The 5.3.0 development cycle has been unlike any in our 7+ year history. In some respects this is good and in others – not so much. As I explained in my Just Like Clockwork post, we are working hard to make monthly releases a habit and to have release schedules that are predictable. DotNetNuke 5.3.0 marks the first major release we have attempted since splitting our engineering group into feature development and maintenance groups. As always, doing anything for the first time can be challenging.
The maintenance group has gotten into a pretty good grove with our monthly releases, but adding an external group into the mix has added an additional level of complexity. The maintenance group is able to make our changes in a single branch and quickly test, package and release our monthly stabilization releases. Unfortunately, the feature dev group works in a separate branch which means code merges, integration testing, lots and lots of regression testing and in general a more complex testing and release process. We certainly have learned quite a bit from this first cycle which we’ll apply to future major releases.
Our intention during this release cycle was to provide an early alpha of the code merge release and follow that up with a beta release before the final release – all while keeping to our original release schedule. We have mostly kept on track with that plan, except that our beta package has slipped by a few days. In the past, I would have argued for extending the release date, but this release is also different for another reason – nightly code releases.
Since we implemented the nightly code syncs between our internal version control system and CodePlex, we have had a steady download of the nightly packages and had a number of tickets entered into our issue tracker as a result. Between the alpha release, the nightly releases and our increased level of internal testing I am fairly comfortable that we are on track for next weeks release.
As one last sanity check we have uploaded the latest packages to CodePlex as a set of Beta packages. We still have 2 or 3 issues that we are working internally which we expect to finish today and put through testing. Unless we find some huge show stopping issue, we are essentially frozen for this release for anything other than cosmetic fixes and packaging issues.
Some highlights from today’s Beta Release:
- Updated User Profile Page
- Search Engine SiteMap Settings Page (location will change before the release)
- Taxonomy Manager
- Language Management
Some of the latest features are works in progress, and you can expect additional changes in next months release, where we will have even more exciting news.
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