Yesterday I released 2.3.3, which marks the third revision to WM since the 2.3 release… which itself occurred only 2 months ago.
I’m very satisfied with the new pace of progress! There are many reasons for it, a few of which I will detail below. But more than anything else, this characterizes how I really would like to develop World Machine — relatively frequent releases that bring new abilities and fix issues.
I’ve always been frustrated by the lengthy and slow release cycle that WM suffered from before. It’s not good for anyone to have the fixes for issues languishing for months or years(!) while the product is still in a beta phase before release. I think that 2.3 marked the end of the traditional development model for WM — more details to come.
The next section talks a little bit about what I’ve been able to change post-2.3 to make development faster.
What did I change to be able to iterate versions much quicker? A few things:
- I changed to Mercurial for source control. The ability to branch and merge effortlessly has allowed me to keep feature and release branches seperate, something that was always far tougher than it should have been using the old style SVN (or nothing!).
- I automated much of the build process, so that kicking out a new version to the website takes maybe a half hour rather than most of a day.
Not a lot of differences, but enough to remove the friction from the process and make it easy to get changes out rapidly.