WMF 5.0 Preview: Defining “experimental designs” and “stable designs”
Over the recent releases of Windows Management Framework 5.0 Preview (find the latest here), we’ve distributed some new functionality and heard some wonderful feedback. As we improve on these features and as more users start to use Windows Management Framework 5.0 Preview, we feel the need to make a distinction in the functionality delivered. The distinction we expect will be most useful is “can I use this code in production?” So we’re marking different scenarios and features in our release notes as having “experimental designs” or “stable designs”.
The goal of features with experimental designs is to get feedback via usage; this feedback will be used to improve both design and implementation of that feature. This means that the feature design will change which may break existing scripts. Thus, anything with an experimental design should not be used in production.
WMF 5.0 Preview elements designated as “stable designs” are supported via a fix forward approach, and may be used for both testing and production purposes. This means we do not expect to release patches, but rather will provide fixes in the next release of WMF 5.0 Preview release. We encourage feedback on the stable design elements as well as the experimental.
The support for classes in the PowerShell language is a prime example of a WMF 5.0 Preview feature with an experimental design. It’s a new feature that we’re excited about, but there’s so many facets to it that must be “just right”. At its debut, you may have noticed that you would use the keyword “def” to define a method within a class. After we had greater experience with the feature (internally and externally), it was changed such that no keyword was required to define a method.
The WMF 5.0 Preview November 2014 release notes have been updated to denote which scenarios and features have experimental designs and which have stable designs. We expect future release notes to explicitly point out experimental vs. stable designs.
We hope that this makes it clear to everyone what they can expect of our new features, and when they can start leveraging the features in production.