Umbraco CMS 4.5.2 beta is out

The Umbraco team have announced that Umbraco 4.5.2 beta which fixes 46 bugs that have been reported by our awesome community. Please download it today and help us test it so we can get a fast release. You'll find a full change log in the downloads.

This brings the total number of bug fixes up to 88 since we released Umbraco 4.5 two months ago. There's no way we could have achieved this without the many people who've helped testing, reporting and submitting patches to the issues. Thanks a million!

With Umbraco 4.5.2 we'll finally have an ultra stable version of Umbraco 4.5!

In retrospect – did we release v4.5 too fast?

With almost a hundred bug fixes in just two months it's tempting to question whether we should have released v4.5 at all. It's hard to say as most of the issues was reported after Umbraco 4.5 was released and we've had a beta versions for quite some time. There'll always be bugs in software and when you push the release button is always a question of when it's good enough. If you never push the button, there'll never be a release.

However, I personally think we made a couple of mistakes. That's alright. If we turn the mistakes into lessons learned it means progress for the team and the project. And we're doing our very best to learn. Here's what we've found so far:

  • First of all our test cases were too simple, too narrow and didn't change at all. We had a checklist of various editing actions in combination with testing the Runway and Creative Website Starter packages. This was very helpful in order to find and fix bugs along the way, but this should have been combined with random install of community packages in the Repository.
  • Unit testing won't find everything. With Umbraco 4.5 we finally added a testing suite with more than 100 unit tests and loads of hidden bugs were found. However, a simple test suite will never be able to cover the many scenarios where Umbraco is used and as such should only be a foundation. This is a no-brainer, yet crucial to remember. With the many things covered by unit tests, there's no longer a Core Team member not believing in Unit tests as heaven sent. But robots will always be the smartest of idiots.
  • Enthusiasm is awesome but never overshadow the pursuit of attention to detail. One of the things that always have given me the biggest thrill is when tiny details in Umbraco gets improved. In the enthusiasm of the major UI and performance enhancements added to Umbraco 4.5 it was (too) easy to forget this craving for nano management. But it's one of the things makes Umbraco special – even though it can seem silly to spend days on minor things. heck, I even wrote a blog post about this four years ago.
  • Don't live in a silo. While Umbraco might work perfect for the scenarios used by members of the Core Team, we're only a fraction of the active users. This means that we should be much better to use 3rd party implementations, packages and un-official “tricks” when testing a release. In addition to this, we should involve 3rd party package developers as early as possible and help with a plan on how to ensure that their packages work when we release. Today an Umbraco implementation is often the sum of the Core combined with a number of packages. If they don't work together it can leave a beautiful Core useless.
  • Raise the community to take even more responsibility. As a community member who's business depending on Umbraco, it's only natural to become disillusioned when a new release doesn't work, forces you to change habits or makes an upgrade impossible. Believe me, the Core Team have no intention on doing this on purpose and it hurts badly when seeing people frustrated. But we're no better than the information given us. So be active. Tell us about what doesn't work and log issues in the Codeplex issue tracker with thorough steps to reproduce. Good bug reports take a lot of effort but in return you get better software. And even better – participate in our beta programs. Many of the bugs reported and fixed the past two months could have been discovered weeks before the release if only we had gotten help with better and more extensive testing. So help us, helping you.

We'll use this knowledge while we're building Umbraco 5. You'll see more blog postings, more videos and more documentation about the next version than ever before. We've learned a lesson.

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