[TYPO3-core] Release-Cycle and Maintenance-Policy of TYPO3

Tolleiv Nietsch info at tolleiv.de
Fri May 11 19:35:49 CEST 2012


for me the 6 months release cycle is kind of a compromise between 
contributors who's like to get their stuff out in the world asap and 
agencies who'd like to have long living stable releases.

I personally prefer to have a high(er) update frequency with a focus on 
a very easy way to update and thus make it easier for everyone to keep 
up with the latest releases without spending too much money.

Going slower for me just means that there's more time between releases 
and that makes it much more likely that we loose focus.


Mario Rimann schrieb:
> Hi *
> This week I was in contact with Xavier Perseguers and Steffen Ritter
> to clarify some detail-questions regarding the maintenance-policy as
> described on typo3.org. Our mail-discussion started to involve others
> like Oliver Hader, Ben van't Ende and Helmut Hummel and delived more
> and more into a more general "we need to discuss the release-cycle and
> maintenance-policy"-king of discussion. And we all agreed on pushing
> this to the public. So here's the mail I've written to them explaining
> the situation we encounter as an agency and why we see this as a problem:
> For us (www.internezzo.ch) as a mid-sized TYPO3 agency with no
> inhouse-core-dev, the current release policy (6-month cycle) is
> sub-optimal since it cuts down the “lifetime” (as in “time covered
> with at least security updates) of a TYPO3 website from about 3 years
> to about 1.5 years (compared to the pre-6-month-release-cycle). I know
> that back then, I raised this concern and (if I remember correctly)
> talked to Michael Stucki at that time and I guess others did, too –
> and shortly after that an LTS version was announced. This LTS version
> was/is great as it improved the situation a bit.
> But what we want to be able to offer to our customers is a
> long-lasting solution where the time from “buying a website” until
> “having to spend money on the website again for an upgrade” is as long
> as possible.
> Let me try to explain the situations we encountered:
> When 4.5 LTS came out, we started using it and our customers profited
> from a 3-year lifetime during which they won’t have to pay anything
> additional for staying up-to-date (since Core-Patchlevel-Updates are
> covered with the hosting-fee on our servers) – all was ok.
> When 4.6 came out, we decided against using it since the pro’s did not
> weight up against the con’s (the new features were cool for devs but
> nothing that was awaited by our customers compared to loosing many
> months of update-coverage compared to 4.5 LTS at that point in time).
> Then 4.7 came out and we decided on using it for new projects since it
> really brings new features that are of interest for our customers –
> and the difference in lifetime (as seen from today) is just about 6
> months compared to 4.5 LTS which is acceptable for our customers.
> So just comparing 4.7 and 4.5 from $today until their
> “end-of-life”-dates ends up in a small difference of 6 months – but
> compared to the roll-out of a 4.5 LTS based website short after 4.5
> LTS was shipped, a big difference shows up:
> A customer that got a website with 4.5 LTS had up to 3-years of
> maintenance “included”. One that get’s $today either a 4.5 LTS or a
> 4.7 will have only up to 1.5-years which is not really cool.
> That’s the problem we see from a customer perspective ->  until the
> next LTS is released we have a product we can sell that has a very
> short lifetime that some of our customers (and we ourselfes) don’t see
> as enterprise-ready :-/
> Besides only complaining, we see the following solutions to circumvent
> this issue – and hope we can achieve something from that as a whole
> TYPO3 universe:
> - have a longer supported-time (only regarding security fixes!!) than
> just approx. 1.5-years starting from the release-date of a minor
> version (see below)
> - have more LTS-versions – it’s not about how fast the next LTS is
> released rather than increasing the overlapping lifetime of two LTS
> releases (it would already help to know, when in the schedule the next
> LTS will be released)
> - decrease from a 6-month release-cycle back to something longer
> We know that both having more LTS versions and in general increasing
> the lifetime of any release will “cost” manpower. But from discussions
> with several persons I know that just throwing money at it is no
> solution itself (since the developers/testers are missing to actually
> *do* the (probably paid) work).
> To sum up, I hope you see how our perspective on the product “TYPO3”
> in the (Swiss) market is. Maybe other (bigger) agencies with own
> core-devs can handle certain things different – but as long as we
> stick to our “we use official TYPO3 releases for our customer projects
> without modifications to the core”-rule, we’ll have the above problem
> I guess.
> I don’t expect a wonder or that the core-team now changes the whole
> release cycle 180° - but maybe you can take this input into your next
> meeting(s) and the mid-term planning somehow where it hopefully has
> some effects :-) If I can be of any help to further explain it or if
> you’d like to talk to me on this topic (or something other) – just
> contact me!
> (and of course by posting this here to the public core-list I hope to
> start a discussion on this topic. I'm really looking forward to
> hearing how other agencies and/or one-man-shows perceive and handle
> this situation)
> Thanks for reading until here and best wishes,
> Mario

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