Sunday, July 14, 2013

LEAN6: 3 Reasons Not to Do an Unnecessary SDK Upgrade

3 Reasons Not to Do an Unnecessary SDK Upgrade

I used ExtJS to build my productivity tool TeamViz. Recently ExtJS release 4.2.1 while I'm still using 4.1.1a. After checked the release notes of 4.2.1, I'm excited to see some fixes and performance improvement. So I decided to make an upgrade. I read the upgrade guide from 4.1 to 4.2, and estimated that it should be completed within 1 hour. However, actually I spent 2 days on it. Here I share more details about the items happened in this upgrade.

  • Dependency Tools. My project is generated using Sencha Cmd, it can help generate an initial framework based on Ext JS so you can start your work quickly. Firstly I replaced the library with ExtJS 4.2, and it works well. But when I use sencha cmd to compile the project. Errors happened. Some changes happened in ExtJS 4.2 framework, just replacing the JS/CSS/Resource files does not work. Sencha Cmd rely on some auto-generated config file. So I decided to upgrade Sencha Cmd from 3.0 to 3.1 also. Also generated project again using command sencha -sdk ~/ext-4.2.1.883 generate app TeamViz ./TeamViz, and then replacing files based on the generated sample project. Later when I compile on Ubuntu 32Bit and 64Bit machine, and Windows, I also need to upgrade toolset for Sencha Cmd.
  • Fixes or Regressions. Every time when a new version of apps/sdk released, there must be some regressions or fixes. After the upgrade, I got some issues on mouse enter/leave events. My instant tools on items are broken. It works in a normal case, but broken on some special scenarios. After dig into the code of Ext JS 4.2, I found it's a regression of Ext JS 4.2, and make some workaround to resolve it. The workaround could be technical debt for future release, but it's the most efficient way to resolve it so far.
  • Undocumented API. When I implemented my complicated drag & drop in my app, I used undocumented api, actually injected some code in the drag & drop process of Ext JS. When I upgraded to ExtJS 4.2, the hacked part has been changed. I need to do a full test to find it, then to resolve it. I think there might some other potential issues but not find so far.
Actually the upgrade is not necessary, there is no bug report directly related the SDK, and the existing version works very well. For a startup, that everyday is important, it's may not be necessary comparing the risk and benefit of upgrading.

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