixes, which is why the changelogs are so small.
Insinuator wrote:It is nice to have the latest and greatest, but when there isn't a significant change, it seems like a lot of trouble to put up a new version for such a piddling difference. In previous updates, changes were significant enough to notice without a "changelog". When there was a new version, there was anticipation, not mere obligation to get the new one. This can also interfere with multiplayer games, for new versions aren't always backward compatible.
The thing is that these are beta versions. The reason new beta versions are released isn't to give you any new features, but only to to fix existing bugs in preparation for release. It's not about anticipation, it's about giving as many people as possible the latest version, so they can report only bugs that have not already been fixed.

If you don't want to help test and fix bugs in Wesnoth, please play 1.6.5, which hasn't been updated for 5 months.
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usr-sbin
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Re: Why so many versions?

Post by usr-sbin »

Gambit wrote:You have to think of wesnoth like a tree with two branches. The even numbered branch (currently 1.6.x) grows slowly. It only gets bug fixes and new graphics. Most everyone plays this. It is the "stable" branch. 1.2, 1.4, 1.6, and soon 1.8 were all "stable".

The other branch is the "development" branch. They add all the new features to that one so that they don't mess stuff up for the "stable" branch. It is the one that gets released a lot. 1.3, 1.5, 1.7, and soon 1.9 are all "development" versions.

The new features that they're testing now in 1.7 will be added to 1.8 and become the new "stable" branch once they are bug free. Then everyone will update from 1.6.5 to 1.8.0. If you're a normal player you only need to get the latest even numbered releases. The odd numbered ones are just for people who want to see (and help test) things that are coming in the future.

And never ever complain that a product gets updated too frequently. :P It could be the other way.

I hope I haven't confused you with all this.
Thanks for confirming that Gambit
Zarel wrote:
Gambit wrote:The other branch is the "development" branch. They add all the new features to that one so that they don't mess stuff up for the "stable" branch. It is the one that gets released a lot. 1.3, 1.5, 1.7, and soon 1.9 are all "development" versions.
You missed something - the development branch is now in beta stage, which means that it's going to be stable soon, which means it no longer has any new features, only bugfixes, which is why the changelogs are so small.
Insinuator wrote:It is nice to have the latest and greatest, but when there isn't a significant change, it seems like a lot of trouble to put up a new version for such a piddling difference. In previous updates, changes were significant enough to notice without a "changelog". When there was a new version, there was anticipation, not mere obligation to get the new one. This can also interfere with multiplayer games, for new versions aren't always backward compatible.
The thing is that these are beta versions. The reason new beta versions are released isn't to give you any new features, but only to to fix existing bugs in preparation for release. It's not about anticipation, it's about giving as many people as possible the latest version, so they can report only bugs that have not already been fixed.

If you don't want to help test and fix bugs in Wesnoth, please play 1.6.5, which hasn't been updated for 5 months.
Thank you Zarel, always knows the minutes details :D Much appreciated
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Insinuator
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Re: Why so many versions?

Post by Insinuator »

I guess that makes sense. I didn't know about the even - odd differentiation in versions. I don't know why anybody would play the 1.6.5 version though, for as was mentioned, there has been nothing changed in five months.

I appreciate the theory behind letting users report bugs so the developers can fix them, but please don't say that the only changes are bug fixes. New versions of music, tiny multiplayer changes, little graphics tweaks, and additional translations are just some of the changes that are made in the so-called "beta" versions. These are not just bug fixes reported by users, they are changes to how the game plays.

It just seems that by updating the "development" version so frequently with changes that might interest normal players, you entice them to keep downloading without the satisfaction of significant real development. This is only my opinion, and, as Gambit said, it could be the other way around. Just hope we can stay out of the triple digits before 2.0. :)

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Re: Why so many versions?

Post by Gambit »

There won't be a 2.0 Also I'm still not sure you understand when you say things like
I appreciate the theory behind letting users report bugs so the developers can fix them, but please don't say that the only changes are bug fixes. New versions of music, tiny multiplayer changes, little graphics tweaks, and additional translations are just some of the changes that are made in the so-called "beta" versions.
What I said was only bug fixes are added to the even number stable branch. The odd numbered development branch gets everything that you mentioned.

That is the point of stable. That's where it gets its name. It's pretty much locked down. It doesn't get new things. But because it doesn't get new things, it also doesn't get new bugs.

And then the development version gets its name because it does get the new things. It is the "beta" as people keep calling it. It is like the proving ground. It's where they throw new things to iron them out before they pass them along to the stable.

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Iris
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Re: Why so many versions?

Post by Iris »

Gambit wrote:There won't be a 2.0
Right, Mr. Development Oracle.
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Re: Why so many versions?

Post by Gambit »

Last edited by Gambit on February 9th, 2010, 1:29 am, edited 2 times in total.

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artisticdude
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Re: Why so many versions?

Post by artisticdude »

shadowmaster wrote: Gambit wrote:
There won't be a 2.0

Right, Mr. Development Oracle.
There you go, Gambit, you have a new forum title. :P

I hope there will eventually be a 2.0. After all, that's part of the fun of wesnoth, it's constantly improving.
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Re: Why so many versions?

Post by Gambit »

As a side note. Can we have a whistling emote?
There you go, Gambit, you have a new forum title.
As another side note I plan to be taking a rather large crack at WML Pioneer this summer with things that I am fairly certain have never been done before. Already found two "limits" (aka bugs) during the course of the project and it was only a few hours of basic concept work.

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Zarel
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Re: Why so many versions?

Post by Zarel »

Gambit wrote:aka Mr. Remembers Having This Discussion Image

edit: fixed link
"There is no current timetable for releasing a Wesnoth 2.0 as far as I am aware."

is not the same thing as

"There won't be a 2.0."

btw, I redesigned Image to better fit with the rest of Wesnoth's smilies.
Last edited by Zarel on February 9th, 2010, 3:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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