The trouble with getting things right

I work hard on my LaTeX packages, and try to get things to work well for the user with clear interfaces. However, there is a down side to this: I get asked to do more things! For example, I’ve recently released version 2 of siunitx. This builds on the work from version 1, which itself was designed as an improvement to various earlier unit packages for LaTeX. I did remove a few features when I moved from version 1 to version 2, but in the main each new version of siunitx has added ‘more stuff’ to the package. However, I’ve also got organised with tracking bugs and feature requests using BitBucket. The resulting list of open issues is already quite frightening (at least for me). I’ve been keeping up with the bugs in the new release (I try to deal with them within a few days of being reported), so the list is all made up of feature requests, and almost all of those are new things. So the package being successful results in more work for me, not less. I’m not complaining: I want things to work. It’s just worth bearing in mind!

2 thoughts on “The trouble with getting things right

  1. From my point of view you should look positive to that.

    It seems that people “love” your packages and of course can imagine almost unlimited features wanted here.

    The hard thing about it now is to find out, which one are important and which one are just used in special cases.

    Is there a possibility to give somehow the urgency of the feature request?

    For the near future I also think that just bug fixes should be made to have a stable version with the most importent features. Everything else we’ll see.

    And when we are at it: Did somebody ever offer you to help programming?

  2. It’s pretty hard for me to know what counts as a special case, too. On BitBucket, it’s not currently possible to show a priority for feature requests (other than assigning them to a particular milestone). I know that this is on the BitBucket ‘to do’ list. The plan is to stick with fixing bugs for 2.0, and to aim for v2.1 some time in the autumn. What features actually make it will depend on how easy they are to implement and how much I feel they are general.

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