How is the Year of Magit coming along?
Curious users occasionally ask this and similar questions, and it is about time that I give an answer that is longer than a tweet. (The short answer is that it is coming along well, but in a different order than expected. And yes, I still very much like what I am doing.)
While I never intended to provide regular updates in form of a developer blog, I did expect to make more frequent releases and to use the announcements to provide updates on my overall progress. But for reasons given below, I have not created any releases yet. Now version 2.12.0 is scheduled for mid-March and after that I plan to stick to a bimonthly schedule, though without any hard deadlines.
By the way, if you are interested in getting more frequent news about what is new in Magit but don't want to go as far as following the issue tracker or even the commit history, then you could occasionally check out the release notes.
Update on backer rewards
Before we look at what features I have and have not implemented so far, lets talk about the campaign rewards. Some users who have overlooked that the various reward layers come with an estimated delivery date have asked about the stickers pretty much from day one, and now that the first such date is about to go by with a whooshing noise these inquiries have understandably increased in frequency.
Stickers and a first draft of the reference card were scheduled for this month. For reward tiers that come with multiple physical rewards the plan was to make a single shipment once all the rewards are ready, but because I did not communicate that clearly enough, I will have to reconsider that.
I am going to send out the stickers (at least for the stickers-only tiers) in March. To do so I obviously need your shipping address, so please fill out the reward survey. You should soon receive a link by email.
Please fill out the survey soon, even if your tier does not come with a physical reward or the expected delivery date is still a few months off. The survey also asks for the name under which you would like to appear in the credits, and I am hoping that that list will be fairly complete when I release 2.12.0. Of course you can choose to not be named in the credits and will be able to later change the shipping address.
I won't be able to release a draft of the new reference cards in March. These reference cards serve two purposes. Obviously they serve as a reward for backers, but creating them will also allow me to review the existing key bindings. But because I have tackled tasks in a different order than originally planned (see below), I haven't gotten around to check for inconsistencies.
I apologize for the delay and hope for your patience. Meanwhile an older reference card is still available. It isn't exactly pretty but you might never-the-less find it useful.
Creating the planned workflow posters will help me even more to review existing—well workflows. Here I luckily had the foresight to set the expected delivery date, even for the digital versions, to the very end of the Year of Magit.
Updates on development progress
After the campaign succeeded, I wanted to avoid any breaking changes for a while because some backers might understandably not appreciate it if shortly after they payed me to make things better for them, I introduced changes that forced them to update Emacs and/or Git, or that broke their workflows.
So instead of tackling some of the bigger changes right away, I started with last year's backlog of smaller issued that did not require major refactoring. In the past I have been pretty good at avoiding an ever growing list of unresolved issues. Some time in 2016 I got the count down to zero issues for a few hours. However last October that list was unusually long, not least because I had opened many issues myself.
While I was very excited to tackle the bigger issues, I was soon reminded that I used to enjoy making many minor improvements too, and ended up sticking to that for quite a while. Earlier in 2017 I couldn't motivate myself to do that anymore because I did not know how much more time I had left to work on Magit and didn't want to "waste" any time on details.
Once I knew I would be able to work on Magit for at least another year, I felt like doing these things again. Thanks a lot for giving my the opportunity to do that once again by supporting this campaign.
But by February that excitement had faded again, this time because I had been focusing on incremental changes for a bit too long. That impacted my productivity for a while, but the good news is that backlog is all but gone now and that I can fully concentrate on the big changes.
But I really do have to concentrate on that now to ensure that I can meet all the goals. That means that I will have to resist the temptation to quickly address most new feature requests for a while. Since October I have not only closed more than halve of the about 120 scheduled issues, but out of the newly added 222 issues only nine remain unresolved. I won't be able to keep that up. Of course that doesn't mean that you cannot open new features requests, but please be prepared to wait for a while. I could also use some more help helping users on the Emacs Stack Exchange and the Gitter channel.
The plans for the immediate future are to get new Ghub and Magit releases out and to send stickers to backers. After that I am going to take a week off and when I come back I will tackle some of the big and exciting tasks ahead.