Thursday, August 14, 2008

This Week in Bazaar

Ah, to take a break from reporting to the world, but now we are back. This used to be a completely weekly series of posts about the on-going events in the world of Bazaar (and may be yet again). Written by co-authors John Arbash Meinel, one of the primary developers on Bazaar, and Paul Hummer, who works on integrating Bazaar into Launchpad.

Bazaar 1.6rc3 Released

With Martin Pool going on vacation for the next two weeks, John has stepped up to marshall 1.6 out the door. And he started with not 1 but 2 release candidates in 2 days. We're trying hard to get back into a time-based release schedule. The problem with sneaking in a feature-based release, is that they always end up slipping, as everyone tries to get "one-more-thing" in to the delayed release. However, with RC3, we've actually gotten the list of things that must be in 1.6 down to 0, so there is a very good chance it will become 1.6-final next week.

Since it has been a delayed release, there are lots of goodies inside to partake of. Stacked Branches, improved Weave merge, significantly faster 'bzr log --short', improvements to the Windows installation, better server side hooks, and the list goes on. Most of this we have mentioned in previous "This Weeks", the big difference is that it is available in a release, rather than just in the trunk.

The Windows install is one of the major changes, in that it will now (by default) bundle TortoiseBzr as part of the standalone install. TortoiseBzr still needs work before it is as much of a joy to work with as the rest of the system, but this release is mostly about testing our ability to bundle them together.

Looking forward to Bazaar 1.7

As 1.6 nears it's official release, the development community has started planning the 1.7 development process. As it stands now, bzr 1.7 has a planned release date of September 8th. This means there are two whole weeks two get various bugfixes and contributions to bazaar in before getting down to release time (mentoring available).

Among the proposed potential features, there are a few that really stand out. Mark Hammond has been polishing Bazaar on Windows, and there is much desire for someone to help getting the bazaar test suite to run cleanly in Mac OS X. These features will greatly add to the existing portability strengths of Bazaar. While the majority of changes needed are actually in the test suite, and not the core functionality, the community could really use someone who could step up, and learn how to do unit testing in Python. Bazaar 1.7 will also see some increased merge flexibilities, especially with criss cross merges.

Improvements to the indexing layer are likely to land in 1.7, though as always, not on the default format. (We want at least 1 release supporting a format before we suggest it as the default, to give people time for compatibility.) The new b+tree layout for indexes makes them smaller (by approx 2:1) and makes them faster to search (eg, bzr log file being 3x faster).

We also have a chance to land Group Compress, which has shown to compress repositories by as much as 3:1 over their current size. This change needs a bit more tweaking, though. There are generally tradeoffs between how much time you spend compressing, and how small the result is. And we want to make sure that we make the right tradeoffs. It is currently being evaluated as a test plugin.

Bazaar Bug Day

As Bazaar development speeds up, so do the incoming bugs. There are currently 1062 open bugs in Launchpad, and 287 of them have a "New" status, meaning they have not yet been triaged and categorized. At a past Bazaar sprint, a "bug day" was talked about, and it has been brought up again on the mailing list. Often, we fix many bugs and just haven't gotten around to marking them fixed. This is a great opportunity for members of the community who use Bazaar but don't directly develop it t o contribute back to the Bazaar community. You can help out by verifying bugs have been fixed, that they no longer exist, or that they still exist and provide more information on them. Come give your karma a boost, and help us squish some bugs!


ReneL said...

bzr 1.6b3 was the last release offering the good old Python 2.5 installer:

Will this installer be reinstantiated for bzr 1.7?

jam said...

I uploaded a few more for the 1.7rc2 and 1.6.1 releases. Thanks for reminding me.

Anonymous said...

Will you ever continue your great serie?