Release early, release often

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Release early, release often (also: time-based releases, sometimes abbreviated RERO) is a software development philosophy that emphasizes the importance of early and frequent releases in creating a tight feedback loop between developers and testers or users, contrary to a feature-based release strategy. Advocates argue that this allows the software development to progress faster, enables the user to help define what the software will become, better conforms to the users' requirements for the software,[1] and ultimately results in higher quality software.[2] The development philosophy attempts to eliminate the risk of creating software that no one will use.[3]

This philosophy was popularized by Eric S. Raymond in his 1997 essay The Cathedral and the Bazaar, where Raymond stated "Release early. Release often. And listen to your customers".[4]

This philosophy was originally applied to the development of the Linux kernel and other open-source software, but has also been applied to closed source, commercial software development. Disadvantages to this release model include the possibility of more frequent crashes or even data loss[citation needed], and that end-users must update their software more often.[5]

The alternative to the release early, release often philosophy is aiming to provide only polished, bug-free releases.[6] Advocates of RERO question that this would in fact result in higher-quality releases.[4]

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References[edit]

  1. ^ Leonard, Andrew (2000-10-31). "Triumph of the free-software will". Salon. Retrieved 2009-10-26. Open-source software, at heart, is a method for maximizing the efficiency and speed with which one can create the next version. Release early, release often, is the mantra, meaning get your new code out into the public so millions of eyes can tear it apart and help create a new version even faster 
  2. ^ Haddad, Ibrahim (2007-01-05). "Adopting an Open Source Approach to Software Development, Distribution, and Licensing". SYS-CON Publications. Retrieved 2009-10-26. This practice is described as "release early, release often." The open source community believes that this practice leads to higher-quality software because of peer review and the large base of users who are using the software, accessing the source code, reporting bugs, and contributing fixes. 
  3. ^ Serebrin, Jacob (2013-03-13). "Canadian Startup MVP alternatives: Toronto's Guardly, Waterloo's Blackberry and NYC Dev Shop". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2014-02-03. Essentially, both philosophies [Release Early, Release Often and Minimum Viable Product] attempt to eliminate the risk of creating software that no one will use. 
  4. ^ a b Raymond, Eric (1997-05-27). Release Early, Release Often. The Cathedral and the Bazaar: Musings on Linux and Open Source by an Accidental Revolutionary. ISBN 1-56592-724-9. Retrieved 2009-10-26. Release early. Release often. And listen to your customers. 
  5. ^ Golden, Bernard (2006-02-22). "Golden's Rules: How to modify SugarCRM safely". Enterprise Linux News (TechTarget). Retrieved 2009-10-26. The downside of "release early, release often" can be "work hard, update often" if you have source code modifications that you must apply to the baseline open source product 
  6. ^ Russell, Terrence (2008-01-07). "Jimmy Wales on Wikia Search’s Lukewarm Reveal". Wired News (Conde Naste Publications). Retrieved 2009-10-26. We come from the world of open source, which is all about "release early, release often" rather than highly polished releases 

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