Quarterly report (Q2 2014)


Another three months passed, so it’s time for a new quarterly report.

This time the report comes with some extra stuff. It’s been a year since the change of the project management, and we can draw some conclusions and highlight some future plans.

Here we go.

The good

First of all, after several years of active development we’ve finally released the first alpha version of Mibew Messenger 2.0. It’s still unstable and contains a lot of bugs, but we consider this release as a huge step forward.

We made the first 2.0-alpha publicly available for downloading, so now everyone can take a look at it, try to install it and, of course, try to create a plugin (don’t forget about the boilerplate plugin) or open an issue on a found bug.

For those who don’t want to install Mibew Messenger 2.0-alpha1 but want to take a look at it we deployed the demo installation.

We still continue to support the stable branch. In the last three months we’ve fixed some bugs and security issues in Mibew Messenger 1.6.x, released one stable versions of it.

However, we can’t tell when the next stable version will be released, since there are no known bugs in the actual stable version and the features list was frozen a long time ago. And this is a positive fact, because we can focus our efforts on 2.0.

The bad

We’re still lacking the valuable feedback from the community. We’re receiving a lot of feature requests and requests for help, but that’s not the feedback we’re looking for. There are no third-party committers with their pull requests. There are no third-party designers with their custom themes. And there are no third-party developers with their plugins for Mibew 2.0. It’s really disappointing.

One should understand that we’re developing Mibew Messenger in our free time, without any external support. At present time, just for fun, without any commercial interest at all. That’s the reason for relatively slow development rate. We just unable to work faster on our own.

Moreover, we’re even lacking the gratitude from the end users. After the release of Mibew Messenger 2.0 we’ve received 2 (two) donations for the overall sum of $18.00. And that was the only donations to us for several months. Not too generous, isn’t it?

That’s the reason why we had to add advertising on our site just to cover up the expenses on infrastructure of the project.

Please, don’t get us wrong. We’re neither complaining, nor asking for anything.

Mibew Messenger is a free/libre software, so no one is obligated to contribute or pay to use it, modify it, or distribute it.

But at the same time one should understand that having in mind the actual state of the community (or to be exact the absence of the community) we’d better spend our time working on Mibew Messenger rather than answering questions from the end users.

Mibew Messenger is free/libre software, so its core developers are not obligated to provide fast and attentive technical support.

And by the way, one more thing. We’re going to entirely shut down the Spanish version of our site. It’s been almost six months since it has been stated that we’re looking for a Spanish-speaking volunteer to become a translator of the Spanish version of the project’s site and a moderator for the Spanish board of the project’s forum. Not a single person contacted us.

The miscellanea

Traditionally, some statistics.

The Mibew project has 106 forks of the main repository on Github hosting (3 new forks for the last three months). It has earned stars from 93 users (22 new stars for the last three months) and is watched by 33 developers (6 new watchers for the last three months). The overall number of commits into the master branch of the main repository is almost 1650 (about 250 new commits for the last three months, not to mention the commits into the secondary repositories and into the legacy branch).

The average number of downloads of different stable Mibew distributions is from 1.3 to 2 thousands per week. The largest number of downloads made from Brazil (15.95%) and Russia (15.27%). Followed with some margin by downloads made from USA (6.54%), Turkey (5.2%), China (4.82%), Mexico (3.66%), and India (3.58%).

The average number of downloads of the first alpha version of Mibew Messenger 2.0 is from 8 to 42 per day (since the release happened only two weeks ago it’s impossible to calculate weekly statistics yet). The largest number of downloads made from Russia (20.99%). Followed with some margin by Brazil (10.8%), China (9.57%), USA (8.03%), and India (7.41%).

The users’ activity on the project’s forum slightly decreased compared to the values of the previous quarter. There is an average 1 new topic every two days, and from 1 to 2 new posts every day.

This time we’ll not provide a summary on statistics.

Annual conclusions and future plans

So, after the first year of the second life of Mibew one can declare that there were both achievements and failures.

We launched a brand new site, cleaned up the forum from spam, updated FAQ, and began to publish the actual information about the state of the project.

We clearly separated the stable and the development branches of the code tree and issued the strictly roadmap defining the overall direction for the project. We’ve fixed a dozen of bugs and vulnerabilities and released eight (!) versions of the stable Mibew Messenger 1.6.x. And finally, we’ve released the first alpha version of Mibew Messenger 2.0.

At the same time we have to admit that we failed to establish a strong and healthy community for the project. And frankly, we don’t know how to fix this issue…

So. What do we plan for the next twelve months?

  1. We’ll continue to develop Mibew Messenger 2.0. We’re going to release the second alpha version in the next couple of weeks. Then we’ll release a several more alphas until the moment we consider Mibew Messenger 2.0 to be stable enough for the beta testing. At present time we have no idea when it will happen.
  2. Probably, we’ll release some plugins for Mibew Messenger 2.0 implementing some of the long-awaiting features. But, once again, we have no idea when it will happen.
  3. We’ll continue to support the stable version of Mibew for as long as Mibew Messenger 2.0 will be unstable. We’ll fix bugs and patch vulnerabilities. But we’ll not implement any new features.
  4. We’ll continue to support and develop our site and to support end users of Mibew Messenger. But with the aforementioned reservations.

See ya!