[blog] Challenges of a Public Release
(originally posted on 03-02-2009 @ 05:41 AM)

Without a doubt, creating a public release of Pcsx2 is an exhausting affair. We just got finished posting the latest and greatest in 0.9.6 (available in our Downloads Section!), and while it's nice having everything done and over with for now, it sure feels like there should have been a better way.

This time around we tried to make use of our GoogleCode Svn in "smart" fashion, and created a branch for the Release Candidate. The jury's still out on if this proved to be successful or not. Several ground-breaking fixes were submitted shortly after the RC branch was made, so we had to merge all of that stuff in. Furthermore, I got carried away and experimented with partial merges, without fully understanding the advantages of reverse merges, so I had to undo several of my own merging errors. And just to add salt to the wound, TortoiseSvn had a bug that would frequently "forget" line breaks; merging all code changes into one super-long line. Glare

So in the end, the merges required a lot of brain power, a lot of time, and may have led to some small mistakes. These were all things we were hoping the RC branch would help reduce, so it was a bit of a fail on that account.

The other stress tester when doing an official release is the updating of the compatibility list, which is both a lot of work for our dedicated testers and has the nasty side-effect of making us devs completely and totally aware of just how many games actually emulate worse now, instead of better. So each day was a mad dash to do regression testing on each new set of titles that came in as no longer being playable. This was made even more challenging by the fact that most of the regressions ended up being pretty old, dating back to the pre-Playground days (meaning they were attributed to 0.9.5 Svn revisions). We only managed to get a few of the riddles solved.

So yeah, it's true -- the overall "playable" number of games is lower in 0.9.6 compared to 0.9.4, due to many semi-obscure titles which are unable make it past the intro in 0.9.6. But on the other hand, games that are playable tend be much more accurately emulated now, and are certainly much faster. And 0.9.6 also runs a couple dozen games that 0.9.4 could not (most of which are big titles many folks have looked forward to for some time). In the meantime, though, you might want to keep that old 0.9.4 copy around for some of those titles that need it.

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