Next Beta Version - When?

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  • Question
  • Updated 6 years ago
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When will the next version after v0.12.17 be made available?
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Rich K3SOM

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Posted 6 years ago

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Jim K4JAF

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Hopefully soon. I was hoping one would come out this week. I have had my 6700 for over 6 weeks now and no new versions have been made available. Not much since being a "beta" tester with nothing to TEST. 73s Jim K4JAF
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Jim K4JAF

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Poor spelling...... Meant to say Sense...... Sorry.
Jim
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Rich K3SOM

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Yes, waiting for the next pre-production release seems to be taking a while. I've created a list of non-persistence parameters that I must change each time as well as several quirks that many others have reported that I need to avoid. My perception and expectations have had to be re-calibrated several times. I expected new releases about every two weeks. Thanks for your quick response. Rich - K3SOM
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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This would be a good time to review the communication regarding the quality assurance process and how it relates to the release cycle that was in last week's FlexInsider.


FLEX-6000 SmartSDR Preview Release Cycle Timing

by Tim Ellison, W4TME

Since it has been 4 weeks since the last distribution of a SmartSDR for Windows Preview release, I wanted to provide an update to what has been happening in regards to the release cycle. One paramount requirement of the SmartSDR release cycle is that any software product we distribute to the Preview group must be functionally better and meets or exceeds the operational quality of currently available software. To guarantee this, there is an established quality assurance process that is applied to every potential software release.

Steve Hicks, N5AC the VP of Engineering, stated several weeks ago we were developing on rolling two week release cycles and we have been achieving that goal. After completing a two week development iteration we package a release for internal Gray-box testing which is performed by non-development FlexRadio employees. The intent of Gray-box testing is to search for the defects, if any, due to improper structure or improper usage of applications. If defects are found, we determine their severity level and decide if they are serious enough to prevent the distribution of the software release to the beta team. If they are, we do not distribute the software to the beta team, the defects are placed in the current development iteration and the development cycle continues with a skipped release.

If the release passes Gray-box testing, then it is classified as a "beta" release and distributed to our internal beta team of Flex users for Black-box testing and "real world" operational testing. Black-box testing is a quality assurance technique where the user examines the functionality of the application without knowing its internal structures or workings. This activity takes anywhere from 4-7 days to complete. Again, we collect the defect reports, log them into the database and evaluate their criticality. This allows us to make the "go/no go" distribution decision based on our key requirement; that we never release to the Preview group software that is not functionally better and meets or exceed the operational quality of the currently available software.

Unfortunately we had one beta release in mid-July that did not make the grade. This happens at times when you are trying to improve the performance and capabilities of the radio at the foundational levels of the software. The positive takeaway is that our quality assurance processes worked as intended. So, as procedure dictates, we rolled in the discovered defects into the mid-July two week development iteration which was completed last Friday. Since then we have been very busy Gray-box testing the new release, and so far it is looking very promising with the possibility of Black-box testing by the beta team starting today or Saturday. Therefore as the schedule indicates, if beta testing is successful, we are planning on a Preview release of SmartSDR for Windows and SmartCAT sometime next week.
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Rich K3SOM

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Hello Tim,

Thanks for your response that describes the development efforts over the last several weeks and your iterative process. Can I assume that you will provide release notes that include:
1. Items that have been corrected
2. Functionality that has been included
3. Items that have been reported but will not be in the first production release or the next "Beta" release
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Rich,

If you have installed SmartSDR v0.12.17, then you have the Release Notes for that particular release and some of the information you described above is included in every version of the Release Notes except #3. We only report on the actual items fixed and do not speculate what may or may not be included a future release.
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Rich K3SOM

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Hello Tim,

Thanks for your response.
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George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

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Should my cursor be hovering over a download link today? ;-)
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Official Response
George,

It will not be today. The current SmartSDR Preview version release candidate is in beta testing. Until that is complete, we can not commit to a release date.
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Jim K4JAF

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Well the referenced Preview Edition Version release must not have passed the muster similar to the last one or perhaps Flex needs some more "beta" testers for faster response. Very disappointing lack of any bug resolution and feature additions thus far.
Perhaps next week ? but I said that last week!
Jim K4JAF
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Jim. I am sorry you are disappointed, but since you do not know when the software was delivered to the beta team, your presumption that it did not "pass the muster" is a bit premature. Please be patient a little longer.
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Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

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Jim, v0.13.10 just went to Beta yesterday and we have plenty of beta testers for now. So far so good. Let them test it for a couple of days.
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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I'm happy that Team Beta has an update candidate in review! Yeah!!

Can't ask for anything more that steady progress!

Itchy to have a go of course - but eager anticipation isn't all bad either!

73

Steve
K9ZW
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Al / NN4ZZ

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
SDR 1.0 - Guesstimate on date?.


SDR 1.0 - Guesstimate on date?
I know the strategy for release 1.0 is when it's ready rather than target a specific date. And it's seems the content is not set in stone yet, there are bugs to fix, etc. It's a little like the 1980's Orsen Wells wine commercial. "We will sell no wine before it's time".

http://youtu.be/CjSyGZK8e1Y

That's a good strategy but I'd still be interested to hear an educated guess on the timing. Thoughts?

- October
- December
- not until 2014

Thanks, Al / NN4ZZ
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Tim,
When you merged my original topic "SDR 1.0 - Guesstimate on date?" into this one all of the FRS replies were deleted. The replies from you and Gerald stated that SDR 1.0 would be released "early in September."

Was the loss of this history an indication that the release date has slipped?

Even if that is the case, I don't think removing the history is the right thing to do. Missing the date is disappointing but it seems like it would be better to just provide an update and reasons. As several of us said we were quite surprised about the the early September date anyway given the apparent state of the preview software.

As I mentioned in my reply to the topic merger, I would prefer to see you restore the topic and all of the replies rather than rewrite history.

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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You're putting words in their mouths - they projected timeframes and targets , which are very different statements.

There was no commitment made to a specific date that you could hang your hat on.

None.

Only target timeframes which you're misquoting as commitment dates.

They has been a lot of cool sharing about how the process for Preview Edition and eventually full release software is done.

Would everyone like to be able to report hard dates? Sure, but it would be unwise to do so.

Let's not let badgering & reframing projections into commitments make it difficult to keep communications flowing.

How ever well meaning the efforts to cajole, browbeat, and nursemaid by a few of the group is a disservice to the rest of the Preview Edition volunteers, as the net effect to is reduce candor & openness.

That perceived "issues" and information intended for this support community are reframed and piped to all sorts of other internet venues further adds to the problem:

Aug 9th at your Yahoo Groups "that is the reason to wait until the preview is over and SDR 1.0 is released in a few weeks. Regards, Al / NN4ZZ"

Aug 10th at your Yahoo Group "However the preview software stage should end soon (SDR 1.0 is due out in early September)."

There has been no announcement that the Preview Program is done in a few weeks and v1.0 is releasing, other than your posts.

Sorry there is no way to come across more positively, as these fabrications and pumping of the made up claims at other internet forums is reducing the information flow and candor.

Bluntly making stuff up and posting elsewhere is damaging MY SmartSDR Preview Edition experience as I'd appreciate it stop.

73

Steve
K9ZW
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Mike - N1MD

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I concur.
Mike, N1MD
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Steve, I didn't make up the estimated delivery date. I was just quoting the date Tin sent to us on August 6. See below, he said "early September". I later posted that was I was pleasantly surprised and thought it would be fine if it took several more months.
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Maybe your concern is around the use of the phrase "target date" that Tim used and I quoted. I originally asked for an "guesstimate" and he provide a target. I agree that a target date is not a commitment but but rather a planned goal. Just like in archery or pistol shooting, the bulls eye is a goal. Nothing wrong with missing it, it happens and that's why I asked if the date slipped. Maybe they have a new target date now.
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Al,

When any topic is merged, the content is not lost. You can retrieve it using the link in the appended text:

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
SDR 1.0 - Guesstimate on date?.
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Tim,
Thank you, that is great to hear! I just tried and it works as you explained. (live and learn). I like to refer to the historical threads for reference and now know the merging process protects the post so that is excellent.

By the way is the estimate, target, or goal still early September for the release of SDR 1.0? I didn't see the Insider for this week, so maybe there will be an update there on the testing progress.

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ
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Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

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Al, here is Steve's quote in the July 12th issue of the Flex Insider: "...this work will put us in the September time frame for the SmartSDDR v1.0 release." This is still a true statement. Tim's target date was our internal goal for Gray-box testing. We won't have any updates on this until Steve returns and we complete our planning meetings next week. I hope to have a more specific update in next week's Flex Insider. This week's Insider is written but waiting for Greg to send it out when he gets a break from working the Duke City Hamfest in Albuquerque, NM. I think he will get it out tonight.
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Gerald,
Thanks for the update. That sounds good to me and all I'm after is information. As I've said before, I'm not really concerned if it takes longer. As one of the folks still waiting to get my preview radio, the software status is as interesting to me as the folks who are in the preview group.

Just a suggestion -- The QA and production roll out process can be a bit confusing. I know the terminology is generally common but companies define the steps differently to fit their needs.

- Alpha (usually defined as programmer testing before the release to the QA team)

- QA review (regression, performance or load testing, and functionality) usually done by an internal QA team separate from the developers.

- Greybox (not sure where that fits in the list here)

- Beta usually refers to the customer or users doing the pre-rollout testing. (is this the preview group or a subset of the preview group?)

- Release to production (sometimes also staged to a subset of the customer population)

It may be worth sharing the steps you use (unless you consider it proprietary) to help folks understand how they should interpret the target dates we hear from time to time.

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ
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Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

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Al, good point.

Here is our process:
- Alpha is done by developers
- Gray-box is identical to your QA review definition and is performed by non-developers
- Black-box testing is done by a subset of the Preview group. This is an extra step that you do not have in your list.
- Beta is released to the entire Preview group
- A Release Candidate will be released through the same process after we freeze features in the code.

Note that I am running v0.13.10 in the background as I type this. I will be testing over the weekend.
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Gerald, thanks for the information. That sounds like a good solid process to minimize the number of defects getting out in the general release.

When we hear a release is in the GreyBox step we'll have a better idea of where it is in the process. And that helps us to understand the general release could be days or weeks later depending on the size of the release and what is found in testing steps.
Regards, Al / NN4ZZ