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Thread: Desktop RC1

  1. #1
    stude is offline Junior Member
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    Default Desktop RC1

    The Desktop RC1 was announced to be available June 3 but has now disappeared altogether from the version tracker and has now been replaced by Beta3 expected June 7.

    There are no new info on dates for RC1 nor GA. This is a bit problematic for us and I would appreciate if you could indicate some new dates as our own system updates are linked to those and we need to keep our people informed.

    Does the disappearance of dates for RC1 and GA indicate a major problem with

    Desktop 2?

  2. #2
    scohol is offline Active Member
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    Yeah whats the point of setting a target if the target changes every time they don't make it.

    To be honest, Zimbra is losing my confidence. And Exchange/Outlook 2010 is looking really good. We have made the investment on Zimbra NE because it was an active community. This is no longer true.

  3. #3
    storm's Avatar
    storm is offline Advanced Member
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    Unfortunately the issues raised in this thread have been a recurring theme.

    I submit that Zimbra still has a reasonably active community, albeit that the frustrations expressed are quite understandable, and, fortunately, fairly easily avoidable through consistent communication...

    I also understand reasons for changing release dates, often they are to benefit users or improve the product. Late slippage is not unusual in shipping any software products, the same can be seen elsewhere.

    The key difference with Zimbra has often been the lack of timely and consistent communication to 'the community' concerning prospective releases. For example, on most occasions of Zimbra Desktop release dates being changed, the dates haven't been updated in the product portal, until someone has pointed-it-out in the forums (often on or after the scheduled date). Updating of the product portal has improved significantly and noticeably over the last 4 months for which I am grateful, but it's still not consistent or sufficient.

    Zimbra development team is entitled to, and has to, have flexibility with release dates.
    All interested users ought to know that the roadmap and release dates are tentative and subject to change and technical hold-ups. Zimbra has managed to increase the rate of development and pack a lot of new features as well as bug fixes into recent patches.

    However, Users (including paying users) are equally entitled to have some tentative reliance upon the release roadmap (particularly in relation to GA/patch release dates which effect upgrade planning) and these should obviously be kept to where possible, sometimes this means moving troublesome features forwards, but there has to remain some leeway for moving dates - whilst using a mechanism to inform users well of this.

    Where dates change - a new date (or even a month or quarter) should be given, or at the very least an explanation, even a couple of words, provided. So please make necessary scheduling changes, but tell us!

    Suggested mechanism: there should be a sticky thread in the announcements section entitled 'Release News' where users can see if/why there are any major or minor changes to previously published release dates. Use of this (even literally a handful of words concerning any date changes) will help avoid the uncertainty and annoyance, and aid good communication.

    P.S. A lot of date changes and slippages for Zimbra Desktop releases are linked to ZCS server releases, and thus don't necessarily indicate Desktop development issues, often they relate to ZCS changes. Although this can stutter ZD release dates, on balance this linkage can be considered a 'good thing' as it eases development of Zimbra Desktop and much more tightly aligns ZD and ZCS features, and more quickly. However, this observation is made by deduction, a brief explanation from Zimbra would be better than my word on this.
    Last edited by storm; 06-03-2010 at 11:51 PM.

  4. #4
    Goulou is offline Member
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    Unfortunately, I can only agree with what has been said...
    I'm really waiting for Desktop 2.0, tried the betas (1 and 2), but they didn't work (loading failed after account setup). I expected that RC1 would work.
    However, whereas it was planed for last week, it has been suddenly delayed with no more information (just by checking pm.zimbra.com), just the day when it was to be released! Furthermore, the RC1 was also transformed in Beta 3 without much explanation...

    As storm said, it is not unexpected to see delays in software development, but what worries me here is that not only it happens quite often, but it also happens at very short notice, and there has never been any explanation about those delays!

    And still, I'm not talking about the beta 3, that has been delayed for... yesterday!

    I am really supporting Zimbra so far, but I can only regret to see these delays happenning more and more often, and without any sort of communication around...

    I know you're making a great effort to improve your software (which is already a really really good and competitive product!), please make some effort to improve also your communication!

    Goulou.

  5. #5
    scohol is offline Active Member
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    This release has been delayed 7 times without sufficient notice.

    There needs to be a limit to what they push out in a release.
    Im loving the new features of ZD 2.0b2 but its still not stable enough to tell my users to use it.

    So they are stuck with ZD 1.0.4 which is just confusing for them because they use the webclient quite often when on client sites, and the webclient is so far ahead of ZD 1.0.4.

    If some features aren't complete, release it with the features that are and give an update down the track to add features as they are completed.

  6. #6
    Goulou is offline Member
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    Additionnaly, what is the point of delaying a release by 2 or 3 days if, 3 days later you do that again...
    I imagine that when one announces a date 2 days later, he can be confident enough to know that it will be ready then...
    And this happened 3 times already...

    (By the way, is ZCS 6.0.7 still planned for yesterday?...)

  7. #7
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    jaapaikema is offline Active Member
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    Default Please stop complaining and do as we do

    Please let them work out the problems.

    Do as we do:

    Look at the dates at the pm-page and add an extra 2 month to it. Our experience is that if you do that you don't get frustrated or disappointed by the Zimbra team.

    It's great work they're doing and I'dd rather wait a little longer than having to explain to my users/customers that the bug is just a known bug that they didn't want to remove cause of a set release date (like M$ is doing).

    Keep up the splendid job you Zimbra dudes

  8. #8
    Goulou is offline Member
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    I really agree with you, but what I'm disappointed of is mainly about the communication...
    I understand that they prefer spending some more time on certain features that may otherwise be blocker-features, but at least there could be some extra information place, something with more details than the pm-page, and that explains those date changes...

    Furthermore, by looking into the details of ZCS 6.0.7 release, all bugs seems to be fixed... except some (recent ones!) that are only related to the appliance. I won"t say that the appliance is not a good thing (on the contrary, I fiercely support several virtualization solutions...), but it confirms my thoughts about the turn that zimbra made since its first selling (to Yahoo!) : the new directives are clearly leading toward the goals of, once Yahoo!, now VMWare, regardless what end users may think or want...
    Last edited by Goulou; 06-09-2010 at 03:55 AM.

  9. #9
    mmorse's Avatar
    mmorse is offline Moderator
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    Originally posted this in 6.0.7 Status sorry to repeat a bit, but then I'll get to ZD specific.

    Quote Originally Posted by mmorse View Post
    A few have been asking about status when the dates bump, can't promise to make a post/thread every time in the future, but the current rebuild was for:

    Bug 47686 - conversation navigational buttons missing in lite client
    Bug 46538 - HTML appears in edit filter screen

    Right now it's a matter of timing (also note historically we don't release on fri/sat/sun since less of us are around to assist). The thing to keep in mind every rebuild adds at roughly 2 days.


    While we'll still push for 7th which we had targeted either (before those above bugs cropped up) that logic automatically makes it the 9th. We'll know more and firm up our guess at the end of the day. Yes I realize 31st was the old target; we strongly feel our triage/QA teams are doing a good job setting the quality bar high, even if it slips the date on ZCS 6.0.7 / ZD 2.0B3.

    ~

    In the upcoming pm.zimbra.com re-design we'll try to include reasons as well as an rss feed etc. For now we'll try to note it in the small field next to patch/and include a reliability %, but the point it it's always supposed to be our 'best' guess; might add (and thanks to a few of you for noticing) we've been updating it the last few months early/often/pretty close to when the decisions are made.

    To answer another question: We do have both a branch freeze to control variability (where only a dedicated release engineering team can commit code) and an internal target that moves around based on your demands - ie: What customers are clamoring about x feature or bug controls how strict we are in triage decisions (cutting/adding).
    Since then https://bugzilla.zimbra.com/show_bug.cgi?id=40819 & https://bugzilla.zimbra.com/show_bug.cgi?id=41145 have gone in without affecting date.


    Quote Originally Posted by Goulou View Post
    Additionnaly, what is the point of delaying a release by 2 or 3 days if, 3 days later you do that again...
    I imagine that when one announces a date 2 days later, he can be confident enough to know that it will be ready then...
    And this happened 3 times already...

    (By the way, is ZCS 6.0.7 still planned for yesterday?...)
    Unlike the major version releases the minor patches don't yet have a history feature on pmweb built-in, arguably that's good and bad (less complaining we missed it vs seeing how much it got bumped by in relation to original target).

    Our own self goal is to push us to always include a best guess target date on there somewhere - so our customers and community can depend on it as reliable.

    Still says 8th for 6.0.7 (adjusting to 9th shortly), updating the date in only a half day of knowing that it wouldn't make a target is definitely a high standard to achieve, personally really don't mind doing that 10 second thing (adjusting the date) to make the community happy so whenever possible we'll add a 'probability % of shipping today' indicator or +1d. Just realize the process to hash everything out takes a bit, the call to slip may come in quite late and is always dependent on any new items reopening.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goulou View Post
    Furthermore, by looking into the details of ZCS 6.0.7 release, all bugs seems to be fixed... except some (recent ones!) that are only related to the appliance
    Once their all fixed you still have to build (compile) and QA sanity check the final bits (we are always doing this as we go but still important and it takes a day or two). In addition as many of the new major bugs/rfe's as possible need to be hand verified or automated test cases coded for the future to prevent regressions.

    Not as obvious from your perspective, but the appliance isn't holding up 6.0.7; the bugs are just tagged like that since we'll use .7 as it's base branch (so they need to be applied to GNR-607 even if it's a few weeks after 6.0.7 release). As of yet we haven't made a separate product section for ZAP, ZCB, etc but if that's causing confusion we may consider it.

    Quote Originally Posted by scohol View Post
    Im loving the new features of ZD 2.0b2 but its still not stable enough to tell my users to use it.

    If some features aren't complete, release it with the features that are and give an update down the track to add features as they are completed.
    Desktop 2.0 has lots of engine differences from 1.0 at this point it's not really about building in lots of additional features and more about making sure it's stability is high. We'll also be dedicating a QA team member full time to ZD - a benefit of the vmware move. 1.0.4 was the equivalent UI side of 5.0.18, and we never really pushed it higher because we found there was fundamental changes we needed to focus on instead. For instance: ZD 2.0 is now on SQLite. Derby played its role for ZD 1.0, but we hit some pretty bad limitations of derby that we couldn't overcome. SQLite is a much better alternative, and makes it feel much faster. Also cut memory consumption all over the place.

    So were there too many new features making the 2.0 cut? Possibly, but many were sitting around gaining votes & clamor for us to complete them with comments like "I know its a feature not yet included rather than a bug, but I expect X possibility asap before I can consider it a replacement for X product." Going forward since ZCS & ZD are so integrally linked we plan to put out a ZD version with or immediately after a ZCS release, regardless of how many ZD-only specific changes go in.

    Keep the feedback coming, not trying to quell descent, we're open to everyone's input - probably sometimes too much when it comes to requests. We're constantly refining how we lead the project; we have some lofty goals for next-generation messaging, and the process so far has already achieved a slew of them.

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