||[Jun. 5th, 2009|02:38 am]
Wandering through fedora-devel-list, I saw this query for some reasons why Tuesdays are the day that we do Fedora releases. I'm replying on my blog because I choose to spare my email client the insanity that is fedora-devel-list delivered non-stop day and night.
Some reasons why Tuesdays are "must" instead of "good" would be way more helpful then a simple statement "they said so". So all I can say is: Yes, let's target Tuesdays if that is idea (which I agree), but if there is a slip then slip only a day, two or three if the problem can be fixed within that timeframe (which for example was not the case for the first release slip for the final, but maybe for the second).
Setting aside the fact that my gut tells me that most slips will require about a week to fix->rebuild->retest->restage anyway, here's an answer:
Fundamentally, it's about putting your news out at a time when the most eyeballs are going to see it. Red Hat's press machine has been working with the Fedora Project Leader and the Fedora Marketing team to maximize the attention that is cast on Fedora for a long time now, and it is their recommendation (not their order, but their recommendation) that we try to have our most important news be released on Tuesdays. If you look back at our history, we've kind of been all over the map in terms of day-of-the-week, but settled down in recent times.
Theory states that the more proud you are of your news, the earlier in the week you want to put it out. Mondays and Tuesdays are the best days for that. My guess is that we go with Tuesdays as a hedge against all the news that tends to come out on Mondays (so we don't get buried), but so that we can also build momentum the entire week with interviews, and have opportunities (as we have taken in the past) to announce a few different Fedora or community-related pieces of news all in the same week.
Finally, consistency is important. If Red Hat's PR team knows that Fedora is coming on a Tuesday, it helps them to plan their schedule so that Fedora can have the day all to itself. Even if we slip, knowing that slips only go from Tuesday to Tuesday is still helpful.
I must respectfully disagree with the person who said this:
I think it's a bad idea to delay the releases more than necessary for marketing reasons. IMHO we should release as soon as technically feasible.
I think it is perfectly acceptable, and responsible, to factor a marketing plan into a product's schedule, up to and including the day of release.
Back when Max was still in diapers... we used to release on any day that it was technically feasible... and let me tell you it caused no end of problems.
1) Mirrors weren't ready. The amount of mirrors who have bad disks during the rsync process is remarkable.
2) Mirrors would leak (heck ftp.redhat.com would leak because someone thought ohhh today was the day.)
3) Late in the week releases would usually get swamped by whoever released earlier in the week :).
4) Monday is usually a bad day to release because weekend issues would always come up. [FTP mirror lost a cable and is still trying to catch up... oh look we found netscape doesn't work.. it worked on Friday? etc]
No having a confirmed day that things occur is soooo much nicer. Thanks to the people who instituted it.
2009-06-05 08:54 am (UTC)
Re: And we have had years of lessons of not doing it then....
Good points, Smooge. I was responding with the "what are the non-technical reasons" why we release on a Tuesday, but as you state, there are also a variety of good technical reasons for always releasing on the same day.
2009-06-09 03:28 am (UTC)
It would also be appropriate to note that the time-zones across the world make it less viable for releasing on Monday and Friday. Since obviously we wouldn't want to release on weekends (atleast in some time zones), Tuesday seems to be earliest day of the week that makes sense.