A few good men: the next SourceSafe servicing release, recruiting, and you

Many of you have wondered aloud when VSS 2005 SP1 will finally arrive.  I can't answer that yet, because the answer may be "never."  Fortunately, that's just semantics, as we'll see in a moment.  I do have some information for you today -- all of it good -- as well as a way you can help.

Why "the next SourceSafe servicing release"?  What kind of name is that?  It isn't one.  The truth is we don't know yet whether this set of fixes will be released as SP1, a GDR, or a hotfix rollup.  In the past, on the forums you may have seen me refer to fixes being "included in SP1" or "VSS GDR".  No more.  I don't want to release a lowly hotfix rollup that has everything I promised for "SP1" & more, only for people to say thanks, but when is the real SP1 coming? due to name confusion.  Same thing with the so-called "preview release" (aka CTP, SP1 beta, GDR beta, etc.)  So annoying vague names it is.  On to the news.

We will ship a SourceSafe servicing release later this year.   No, I don't anticipate it'll take us until 12/31/07 to deliver the fixes you guys need...just hedging my bets in this very public forum.  In fact, to some degree, we need community participation early & often.  This will happen via two avenues: 

(1) We will ship at least one preview release before the final servicing release.  I don't know yet whether this will be publicly available @ downloads.microsoft.com or if we'll go through MS Connect.  If you have strong feelings one way or another, let us know.

(2) We will convene a small group of volunteers to test builds more frequently.  If you're willing to try prerelease builds, please leave a blog comment or use the 'contact' button.   I can start collecting contact info immediately, with the aim to deliver the first builds within the month.  I think these builds are already higher quality than 2005 RTM, with nowhere to go but up...IMHO of course.  Nevertheless it's important to caution that they have not been tested very extensively.  We're recruiting some internal customers as part of this program, but the fact is there isn't much VSS dogfooding within Microsoft.  Furthermore, these builds will probably not include prefabbed installers / uninstallers and certainly won't have dedicated webpages, READMEs, etc. that official CTPs and Betas do.  Of course, we will help you install them and troubleshoot any problems you encounter.  Because it will be relatively hands-on, I must limit this program to 5-10 people max, sorry.