Don’t OpenSource developers believe in regression testing?

In tech

linuxSorry, it’s Monday morning and I fancy a bit of a rant. I feel like I should be contributing to the Linux Hater’s Blog than here, but what the hell.

I recently helped a site upgrade from phpBB 3.0.5 to 3.0.6 to fix a specific bug with polls that the users were having. Now, I would assume, given the difference in version numbers, that this would be a minor upgrade containing bugfixes. But no, there’s a whole slew of new features, none of which I need, and a number of features simply don’t work anymore. Didn’t anybody test this?

To quote directly from the phpBB site:

“Active topics doesn’t work anymore after updating!
Actually, it is now working even better than before. ”

Now, I don’t know about you, but a rash of users complaining that “I click on the ‘View Active Topics’ button but I can’t see anything – waaah!” doesn’t really qualify in my mind as “even better than before”. Yes, it’s a FAQ, it’s easy to fix and I didn’t waste too much time – but if it was that easy to fix, surely it would have been preferable to defer to the previous release’s behaviour as a default rather than just break it.

Custom templates is a similar story – the design of them has changed between 3.0.5 and 3.0.6 meaning that none of my old templates work anymore. There doesn’t seem to be a satisfactory answer to this on the phpBB forums either, just a bunch of people saying “well you might need to do ‘x’ and ‘y'”. Or maybe just rewrite them from scratch, which seems to sometimes be the open source way of doing things.

I’d prefer those who say a system is “release quality” to actually mean they, like, make sure the upgrade path is smooth and doesn’t break stuff that used to work. Or do I expect too much?

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