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How Many Releases Do We Need?

yuanleemidori profile image Yuan-Hsi Lee ・2 min read

We just got our telescope 1.6 release this afternoon! Ya!

I want to talk our new header (including menu bar and logo) ported to the Nextjs front-end (we're moving our front-end stuff from Gatsby to Nextjs). It's amazing to see the Nextjs front-end to have about 70% similar with the old Gatsby front-end. The reason I want to talk about it is how the developer work on this issue when he got stuck. He reached out on Slack and there happen to have people having time to debug with him, they even had a 3-hour screen-sharing meeting to code together. This is something that I always want to do but never get a chance to do so. Before the pandemic, it's easy to check on each other's work when you're in the same room. You could just stand up and walk to your team member's desk and ask her for help. In this pandemic, it's impossible to gather and meet up as a group.

Anyways, what I want to discuss is, after merging this PR, we found some bug in this newly ported header. For example, the logo should be a clickable link and lead us back to home; but it isn't. And, some CSS styling is not consistent. We still push it to our 1.6 release today. And we'll be fixing these small bugs in the upcoming release. This is quite different compare with what I thought about release. I always think, there should be some criteria about a specific release, and we have to make it before the release date. The thing is, people are not perfect, and there is always something we can't expect or control. The goal of release is to make it on that release date, instead of waiting for everything is done. Because there will never be one day that everything is done, it's not possible. We'll always come up with new ideas for enhancement or find some new bug that we didn't notice before.

No matter how careful we were before merging a PR, we sometimes forgot things. The good thing about working as a team is we can always check each other's works, finding bugs, and fixing them. It's even better when doing an open-source project, more people are helping you to check your code! How many releases do we need for a project? There is no answer. As long as we want to make the project get better and better, we need more releases to do so.

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