The anatomy of a release

18 June 2009
by Jeremy WhiteJeremy White

I am very happy to report that we've shipped CrossOver Mac 8.0 and CrossOver Linux 8.0.

As with all of our major releases, this has been a long and difficult process. Of course, we couldn't have done it without our fantastic beta testers and our great community of Advocates. Thanks guys!

It's interesting to compare and contrast this release with our original CrossOver Office 1.0 release. With that release, we were scrambling like mad; putting out new test releases every few hours. Our whole goal was to make Word and Excel operate nicely - that's all we cared about. We had no customers (and desperately needed them), so time pressure was killer. We went from idea to release in about 3 months. It was a great time to be at CodeWeavers - frightening, exhilarating, and great fun.

CrossOver 8 has been a year in the making (364 days to be precise :-/). When we start picking what goes in a release, we always look at our top lists. So Internet Explorer 7 was a given. But from there, it wasn't as clear. In truth, we're in a period of change at CodeWeavers. We're slowly shifting from running a few applications on Linux to running almost all applications on both Mac and Linux. And, of course, 'all' is a hard milestone to set for a release; you'll never ship with that goal.

At the same time, we've made some sweeping changes in our support infrastructure. Our secret Ninja Support Team has been enabling us to triage customer issues more completely. So I made the decision that CrossOver 8 would see a return to our roots - that is, I wanted to focus some attention back on our core applications - things like Microsoft Office and Quicken. It's been a hard struggle to make Office 2007 work as well as Office 2000 did, but I think we've largely crossed that bridge. I'm very pleased with how well Outlook 2007 is working for me (although the horror of using Outlook sometimes overwhelms my open source soul 😊 ).

More importantly, we're actively trying to raise the bar - so if you have any remaining issues with Outlook 2007, or any of the Office products, please file a ticket. We want to eliminate all remaining errors.

Of course, the 8.0 release remains drastically different from the 1.0 release. Twelve months instead of 3. The urgency was around not breaking things, instead of shipping quickly. And, while we did print out our famous 'Chicken List' (the list of things we do before release, traditionally running around like chickens with our heads cut off), everything went smoothly and without undue fuss (even with Andrew and I being out of town at key points).

So perhaps not quite as frightening, and maybe a bit less exhilarating. But still great fun!

Cheers,
Jeremy

About CodeWeavers
Founded in 1996 as a general software consultancy, CodeWeavers focuses on the development of Wine – the core technology found in all of its CrossOver products. The company's goal is to bring expanded market opportunities for Windows software developers by making it easier, faster and more painless to port Windows software to Mac and Linux. CodeWeavers is recognized as a leader in open-source Windows porting technology, and maintains development offices in Minnesota, the United Kingdom and elsewhere around the world. The company is privately held.

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