The Open Source Development Cycle Exposed
I seem to be doing this a lot recently but here's my tongue in cheek description of the open source development cycle. Hopefully you guys will find it amusing!
Version x of an open source project finally becomes stable enough to use. When looking at the original project plan much of the envisaged feature set has not yet been implemented and there are some niggling bugs which may be show stoppers for certain people, but for the majority it works OK (they have learnt to work around the bugs and missing features anyway). What's left to do wouldn't take long to implement but the few guys left working on the project have grown up and got real jobs so development has slowed to a crawl.
A new version x+1 comes onto the scene with fresh dreams and high aims. Renewed enthusiasm and lots of developers come on board including the remaining people that were maintaining the old version x The new project takes off quickly but effectively leaves the old version x abandoned.
Version x unfortunately starts become unusable due to its ties with deprecated API's, libraries and applications. People are forced to move over to version x+1 even though it currently has less features than version x and is less stable. The userbase is essentially forced to downgrade to a newer version, however the features which were in version x are promised to be arriving soon for version x+1 and technically version x+1 is better, so everyone bides their time.
Version x+1 now has many but not all of the features that were present in the abandoned version x and starts to become stable. The majority of the userbase has now migrated or is in the process of migrating.
GO TO Step 1;
Basically to summarise it's quite common in open source for a projects development to slow down once its usable for the majority of people. This leaves us with the situation where the remaining bugs stay unfixed and the remaining features stay unimplemented. This is fine for many people but if you're not in the majority, like for example you are running Linux and have have 3 monitors or hardware/software which is slightly out of the ordinary then basically you have to just cross your fingers and hope that what you want is fixed on the next release and you don't lose any critical features that you have at the moment.
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