New stable version?


#1

Does anyone have any insight as to when a new stable version might be released?

Being old and of questionable mental faculties, my fear is that if the time period between releases is too long, the learning curve to be able to use new features can be overwhelming. It’s been over a year since the last stable release, and I know a lot of people have been working hard to make the software better. I just hope I am able to use it.

Yes, I know there is a daily build option, but frankly, for me, that is not going to happen.


#2

Developers didn’t announce the next stable release plans yet…
I am playing with daily builds doing my test projects, however I stick with last stable release for production projects.


#3

The reason there are no stable builds is because they stopped actively releasing them, AFAIK. I have heard rumor that they may start back up again, but in the absence of stable builds, it’s possible we build and release them here (eventually). I too would like to have a way to integrate the new features and be confident in the software we are using.


#4

Do you know the rationale for that decision? It seems counterproductive to increasing the KiCad user base.


#5

I agree, it doesn’t seem like they would want more users that way. The reason I heard (which is not an official reason) is that they believed it should be built from source so that any errors encountered would be “taken care of” on a daily basis.

This may or may not be the true reason, but whatever the reason, I think hardware folks that aren’t capable or interested in building from source should have the option of a tested, reliable build. I need versions that I can go back to (especially for making videos!). Like I said, if they are not offered again soon, we will build and offer stable versions here. (The downside to this idea being that I have no idea how to run QA against software, nor would we have the resources to fix anything without just moving on to the next version)


#6

In regards to getting back to a particular version, I would imagine that could be done by forcing the make process to checkout a particular version from the Bazaar repo. I looked in the makefiles, but there’s not an obvious place (to me) to do that.

As for building and releasing a QA-controlled version, that’s decidedly non-trivial and non-sexy. I’m not sure if there’s any unit testing in the source (and it’s a big effort to do that retroactively) and then there’s the GUI testing issues on multiple OSes. Providing stable releases to people who would be willing to pay for it sounds like a business opportunity, but eventually you would end up with something like another version of Eagle. I think most KiCad users are trying to avoid that.


#7

Definitely agree. Best case scenario is there is unit testing going forwards. However, picking a “best bet option”, compiling it and then listing the known bugs is better than nothing.

And yeah, not sure there’s much out there less sexy than QA. That’s a tough job with not much recognition (and yet super critical for a good product).


#8

I guess I should have asked about the goals of the project before I started to learn KICad. It seems like a large amount of work just to target a niche user base that is willing to implement the daily builds. And as devbisme states, it seems counterproductive.

Releasing them here is a possible solution, but a lot of work for a small number of people. Just preparing the documentation for the release will be monumental.


#9

Well I think the thing to realize is that you don’t lose a whole lot by going back to the previous versions of KiCad. I made all of the videos on BZR4004 which was listed as a previous “stable” build and continues to function properly. I look at it as, “If I want the shiny new features, I have to take a risk by building it myself”, which I haven’t found the need to do yet.


#10

But the projects saved in bzr5xxx builds aren’t compatible with the bzr4004 anymore. So no going back track will be offered…


#11

Chris, I get that and perhaps I just need a little cheese to go with my whine, but I was looking for KiCad to be a part of my hobby, not a hobby in itself. DOS 1.0 worked but it was nice to get the upgrades. (Yeah, I’m that old)


#12

That’s a good point and should be noted, but that means someone starting out could start on one of the previously listed “stable” builds and be fine for a while yet.


#13

IMHO it’s not too much of a big deal that a beginner could simply start out with the last stable release (BZR4012 I believe). Most features that will be added are more advanced features which a beginner is not likely to use. The old stable release is still good enough to learn the basics of the KiCAD workflow.
So currently we could still promote the use of KiCAD at least to beginners who need to do only simple board layout.

In the long run though it should be made easier to get the latest and greatest (sort of) features by providing a known good stable build here.
Any chance we can get some software guys to help here?


#14

Agreed, the last stable is good enough for beginners, the only thing not working anymore is the freerouting site, but there are work-arounds around that.


#15

Well, we all know how I feel about that :smile:


#16

There is one fresh windows installer floating around the net since few weeks.
I tested it rapidly and didn’t find any show-stoppers yet. Will it be destined to become the next “unofficial” stable or not - I don’t know.
Check this out at your own risk :slight_smile:
http://blog.spitzenpfeil.org/wordpress/2014/07/28/kicad-bzr5025-full-windows-installer/ (not mine)


#17

Is it from @Dolganoff Is that you blog? and is the file from http://kicad.nosoftware.cz/ ?


#18

No, not mine (as I’ve said) :slight_smile:


#19

[quote=“Dolganoff, post:18, topic:106, full:true”]
No, not mine (as I sad)
[/quote] The file or/ and the blog :wink: My guess is now that both is not yous :smile:


#20

Correct, neither one is mine!