WordPress 2.9 was released last weekend. Yesterday, I was notified that 2.9.1 is most likely around the corner due to some issues that arose because of a last-minute addition to the core of WordPress. The issues revolve around scheduled posts not firing because the cron scheduler ends up broken. The patch can be found here which is already a part of 2.9.1.
While reading the support thread, I became concerned with some of the responses that were published. For example, “How could you release an upgrade that is obviously this problem-filled?” or “WordPress should have tested 2.9 before releasing it!“. I’m not sure how many times this has to be preached to the choir but each version of WordPress is tested before it’s release to the public. That is what the Beta releases are for as well as the Release Candidates. WordPress 2.9 went through one release candidate version and two beta releases. In fact, before RC1 hit the public, all of the tickets assigned for that version were closed. Each version was tested by anyone who volunteered. There seems to be this notion that there are thousands of WordPress developers and they should iron out every bug before releasing software to the public. While there are hundreds of WordPress developers submitting patches here and there as well as squashing bugs, not every hosting setup can be tested. This is where the end users come in.
Dion Hulse who has been a long time contributor to the WordPress project illustrates this problem quite well in a blog post entitled WordPress, A Call To Arms. I think Dion says it best in the first paragraph which illustrates the lack of testing problem quite well.
WordPress 2.9 was just released, And several users have run into a bug. Surprising? Not really. There’s one simple reason for this, While thousands of people Test each and every WordPress release, These users are not You.
While hundreds or thousands download the betas to perform testing, the real crux of the testing comes when the “Stable” release is shipped. The stable version is installed by everyone because it’s considered to be stable only since you now have hundreds of thousands of blogs running the software which translates into more testing environments, you’re going to run into bugs the testers simply didn’t find. This gives the perception that the Stable release was not stable at all and therefor, should have never been released. But, if the software were never released, the bug would most likely would not have been found.
Please Help Out:
It’s very easy to setup a test installation of WordPress, especially since the release of Peter Westwoods plugin called Beta Tester. While testing on a local server is a good idea, most local servers are not setup to mimic the configuration of the public web server. This is why it’s actually better to test on the same setup as your public facing site than on a local server.
Now, if you happen to come across something you believe to be a bug, please refer to this article in the Codex which contains instructions on how to report it.