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Changes to the TYPOlight release cycle

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The early release of version 2.6.5, which was one of the rare bugfix releases, made it perfectly clear that even changes that only affect one single line may have serious consequences.

A user requested to preserve the filenames of thumbnail images to improve the search engine ranking. Unfortunately, I forgot to consider the folder structure, so it only worked if there were not two files with the same name - a case that is rather unlikely to be encountered in practice.

My actual mistake, however, was not to miss this detail, but to publish the feature in a maintenance release. A maintenance release is supposed to maintain the system in terms of solving issues and not adding features. The latter should only be done in minor and major releases, which can be tested as beta versions before they are finally being published. I am sure the bug would have been noticed during a beta phase.

That is why we will go back to the tried and tested release cycle the project has been based on ever since the first release in 2006. Back then, there were a lot more minor releases with new features and - as required - maintenance releases on an irregular base.

I allowed myself to be talked over to avoid irregular releases, so it was easier for administrators to schedule the updates. However, the current incident shows that this is the wrong way. Maintenance releases should be published when they are necessary and not when they are in the schedule.

So in the future, new features will only be released as part of a minor- or major release. To avoid having to decrease the total number of new features or the waiting time until they are being added, there will be more than one minor release per year again. Maintenance releases will exclusively be used to fix bugs and to fine-tune the system and will not be published every 6 weeks, but whenever they are required.

The live update provides an excellent way to update TYPOlight quickly and easyly, so even three updates in one month can be handled without having to spend much time. If that still sounds like too much work for you, I recommend to only install the minor releases and skipt the maintenance releases - except it is a security fix of course!

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