We just released Blender 2.67b yesterday, the second bugfix release for the Blender 2.67 version. In a 2 month release cycle this is not really nice, and we all would like a stable Blender release. I don’t blame anyone, errors happen and they can happen everywhere. But I think that together, we can do better. So the question is how we can avoid those “a” and “b” update releases.
We always release an release candidate, about 1 week before the real release happens, which gives everyone time to test the new version.
Here are 3 questions you should ask yourselves:
- Do you download the release candidate (RC)?
- Do you test the RC with your everyday blend files, to see if the things you usually do, still work?
- If you find a bug, do you report it to the bug tracker, so we know about it?
If you can answer all those 3 questions with yes, it’s great and I want to thank you for that. If the answer is no though, I hope that you will reconsider! Please keep reading.
How you can help us to make Blender better
Before each release, we Blender deveopers run some tests (which we call a regression suite), to test areas of Blender. If you are interested, those blend files are inside our SVN here. The problem with those is, that not all of them are up to date and they cannot cover every possible case. We will try to improve them, and keep them updated, and hopefully this will help a bit.
The most important thing is user testing though. You have a lot of blend files, and you use Blender in all kinds of areas. This is really important! Only you can really test a wide range of scenarios, and check your actual production files.
A few people were worried about the small time-frame, between the rc and the final release, but I don’t see this as a real issue.
We get reports about critical bugs, a few days after the official release already, so it should be possible to find the bugs soon after the rc has been released as well.
I know, that the media coverage for final releases is much bugger, but rc’s are announced on blender.org, blenderartists, blendernation and facebook and co, and that should reach out to a lof of people, at least those who are more involved in the community anyway.
It is of course fun, to download an rc and only test new fancy features, but bugs in new features are not as critical, as bugs in existing tools. Also, I have seen quite some people posting errors, but not in our bug tracker, but in a webforum or so. We cannot check all different kinds of webforums, so we rely on you posting bugs into our bug tracker.
If you want to help us and make Blender better, this is how you can do it:
- Download the release candidate, spread the news with other blenderheads.
- Have some fun and test new features, read the release log to check what is new.
- Open your everyday blend files with the rc, files you usually use, and test them. Can you still model the object you did with the last release? Is rendering still working? …
- If you find any issue or problem, either in an existing file or a new scene, report it, it can be a bug! If you are unsure whether it’s a real problem, read the release logs again, to see if something changed in the particular area of Blender, maybe it’s just a wrong setting. If this does not help and you still have the issue, or you are still unsure, report the bug!
- Please report bugs to our bug tracker, only to the bug tracker. Having them in a forum or facebook doesn’t help.
This is of course not a magical solution, but it helps to give you a better and more stable Blender release, and it will make our lives easier as well.
Thanks everyone for reading this, and please consider to help us, if you’re not doing that already.