Based on the discussion on the release date for the next version, and many people telling they are developers and/or engineers, it might be useful to start a dedicated discussion on the development process of TR. From my point of view (I'm a Software Engineer myself btw) there are many ideas floating around that might help TR development, especially because they are planning to go Open Source.
There has been lots of discussion on the release date being pushed back several times. Several people mentioned that there are many valid reasons for this. However, I think there are a few options to make the development process more transparent for users and also to work towards a release date that is a lot less subject to change.
Claire has stated that they currently manage outstanding issues in a bugtracking system (I think they use Mantis). Opening this system up for users, if only for review, might silence a lot of questions about the current development state.
The other problem with developing software is that new ideas come up during the development process, new bugs are being detected during testing, etc. Developing software is indeed a volatile process. From the developer's standpoint a program is never finished and releasing your results to the public is always coupled with the notion that users will find things that you didn't see. Because of this developers tend to push back release dates because they want to implement 'that last important feature' or fix 'that last annoying bug'. But let's face it, there will always be more features and bugs.
I would suggest using a system like Trac (http://trac.edgewall.org/
) to manage the project. The important functionality in Trac is the option to set release milestones and bind issues to them. This helps to move certain issues to future releases and set a closed target (features and bug-repairs) for the next upcoming release. Also, users can help by replicating reported bugs on their system and add that information to a issue, something that is incredibly helpful for a developer.
So that's it for now. If you have other suggestions please post them here as well. This thread might function as a list of ideas that Claire and Jeremy can use to streamline their process and even more when they are going Open Source with TR