Release Notes

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Release Notes

Postby trixie » Sat Jul 02, 2011 2:46 pm

One thing I cannot understand is why the OS4 Release Notes are still not part of the SDK. I asked some time ago, and was told that they are under NDA and so cannot be published. Allright, but what is the reason for making them classified? What's so terribly secret about them?

AmigaOS4 has been undergoing tumultuous development, and things keep being added or fixed on the fly, all the time. But for a developer with no access to the Release Notes, it is hard to catch up and do proper version checking! Not always do the autodocs contain appropriate or full information.

To give you an example: a feature is added in version X of a certain system component, and this feature is (usually, not always) noted in the autodoc as being available from this version on. Alas, later it appears that the feature was actually broken, and it gets fixed in version Y. So in my program, I will naturally want to require version Y as the minimum version of the said component. But how do I learn about the fix if not from the Release Notes? The autodoc does not tell me.

I really appreciate Hyperion's "opening up" in the past few months, including their blog and this forum. They are signs that the time when OS4 development was a gentlemans' invite-only club may well be over. So why not step a little bit further and give the developers the information they need?
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Re: Release Notes

Postby trixie » Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:39 pm

Plus, the SDK for AmigaOS 3.9 did contain the Release Notes so why all this secrecy now?
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Re: Release Notes

Postby ssolie » Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:55 pm

You don't need the internal release notes. If you think you do then we have failed to update the autodocs correctly.

The release notes contain proprietary information and cannot be released without Hyperion's explicit permission to do so. Since they contain no useful information to outside developers I don't feel the need to even ask that they be released. It would be a waste of time.
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Re: Release Notes

Postby ssolie » Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:59 pm

trixie wrote:Plus, the SDK for AmigaOS 3.9 did contain the Release Notes so why all this secrecy now?

AmigaOS 3.5 and 3.9 was developed by Haage & Partner who retain the source code to this day. AmigaOS 4.x is based on AmigaOS 3.1 sources. Whether H&P released their internal notes or not is not relevant to AmigaOS 4.x.

Again, you should not need them. If you think you do then we have failed in other areas.
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Re: Release Notes

Postby Rigo » Thu Aug 11, 2011 9:07 pm

And as such, said ommisions in the autodocs should be reported.

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Re: Release Notes

Postby tonyw » Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:00 am

There is no usable information in the releasenotes that isn't already in the Autodocs. The releasenotes just say things like:
"V53.6: fixed a bug in name-handling (BZ #6777)". If you're lucky. Many devs don't even say that much.
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Re: Release Notes

Postby trixie » Fri Aug 12, 2011 7:51 am

I'll give you two practical examples.

ReAction's requester.class has a silly and probably long-standing bug (now fixed by Simon) that affects the use of custom bitmp images with the requester. What it boils down to is: unless you dispose of the image object each time you close the requester, the requester will grow one line of text taller each time you re-open it. You can apply a workaround by placing the bitmap image object inside a label object.

Another one. As of OS4.1 Update 1, the PNG datatype (53.4) shows unwanted artifacts when displaying interlaced PNG images (see http://amigaworld.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=30517&forum=14&6). The original datatype from plain OS4.1 was fine.

So we have some faulty components out there in the public and I need to check their versions in order to decide whether I need to apply a workaround or not. The trouble is: the Autodocs do not tell me anything about when things got broken and when (or if) they were fixed. I need something like:

requester.class
"Until version 53.x this was broken. You can apply the following workaround: ..."

PNG.datatype
"Beware: between versions 53.4 and 53.x, the support for interlaced images was broken."

I hope you see what I mean.
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Re: Release Notes

Postby abalaban » Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:42 pm

In my company we have two release notes listings: one is for internal eyes only and may contain confidential information (as for example bug fixes of internal versions) the other one is released to the customer and contains general information about bug fixes in each public versions, improvements and new features of each versions and known problems of each version (if any) possibly with a work around if one exists. In general public release notes have less details than internal ones, but they keep the reference to the BT system.

I think this is essential for a customer to be able to keep track of what was fixed, or added in a given version... But I can also understand that they can contain confidential information that can't be released to anyone (competitors for example)
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Re: Release Notes

Postby Rigo » Mon Aug 15, 2011 3:46 pm

@Trixie

I have added the workaround details to the requester_cl.doc as suggested.

If you find any other discrepencies, please let me know.

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Re: Release Notes

Postby trixie » Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:22 am

@Rigo

Thank you! Any info about the interlaced PNG bug in the datatype? Has it been fixed already?
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