We’re moving the OpenTok Platform to a new release cadence – less frequent with more punch. We’ve made a few significant decisions about how we’re going to release and support client updates in the OpenTok Platform, and, as these changes go live, we wanted to keep the OpenTok community properly updated.
Over the life of the OpenTok Platform, we’ve moved from weekly to bi-weekly to monthly releases. When the Platform only had web-based clients, it was possible for us and (some of) our partners to move this quickly.
Now the platform has added pieces that can’t be updated as quickly, such as our mobile SDKs. We’ve had more feedback from partners about their own release cycles and we’ve seen that too many releases increases the chance that something could go wrong.
We’ve realized that monthly releases may be too quick for all of us, and, as a result, we’re moving to a quarterly release system. Starting with Q4 2014, we will do our planning assuming that there is one feature release after the quarter ends. We will continue to release patches over the course of a quarter as we find and fix bugs.
New versioning system
Another challenge that we’ve faced is that our versioning doesn’t follow conventional platform standards. We’ve used the patch value when releasing feature updates, and made some breaking changes between the 2.0 and 2.2 releases.
We’ve heard the feedback, and we’re moving to a more traditional versioning scheme. For the foreseeable future, we’ll keep our major version at v2. However, we will now update the minor version with each quarterly release. We will aim to keep mobile and web clients in sync so that they reflect similar feature sets however we can’t promise that this will stay this way forever. Additionally, only bug fixes will appear when the patch is updated.
Supporting the current and previous versions only
When you package it all together, we’ve got a more predictable release cadence, with a much clearer versioning system. And where we think this is really going to help the OpenTok community most is allowing us to focus on fewer versions that we can more completely support.
We’re also formalizing our support policy by committing to support the current and previous versions of the OpenTok client libraries. If a partner is on an older version, we will require that they update.
We think that these changes will help us build richer features that are better understood, and easier to support. As always, we’d love to hear your feedback about the changes we’re making to the OpenTok platform so feel free to leave us a comment.