Release early, release often?

Just as a general question, how to people feel about frequency of releases of new (test) versions?

One school of thought — popular in both the “agile development” and open source software communities — is “release early and release often”, but I don’t think most people want to be trying it out after every small change. Besides, there’s a bit of work to get it all packaged up in a releasable format. (It’s a little different when the main audience is folks like software developers or other computer geeks who will tolerate more rough edges in the install process. I know most of you are not.)

Initially releases will be more frequent as needed features are added and problems fixed, that should settle down as the product matures. I’m thinking I want version 0.3 out this weekend, fixing any major deficiencies, followed by 0.4 and 0.5 no more frequently than weekly.

I know this seems lightning-fast compared to mature commercial products, but they have large in-house testing staffs. Internally they may do releases to testing daily, at early stages of a project. You guys are my testing staff, but you all have plenty of other things to do, too. (Mind, I’m my own first tester — I have my own indie sales to track.)

I’d like to have a 1.0 “feature complete” version by the end of July or at any rate before Worldcon in August, but that’s me. Any thoughts?

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