Since we wouldn’t want to miss out on the popular sport of looking back at the previous year, I will start this year by taking a look into the past. Although it feels like it happened a very long time ago, it turns out to be less than one year since Vaadin 7.0 was released. Roughly halfway through 2013, Vaadin 7.1 was also released. In between those bigger updates bringing new features, there has also been 16 maintenance releases fixing a total of 301 tickets. All in all, this means that we have released a new version of Vaadin 7 every 20 days, not taking prerelease versions into account.
But Vaadin 7 is, of course, not our only product. 2013 also saw two completely new products: Vaadin Charts and an official Vaadin Plug-in for NetBeans. On top of that, we also produced two new major updates (TouchKit 3 and JPAContainer 3), three minor releases (TestBench 3.1, Vaadin Charts 1.1 and Vaadin Plug-in for Eclipse) as well as about 40 maintenance releases in total for all our products.
Yet another way of looking at the activities of yesteryear is to dive into our Gerrit code review system where almost all code we write is peer reviewed before it gets included in an official code repository. It turns out that 2013 brought us a total of 1 591 changes submitted by 42 different authors. These changes have added 198 356 lines of code and removed 54 137 lines (excluding changes to some quite big automatically generated files that are also included in the code repositories). 16 modified lines per day of the year per author might seem like a low number until you consider that many authors have only submitted a couple of changes as a side project. 85% of the changes have been made by the 10 most active authors. One change has on average received 2.8 comments by fellow reviewers. Based on those comments, the author has on average updated their patch 1.3 times before the change has been accepted.
One area where we have not lived up to our own expectations is our estimates of how long it will take to implement new features. The release date of both Vaadin 7.0 and 7.1 just kept on slipping forward for weeks and even months before the final versions were eventually completed. We told ourselves that we should avoid disappointing everyone in the future by making sure there’s plenty of breathing room in any publicly announced release date estimations. It seems we still have plenty to learn, since it turns out that Vaadin 7.2 needs another couple of months before we can start thinking about a release.
There is, however, still hope for us as things do look brighter for TouchKit 4.0 and TestBench 4.0. For these two upcoming major releases, we have prerelease versions waiting just around the corner. I won’t make the mistake of promising any specific date, but it seems we have a decent chance of releasing TouchKit 4.0 beta 1 and TestBench 4.0. alpha 1 within a couple of weeks. Let’s not get into what is new in those until they are actually released.
I was positively surprised to actually see how much we shipped last year. You can easily lose track of the big picture when you are constantly faced with the harsh realities of the challenges that currently lie on your desk. Armed with these findings, it feels good to head into the upcoming mysteries of 2014.
Leif Åstrand is a jack of all trades in our R&D team. He knows a thing or two about how Vaadin, GWT and the internet works.