The danger of infrequent releases

January 17, 2023

I screwed up. Doubly so. And Podcast Chapters still has some of the very best users out there.

I did get that new version out on the weekend. Smooth sailing, nothing had suddenly broken about the release or review process. Victory.

Unfortunately, I got up on Monday only to find a message on Twitter from a user reporting that they were unable to open a file to edit. Quite the flaw in an app all about editing files.

Fortunately, the fix was as easy as the error was dumb. The main new feature of the version was to preserve your entered information, so that quitting the app mid-edit does not have to mean re-entering stuff. Included in this is a check when you open a new file: If you already have information entered, ask if you want to keep or replace that information, then go ahead and open the file. If you have not entered any information, just open the file as before.

Well, it turned out I had forgotten to implement that last sentence. So if you had no information entered and opened a file, exactly nothing happened.


A minute of semi-furious editing and testing later, I had a fixed version ready. Archived, validated, uploaded to Apple. Headed over to the App store interface, created a new version, entered new information, picked the new build, saved, added for review.

Done! Well before the start of the work day and everything. Hopefully app review would be as quick as during the weekend.

I regularly checked for review progress during the day but saw nothing. In the early evening, I logged in to the App store interface again, worried there would be some alert or error, or review rejection I had missed.

Joke was on me, again. I had missed one final button press needed to actually submit the version for review.


Once I actually submitted for review, the process was unfortunately slower. It was only late this afternoon that the patch finally got out.

Anyway, perhaps I should make an app release checklist? With steps including checking I have actually submitted the app. To me, the real moral of that story is, again, that it is always better to release more often. Repeating things builds routine, gives fewer errors the chance to sneak in between iterations. I consider testing of any and all kinds part of routines as well, all too easy to skip and become worse at with lack of repetition.