Looking ahead to DMDirc 0.7

Posted by Chris Smith's avatar Chris Smith on July 30, 2008

With DMDirc 0.6 coming soon (hopefully — we still have a few bits and pieces to finish off), we’re starting to look ahead towards the next major branch: DMDirc 0.7. The 0.7 branch has several major new features, namely sever lists and a revamped update system, both of which have extensive core and UI components. There are also a large number of smaller features and enhancements: we have over 80 issues open for the 0.7 branch, and this number is growing fairly steadily.

Looking back on the 0.6 branch, one of the things we’d like to change most is the length of time between each release. Ignoring security and bug fixes, there was a four month gap between 0.5 and 0.5.5, and it looks like DMDirc 0.6 will be released between six and seven months after that. This isn’t because we’re getting lazy, or because we care less about DMDirc than we did when we released the first few versions (which were all inside of the same month); it’s because we’re implementing more features, fixing more bugs, and doing more behind-the-scenes work (improving the DMDirc code base) than we have in previous releases. To combat this somewhat, we’re aiming to make three releases as part of the 0.7 development series - DMDirc 0.6.3, 0.6.6 and 0.7. We’ve allocated issues to each release to try and balance the time it will take (DMDirc 0.5.5 wasn’t a pre-planned release and, as you can tell from the timing, didn’t split the workload too well), so hopefully we’ll be able to make releases somewhat more frequently than we have been.

Pre-planning these sub-releases has also enabled us to organise issues better so that we’re working on (and releasing) related features at the same time. The rough focus of each release is described below. Note that these are just the major, overarching themes; each release also contains a good helping of smaller, independent enhancements.

Of course, if you can’t wait for releases to try out all the new features, you can download a nightly build, which can auto-update with the latest features and bug fixes each day.