Please read this... Steve Mullen 19.Aug.03 02:04 PM Lotus Notes General All ReleasesAll Platforms
Hi - My name is Steve Mullen, and I'm the Dev Mgr for Notes/Domino Maintenance Releases. I've been doing this job for 11 years. Many of you know me.
1. Critical Fixpacks (CF's) replace Maintenance Updates (MU's) in the ND6 stream. We have clearly documented this on lotus.com/ldd. Alan is correctly pointing to the LDD announcement that responds to most of your points.
Just to be clear - the only difference between MU's and CF's is that CF's are being ported back to previous Maintenance Releases. The name change is because we feel this is a big improvement and deserves to be known as something different.
2. Each Critical Fixpack is incremental, and inclusive of all fixes in previous CF's (contrary to assertions in this thread).
3. The biggest question I see is the "why bother to port these fixes back to previous MR's". Well, the answer is obvious - customers don't like risk. Most of my customers were taking 6-18 weeks to test an MR before rolling it out. In R5, we only shipped critical fixes (MU's in those days) for the latest MR. So customers were forced to upgrade from whatever release they were on (for example, 5.0.10) to the MU containing the fix (for example, 5.0.12). This was not a good way for IBM/Lotus to do business. We forced customers to swallow the many hundreds of fixes so they could realize only a few.
In this bold new world, we are progressing deployment by allowing customers to realize and deploy these critical fixes in days or perhaps weeks, instead of months. Then they can choose to upgrade to later MR's as their business plans allow.
4. "It remains *very* confusing to your customers that there is a 6.0.1 CF3, a 6.0.2 CF2, and a 6.0.3 CF1. How am I to tell what's the latest version? It could be any of those 3."
As I'm sure you now understand, the latest version is, well, the latest version. So in your example, 6.0.3 CF1 will contain the very newest code.
Our fix list database is clear, and it's easy to tell which fixes are included in which CF. We do still have work to do to correlate one CF to another (how 6.0.1 CF3 relates to 6.0.2 CF2). Our timeline that Alan pasted into a response in this thread is one attempt. I'd love to hear your suggestions for something a little sexier.
Your feedback is welcome, but please make it constructive. CF's are hear to stay - they allow us a competitive advantage to the competition.