2009.4 and the missing feature

Posted on: January 8th, 2010 6 Comments

Life here in the Engine Room continues on as always; a combination of brimming potential and vexing challenges.  I love creating new things.  I love to solve problems. Sometimes I get to do both at once. But not this time.

You see, we’re preparing to ship ePublisher 2009.4.  And 2009.4 isn’t about features.  It’s about making the best ePublisher 2009 release possible.

Why am I writing about this?

Because I promised folks we’d include just one new feature in 2009.4.  It’s a great feature.  Something that increases ePublisher’s flexibility and power.  The problem is that it is just too complex to ship in a maintenance release.  The feature I’m talking about is the capability to define per target style settings.

We’ll just shim it in there,” I told Jesse.  “No sweat.

That was back in November.  Back before.  Before we spent hours and days wrestling with PDF defects.  Before we spent weeks chasing workarounds for Frame crashes which we could only bypass, not fix (we don’t have access to that code base).

And so I have to let it go this round.  I have to let people know, “No, not this time.”  There really is no other choice.  The time has been spent.  It was spent on exactly what we needed to do; stability.  It’s just that I like creating new things.  I don’t want to let go.

Then again, once 2009.4 ships, all that maintenance work is done.  And if 2009.4 is done, then we can focus on 2010.1.  And we can put new stuff in 2010.1.

I think this is going to work out alright after all.

6 Responses

  1. Suzanne says:

    You guys are doing a great job. We can wait for this feature. I sure would love to see the ability to generate a file list, though! 😉

  2. Malcolm says:

    Stability is definitely important: I think you’re doing the right thing.

  3. Ed McElroy says:

    keep up the great work. Looking forward to seeing a fix for the disappearing ampersand issue.

  4. Lisa says:

    Personally, I would rather only see two updates a year…seems we get one in and there is another one starring at me and each one makes me cringe. Have you thought of going to two per year?

  5. allums says:

    Hey Lisa! Your request, that we slow down our quarterly releases, is something that I’ve heard from several customers in the past. I wanted to explain how users can make the most of our quarterly release system. The explanation wound up being more of a blog post than a comment. So, now it IS a blog post, Keeping Pace with ePublisher. Have a read, and then tell me what you think.

  6. […] a few weeks ago, I wrote about “2009.4 and the missing feature“.  Customers gave that post some great feedback. People seemed to understand our goals for […]

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