[Case 46972] url_rewriter.tag - PHP: Error Parsing

cPanelDavidG

Technical Product Specialist
Nov 29, 2006
11,216
12
313
Houston, TX
cPanel Access Level
Root Administrator
So, if the stable branch is not the most stable, then why are we calling it stable and recommending it for production environments?
STABLE, like CURRENT, is production-worthy. However, we officially recommend RELEASE. In contrast, EDGE (which represents the first time a specific build sees deployment in real world environments) is not considered production-worthy.

I think cpanel guidance should be clarified on this point if their is consensus which agrees with what you've stated here. I wonder if you guys have a sense of what the breakdown is for which versions servers are running.
We do keep track of these things internally. What I can say is the majority of our customers use the RELEASE update tier, though the fact this is the default may significantly influence this.

I did not have one specific suggestion or recommendation as to how to fix/improve the process because I do not know your internal processes. However, it would seem that more rigorous internal testing is in order if you did not receive a single bug report for the issue being discussed here which made its way all the way into the stable release. I've also recommended incorporating announcement capability into the WHM interface and improving the facilitation of opening tickets via WHM - however, perhaps what is needed is some quick-link to a bug report to improve bug-reporting by users. Nonetheless, I'd recommend clarifying guidelines on recommended branches and more rigorous internal testing.
Since 11.28 (where this bug appeared), we have moved to a different methodology for doing QA testing. Essentially, the entire product is now tested before leaving QA rather than just the parts that our developers felt may be influenced by a change. This allows for a more complete evaluation of the quality of the software before the software reaches production builds.

However, in the complexity that is a cPanel & WHM environment, issues can still arise despite thorough QA testing. For example, there was recently a RPM issue on CentOS with systems with little available RAM that suddenly began interfering with our update processes that we had to work around. We're not going to act like one of those other companies you mentioned and essentially say "well that's not our code so it's not our problem" - instead, we recognized it as an issue our customers were going to experience and resolved it before most would encounter it.

Regarding bug reports, the first thing many people do is is come to these forums to search for the issue they are experiencing. Hence the "bugs" link at the top of all of the forum pages. Many people do use that link (we learned this the hard way when we accidentally removed it one day). That link essentially opens up a support ticket, and bugs submitted via support tickets will also be tended to. We also monitor our Facebook Page, our LinkedIn groups, Twitter and these forums for potential bugs so we can direct people to go.cPanel.net/bugs as needed - or file bug reports ourselves when we have enough data and can replicate the issue. Right now, anyone going through their support channels (even if it's through their data center) helps us notice any trends that could indicate unreported bugs as well.

That being said, I'd really recommend re-evaluating the entire process and seeing if there may be a more suitable process that can be created which would better suit the needs of today's very fast-moving environment. Keep in mind that the current structure was put in place early on, when the pace of things and the competitive nature of the industry was not at all what it is today.
That is the intent of the tiered release system. You choose whether you want the new features with fast-paced development (CURRENT), or the "stability" that comes from a slower pace (STABLE). RELEASE is a good mix of the two where things are sufficiently tested that novice administrators will often not encounter issues, while still providing contemporary functionality.
 

lbeachmike

Well-Known Member
Dec 27, 2001
306
1
316
Long Beach, NY
cPanel Access Level
Root Administrator
Thanks David for addressing my concerns and clarifying some things. It is good to know that cpanel has addressed some issues. The only concern I have in reading your responses is that they seem to read as if you guys have addressed everything there is to address and have no further room for improvement .... don't fall into that trap : )

Anyhow, the intent of my response here is really just to emphasize that I hope my criticisms are taken the right way. I am a huge fan of cpanel and have been from the very early days. And I am a HUGE fan of your tech support staff, who I still believe is second to NONE in the entire industry of tech support. You truly hire and retain the very best.

When I vocalize any criticisms, it is because I really care to see the product continue to improve and continue to be the best. I hope that my criticisms never are perceived as outweighing all of my appreciation and praise for all that you guys have done and continue to do.

Thanks.

Mike