It's been an unusually bumpy release cycle through no fault of the people involved. We've just been unlucky this time, I guess...
So -- more bad news:
Julien pointed out a very serious bug this morning, that may warrant another release... The gridlines jump around while panning and zooming. I fully take credit for introducing this bug a few weeks ago trying to fix a log scaling problem. It is now fixed in SVN on 0.98.5 maint and trunk.
Julien also pointed out another bug related to antialiasing which was caused by code that I intended to be experimental (it was committed only to the trunk) but made it into the release. I just want to make a gentle reminder to the hard-working and exhausted release team to please make the next bugfix release from the branch, not the trunk.
Unfortunately, I think because of the seriousness of these bugs, another release should be made asap. I sincerely apologize for the work this causes others. I'm willing to volunteer to do a release to make it up to Charlie and John, but I'm worried, having seen how finicky the build/release process is, that I may not actually help... ;(
As for the release following that -- maybe we should step back and try to find some ways to make it easier. I'm not trying to second guess us here -- I think we're doing a lot of things right, but just want to get a discussion going about whether there's any more tweaks that would be beneficial.
We're doing some good things already -->
1) The release guide in the developer docs
2) John's recent commits of OS-X release tools
3) Using maintenance branches
We may also want to consider -->
4) Automating (scripting) more of the process where possible (I'm sure that's not straightforward... just thinking out loud)
5) Release formal "release candidates" -- IMHO these would be most useful if we expect more people to download and try them than are already tracking SVN. But even without that, it may help find packaging bugs (such as the configobj stuff) before declaring something a "release".
Science Software Branch
Operations and Engineering Division
Space Telescope Science Institute
Operated by AURA for NASA