Thursday, March 28, 2013


Photo by hide99
During the Orbeon Forms 4 development cycle, we released over 20 intermediate builds (including milestones, betas, and a release candidate - you can see them all here). More often than not, we released one build per week. We have found that doing so was extremely positive:

  • It helps maintain a great sense of progress and accomplishment.
  • As each release is documented in a blog post, the outside world can also get a better sense of what's going on.
  • Users can try out new features as they get implemented. (This is also possible with automated nightly builds, but those are not tested by humans).
  • Developers have to keep an eye on the current issues and features that need work.
  • It is harder to postpone tasks such as testing and documentation (designing features and writing code is so much more fun!).
So the product, developers, and users all benefit and we really would like to keep doing this as we work towards the next stable releases of Orbeon Forms.

But it goes further. As we are putting a bigger emphasis on automated testing, our ideal is that every feature that we implement and every bug we fix has an automated test, even if it involves some funky browser behavior. This will give us increased confidence that between two builds we don't have serious regressions.

So we hope that this will enable us to iterate stable builds much faster than in the past. And that would be really awesome!

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