I have some good news and some bad news. The bad news? NGS Beta 2 will be delayed by 4 weeks until June 21st. The good news? Read on!
The main reason why we’re having to slip the release is that we’ve finally found a UX design volunteer (Alisa Lemberg aka Aleeeza) who has been working with us to design a release editor that works well for the broad range of users we have. We had to go back quite a few steps in our previous work to come up with a sane release editor. Having a good user experience for one of the most critical pieces of MusicBrainz was more important to us than keeping our beta 2 schedule. In the nick of time for our deadline the new release editor will be available for public input as soon as Ollie (slacker!) is done updating the test server. Expect another post tomorrow.
The second reason that we’re behind is that we decided to make some really important fixes to the new Web Service. We’re going to ensure that the vast number of releases credited to Johann Sebastian Bach do not execute a denial of service attack on our servers (this is part the dreaded JSB problem). Warp has written a new specification for the new Web Service that illustrates our new approach. Unfortunately Beta 2 will not include the new browsing features discussed, but the other aspects will be adapted as per spec for beta 2.
Third, Ollie will shoot to finish all NGS edits (including migrating old edits) for the beta 2 release. This will make beta 2 complete with all of the most important features!
We’ve also agreed to add one more beta release (called Release Candidate 1) before we release NGS in order to give more exposure to NGS as we get closer to finishing.
Finally, we’re considering delaying a number of non-critical features to the releases beyond NGS. The dashboard, timeline, statistics and auto-editor elections are not critical for us delivering NGS. But, the development of NGS has dragged on long enough that we really ought to finish as soon as possible and that may mean delaying these features for a little while. (we can do auto editor elections by hand on a mailing list if need be). We’re not dropping these features — we’re simply delaying them for a few weeks past the NGS release (and perhaps a hot bug fix release immediately post NGS).
What do you think about us dropping non-critical features in exchange for delivering NGS sooner? Tell us about it in the comments!