Ok, so I would normally never ask this. I’m not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, and I understand that it’ll be ready when it’s ready.
It’s just that, well, knowing that the next version of Inform will make it easier to translate… I mean, I’ve thought about a Portuguese extension once, but all the messing with articles, plus needing another extension just to access some error messages, plus God-knew-what… it wasn’t a very appealing project. The thought of Inform giving me access to whatever I want to translate (that is sort of how it’ll work, isn’t it?), without needing another extension, is very appealing, and may well make me pull my finger out.
So… any estimates? If the answer is “It’ll be done when it’s done” I’ll understand and won’t insist.
I don’t know why people get so nervous asking this.
There’s nothing wrong with politely asking if some project – even a free one – has a schedule. When people are interested in upcoming releases, that should be taken as a positive sign: it means they care about the project and eager to see its evolution.
On the more general question, I do hope Inform developers eventually move to a more modern model of life cycle. Good development practice tends to suggest shorter iterations. Or, if longer iterations, then have more iterative feedback releases. (This would be “beta releases”, the goal of which is to show work in progress, get feedback, and make sure people understand things can still change.)
This life cycle tends to work better for developers with constrained time anyway since you can more easily manage features and avoid scope creep. This also helps avoid the massive numbers of bugs that try to get resolved in one release. That massive number of bugs leads to bigger regression testing and usually leads to more test escapes.
I’m hoping Inform eventually starts moving to this kind of model, given the time between releases and the number of bugs that seem to crop up each release. I say that not because how the Inform dev’s do this is “wrong” but rather because I think it would make Inform evolve a bit more organically and with a bit more community engagement. I think the same could be applied to TADS, to be honest.
Well, some months ago (months? Could it have been six months? Almost a year? Blimey, time flies…) there was some very nasty talk around this whole issue, with people practically demanding a strict release schedule and actually complaining on the very day it was supposed to be released that it hadn’t yet. Like all such discussions, it escalated and got really ugly - it’s somewhere on RAIF, if you feel like perusing.
I wanted to make sure that people knew I didn’t want to re-hash all that. Also, the developers are probably tired of getting asked the same question, when everyone already knows the answer (“it’ll be done when we consider it complete and stable enough to release”).
Regarding the rest of your post, the RAIF thread I mentioned (or rather, threads) also covered the issue of different models, and there were a lot of opinions, both informed and otherwise, about Inform’s release cycle. I’m sure that everyone involved would rather forget those threads existed, but feel free to poke around in RAIF.
When I last heard from Graham (last month) he was hoping to start making a few test builds “soon”, which would be the start of getting things ready for a release. So, no release immediately, but hopefully one this year. Maybe.