After a GNOME release, I generally spend some time reading the comments about the release on various websites. I'm generally quite passive, since I don't reply to any of them, but it's always interesting. After reading a lot of comments, it's quite easy to find out that there are some standard categories for the comments:

  • comments from happy users who are excited about this release, either because they love GNOME in general, or because some feature they were waiting for got added or a long-standing bug finally got fixed.
  • comment raising some valid concerns in a constructive way. Even if it's saying something bad about our project, even if I disagree, it's still a constructive comment, and therefore it's useful.
  • comments from people who seem to just have some irrational hate for GNOME. Those ones always make me a bit sad since, to me, it sounds like "what you're doing is crap".
  • comments that are good or bad, but really subjective, often because it's about something which is a matter of taste, like the default theme or background.
  • comments from users that are a bit sad that some bug wasn't fixed yet. We should really have people gathering those kind of comments, since it gives an idea of what people care about and so it's some feedback we should consider.
  • mmh, I forgot at least one category ;-)

And quite often, there's one comment that just makes me happy. For 2.22.0, this comment made my day, especially the last paragraph:

Software development ain't easy, especially not in the decentralized volunteer world of free software, but the Gnome guys seem to have it down pretty well. Kudos to them.

I can think of many things that could be improved in what I'd call our "release management process" (this name is a bit too restrictive in this context, but I can't think of a better one), but let's not forget that it doesn't mean we're doing bad. And seeing people noticing this makes me feel good :-)