Release Mismanagement: How to Alienate Users and Frustrate Developers

People, Programming
Location: Ballroom A7
Average rating: ****.
(4.17, 6 ratings)

To many users, unreleased software is non-existent software. Even when the source code is freely available, most users desire, or even require, releases which are packaged, provided, and blessed by the project. Creating these releases takes effort and energy, and projects must balance releasing high-quality software with providing timely features and bugfixes for their users.

In this talk, I discuss project release management, and where the role of the release manager fits in an open source project. I also discuss release strategies applicable to projects of differing size and scope. Finally, I give a couple of case studies of projects that ignored these suggestions and the resultant struggles they faced.

This talk is born of experience. Having been the release manager through the Subversion 1.5 release cycle, I experienced first-hand how painful an ill-executed release process can be. This talk is meant to prevent others from having those same problems, no matter the size of the project.

Photo of Hyrum Wright

Hyrum Wright

WANdisco, Inc.

Hyrum is a PhD student studying Software Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. He has been the release manager of the Subversion project since early 2008. Hyrum’s research interests include version control systems and release engineering.

Comments on this page are now closed.


James Tillman
07/26/2009 9:26am PDT

I got some good ideas from this talk about the use of subversion. The Q&A brought up some interesting points on branching, which the speaker handled well.

  • Intel
  • Microsoft
  • Google
  • Sun Microsystems
  • Facebook
  • Gear6
  • Kaltura
  • Liferay
  • MindTouch
  • Novell, Inc.
  • Open Invention Network
  • Rackspace Cloud
  • Schooner Information Technology
  • Silicon Mechanics
  • Symbian Foundation
  • Twilio
  • WSO2
  • Yabarana Corporation

Sponsorship Opportunities

For information on exhibition and sponsorship opportunities at the conference, contact Sharon Cordesse at

Download the OSCON Sponsor/Exhibitor Prospectus

Media Partner Opportunities

Download the Media & Promotional Partner Brochure (PDF) for information on trade opportunities with O'Reilly conferences or contact mediapartners@

Press and Media

For media-related inquiries, contact Maureen Jennings at

OSCON Newsletter

To stay abreast of conference news and to receive email notification when registration opens, please sign up for the OSCON newsletter (login required)

Contact Us

View a complete list of OSCON contacts