Thanks for your open letter.
I think there two problems at hand:
1. that we said we will release Sitefinity 4.1 on the 6th, then moved it to the 13th and then said it's going to ship next week (ETA 20th of April).
2. 4.0 was released with a number of issues that shouldn't have been there and this slowed down the development/roll-out efforts of all customers
I'll start with the second point - it was my call to release 4.0 in January. The team was against it as they thought we are not yet ready. They asked for 30 days more to fix things. I was worried that this would've been a bad sign to all of you guys - that we are delaying things considerably for even more and that you would completely lose hope of us EVER releasing 4.0. So, the decision was to release 4.0 with quite a few known issues but commit to a regular release schedule (3 major releases per year with 1-2 service packs per release) and catch up with all features and improvements. In both cases we would've lost the trust of some customers so there was no really great way out. I don't know which one of the two options was better and you can't really turn back time to see what would've happened if we had taken the other road. It is what it is. We released 4.0 and now we have to catch up with features, fixes and ... expectations.
The only thing I know for sure is that the team behind the product is great. The guys are super passionate, very customer-driven and they will make things work. I know it's not easy, but I would kindly ask that everyone that has a gripe with the product blames me and the management rather than the team as the folks are doing everything humanly possible to keep everyone happy. It's exactly because of this that we sometimes come short but we are learning. If you feel totally let down by the product, please e-mail me at "terziev" you know what extension dot com.
With regards to the first issue about postponing the release - it's unpleasant. However, there are things you cannot predict. How could we predict that fixing the last bug from the queue would lead to another weird bug that would cause a memory leak in a very specific version of SQL Express? Even though this does not affect the end customer because it manifests itself only on SQL Express, would anyone like to get a yellow screen every now and then? Following the old release standards we could've easily let go and released but, after all, you should learn from past mistakes. We are doing that and we won't be releasing things that we know are not ready for prime time. It already happened and we paid a high price. It's more appropriate to say "the team" vs "we" because they were the ones who put in many sleepless nights to make sure 4.1 is a great release and that they don't let customers down.
When we are trying to get into the rhytm of shipping 3 major releases per year (vs 1 for 2 years) it takes some time to get everything ticking. Many of you may not know but we were facing similar challenges with our dev tools many years ago. Today, all of those teams are ticking like a Swiss clock and have not missed their release dates by a day for many releases. It will happen for Sitefinity too but it will take another release or two to fully iron out the release process.
I don't want to say a big thing, but I think that the hardest moments are behind us and things will get considerably better with 4.1 and beyond.
And, as some good news - the memory leak issue is resolved, we will test on all environments including Azure over the weekend and will deliver the next version on Monday or Tuesday.
Wish you all a great weekend! And please share your opinions on 4.1. Let us know if this time we managed to hit the mark.