4.8 Plans / Futures / Projects

Jack Delany

DAYLIGHT Chemical Information Systems, Inc. Mission Viejo, CA USA

Current Release: 4.72.

It is a patch release of 4.71. Main feature: Cartridge on SGI and Linux. Also, support for 8i Standard Edition. Includes bug fixes to clogp, libdt_smiles.so, thorserver, merlinserver, dayutilserver.

The next several releases will be transitional for Daylight. Over the last five+ years we've added support for new technologies (Java, Oracle, CGI, Perl), new systems (Linux, 64-bit IRIX), and literally thousands of new source files.

Release Sizes
Release   Date   Source Files
4.32 7/93 ~1k
4.34 2/94 ~1k
4.41 3/95 ~2k
4.42 2/96 3.8k
4.51 5/97 4.1k
4.61 5/98 4.1k
4.62 3/99 4.5k
4.71 8/00 4.8k

To a certain extent our internal development and testing tools haven't kept up with the growth in complexity of our code base. The result is that building, testing, and delivering a release requires more and more manual effort.

Our release cycle has stretched out. We aren't getting features and fixes into the customers hands as quickly as we'd like. Pressure to get features/fixes into each release has increased, as the delay to wait for the next release gets longer.

This leads us to the conclusion that we need to spend some effort on our internal Development tools / procedures. This includes better code management, automated testing, and delivery.

I'm proposing that we change our development/release cycle as follows:

An additional step, which will be somewhat longer term, and I'm less comfortable advocating, is the idea of decoupling our various products and having them be released on their own schedules. For example, the Oracle Cartridge could be released on a schedule which matches Oracle's release schedule, rather than one which we set. The reason I'm not sure that this is a good idea is that fact that everything we support depends at least on the smiles toolkit. It isn't completely obvious how we'd manage the dependancies. In any case, this will be a longer-term change.

I'd appreciate hearing feedback from users/administrators about this proposal.

4.8 Platforms:

4.8 Features:

Summary of Major Directions:

Cartridge continues to be the main thrust for database development work,

Windows will be taken seriously as a platform,

New or replacement Interfaces for Oracle, Daycgi, Thor, Merlin.