Where is NGS Beta 2?

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!

7 thoughts on “Where is NGS Beta 2?

  1. MightyJay

    Since I’m a fan of the release early, release often philosophy, I’d say sure, please release without non-critical features. (I’d even accept NGS with some more critical stuff missing too πŸ˜‰ )

  2. mfmeulenbelt

    NGS is such a big project that delays and surprises are inevitable. I think releasing NGS without some non-critical features is a good idea.

  3. voiceinsideyou

    Works for me. I think most important is allowing a fair bit of time in the few months afterwards to attentively deal with the inevitable onslaught of usability issues, bugs and so forth that will come with NGS. FWIW, I’d even say that you could have left folksonomy, ratings and collections out of the initial release (assuming the data behind it wasn’t actually lost) πŸ˜‰ Of course those are probably all fully working now, but just sayin’. πŸ™‚

  4. brianfreud

    Works for me. πŸ™‚ Dashboard and timeline esp can wait; I’d hope to see stats given a priority post-NGS over those 2. As for autoeditor elections, assuming it’s not a huge delay, we could also always just hold off on any nominations until that code’s ready; perhaps autoeditor voting and some sort of RFC voting could even be combined into the same post-NGS patch. πŸ™‚

  5. JESVS MMXCIX

    And you are talking about integrated Style voting? That would be nice! At last, not having to register this Mailbox filLer stuff to participate on those… It will be easier to follow.
    What are the new stuff with autoeditor elections, Brian?
    What kind of improvement?

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