Can you test Release Candidates?


Last summer we started trialling some new ways for people to get involved in phpList development. We tested a few things, and found that the release candidate method had a great response.

Our next release candidate is due very soon. You can sign up to receive it by using the subscribe form immediately below, or on this subscribe page.

What is a release candidate?

A release candidate provides pre-release access to a new version of phpList. When we have a release candidates it is ready to deploy roughly one week before the new version is due to be released. You can upgrade to the release candidate and check that all the new features work perfectly in a live sending environment.

Is it stable?

The release candidate will be the at the same state of readiness as any normal phpList version: it simply provides an extra measure, an addition to current testing. It gives you a chance to give feedback on any changes which are going to affect you.

Who should use the release candidate?

If you are an experienced phpList user or developer and would like to contribute to the phpList project, then this is a great way to get involved. You need to have at least one live and functional phpList installation which you are prepared to upgrade to the release candidate promptly.

While there should not be any additional risks posed by using the release candidate version, being part of the testing process requires certain skills. Ideally, you should be a PHP developer who is able to help find and fix any issues you discover, however, this is not a necessity. Whatever your skill level, you need a keen eye for spotting bugs and should be familiar with our bug reporting processes.

What does testing the release candidate involve?

After upgrading to the release candidate version, you need to examine the release notes and/or changelog. You could actively examine the new features/fixes in detail, or just generally check for any new issues over the course of the week.

If you find a problem which is caused by a change in this version, then you would feedback on the mantis bug report for the related issue. Then, either the bug will be fixed, or that change will be rolled back and excluded from the release. Any unrelated bugs, i.e. not caused by changes in this version, can be reported as normal.

Better for everyone

Release candidate testers get access to new features and fixes quicker. They also create a buffer zone of real world testing which will help fix problems “before they happen”, creating better software in the long term. With increasing numbers of community contributions to the phpList core, along with a generally faster pace of development, this is a great time to start putting in place processes to ensure the stability of the code. Release candidate testing is another way for our talented and enthusiastic community to get more involved in their favourite project!


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