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You are here : Four Js technical FAQ > Early Access Program > General

What is the Early Access Program (EAP) ?

What is the Early Access Program (EAP) ?

The Early Access Program or EAP for short, is where we make available the next version of our product for you to test and provide feedback on, before the product is made available for General Availability (GA).

Last update: 2015-07-17 09:26 GMT


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When Does it Occur ?

When Does it Occur ?

This typically occurs for the period 1-3 months before General Availability. 

Last update: 2015-07-17 09:26 GMT


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Who Can Participate?

Who Can Participate?

Anyone who holds a Four Js Genero Development license that is under maintenance.

Last update: 2015-07-17 09:26 GMT


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Licenses

Licenses

For upgrades you do not need additional licenses to participate in the EAP.  You may need new licenses where we introduce new products as was the case with Genero Mobile, this will be advised at the time.

 
If you are using FourJs License Manager (FLM), you can configure the EAP version to point at your existing FLM installation.
 
If you do not use FLM, you can install one of your existing development licenses against the EAP installation on a temporary basis.    Answer n (for no) to the question “Do you want to give the installation KEY now (y/n)”, and this will install the license on a temporary basis for 30 days.
 

It is important that you check that your maintenance key is up-to date.

Last update: 2015-07-17 09:26 GMT


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What do I need to read?

What do I need to read?

In the documentation that will be made available at the time of the EAP, there are two sections in each set of documentation that should be read.  

  • The first is the “New Features” section, this lists what has been added and provides links to the new sections in the documentation.   
  • The second is the “Upgrade Guide”, this lists what has been changed or removed.  It will explain any code or configuration changes you may need to apply.  

You should also make sure you read the different sets of documentation for the product(s) you use.   Remember there are separate sets of documentation for Genero Desktop Client, Genero Application Server, Genero Mobile, Genero Studio etc.

Also be aware that the documentation is under EAP too.  Please give any feedback on it, and please be tolerant if there are mistakes or omissions. 

Last update: 2015-07-17 09:26 GMT


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The Mailing List

The Mailing List

When you sign up to participate in the EAP, you will be given the address of an e-mail mailing list, and your name will be added to it.  To report an issue, you simply send a mail to this e-mail mailing list.   You will receive e-mail every time someone posts to this address.  I recommend you set up a mail rule to move these mails to a separate folder; this avoids these mails polluting your in-box and also makes it easy for you to search on the mails.

If you post any issues, please remember to include O/S and version information, and provide steps necessary for the developers to reproduce the issue.  This normally means creating a small example, or explaining how to reproduce using the demo programs in FGLDIR/demo, or attaching a log file.  It is also a good idea to check through your archive of these mails to make sure it has not been reported already.

Last update: 2015-07-17 09:26 GMT


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EAP Mailing List Etiquette

EAP Mailing List Etiquette

Start a new topic by creating a new mail.  Do not start a new topic by doing a reply-all and changing the subject and changing the body of an existing mail.  Do not start a new topic by doing a reply-all to an existing unrelated mail.
 
Do not attach large log files (>1 MB).  In your mail indicate you have a large log file and a support contact will make arrangements on how to transfer the file.

This is the time for suggestions to improvements to features that are being added, not the time for suggestions for completely new features.  The best time to suggest completely new features is just after a new version is released.  This doesn’t mean you can’t ask for new features, I am just fore-warning you that it is unlikely to be included in this release. 

If you think someone has a good point, please support him or her, even if your mail simply says “+1”.  It is important for us to know that someone is not a minority of one.

If you think someone has a bad point, please give reasoning why.  If possible, please relate to real world scenarios.
 
If possible refer to existing issues by their issue number.  An issue number will take a form such as FGL-1234
 
Please remember this e-mail list if you set up an Out-Of-Office rule.

Last update: 2015-07-17 09:26 GMT


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What do I need to do?

What do I need to do?

Follow the instructions in the EAP announcement to register for the EAP

Once registered, as a minimum we suggest you do the following …

  • Read the new features and upgrade guides for the products you use
  • Get in the habit of reading this mailing list daily.
  • Install the EAP version
  • Compile your sources using this new version (modify your sources if required)
  • Run your basic smoke tests using this new version

… This will help ensure your app will at least continue to run using the new version.

We would also like you to look at the new features and to try and use them to improve your existing sources and application.  We suggest you create prototypes of these new features and how they could be applied to your code base.

My Application does not compile, my program does not work as it did.  What should I do ...

  • Read the upgrade guide to see if there are any reasons why it might be failing.
  • Look at the issue tracker to see if there are any issues related
  • Search the previous entries in the mailing list to see if anyone else has reported similar issue
  • Report the issue to the mailing list.
  • Just be aware that there maybe a valid reason for your program to not  compile or not work.

Last update: 2015-07-17 09:26 GMT


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My Application does not compile, my program does not work as it did

My Application does not compile, my program does not work as it did

Read the upgrade guide to see if there are any reasons why it might be failing. 

Look at the issue tracker to see if there are any issues related 

Report the issue to the mailing list. 

Just be aware that there maybe a valid reason for your program to not  compile or not work. 

Last update: 2015-08-10 15:18 GMT


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Do I have to participate in the EAP ?

Do I have to participate in the EAP ?

No

Last update: 2015-08-10 15:14 GMT


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What happens if I don’t participate in the EAP ?

What happens if I don’t participate in the EAP ?

You run the risk that when you eventually upgrade to a new version that your application will not compile and run.

You run the risk that when you come to use a new feature, it will not quite meet your needs.

 Once a version is released and made generally available, we are limited in what changes we can make.  We are limited to bug fixes; our standard is any future maintenance release should be able to be installed without requiring any code changes, or recompilation.

 A good example of why you should participate in the EAP and contribute to new features can be found in the existence of the two create base.StringTokenizer methods http://4js.com/online_documentation/fjs-fgl-manual-html/#c_fgl_ClassStringTokenizer_methods.html
The method base.StringTokenizer.create(source STRING, delims STRING) was added in version 1.20.  Once it was in general release, someone tried to use it, and asked the very sensible question, how can I delimit the delimiter, and how can I return NULL as the next token.  As the product had been released, we could not simply change the implementation of the create() method to take these into account, we had to create an entirely new method base.StringTokenizer.createExt(source STRING, delims STRING, escape STRING, nulls BOOLEAN).  If those same questions had been asked during the EAP, it is likely we would have one create() method, and not two.

Last update: 2015-07-17 09:27 GMT


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Why only Linux, Microsoft or Mac platforms ?

Why only Linux, Microsoft or Mac platforms ?

Rather than porting the EAP versions to every product that we support, we only initially port to Linux, Microsoft Windows, and Mac OS X operating systems.  We believe that most developers will have access and do the bulk of their main development on one of these systems.
 
If you require an additional platform, contact your support contact.  Other platforms can be made available upon request a few days after each EAP release.

Last update: 2015-07-17 09:27 GMT


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Can I install an EAP in production ?

Can I install an EAP in production ?

No. If you do, just be aware it is not yet supported, so if there is a P1 issue we are under no obligation to resolve it.

Last update: 2015-07-17 09:27 GMT


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Any Tips or Tricks?

Any Tips or Tricks?

When installing, override the default directory name, and install using a name that includes the version e.g. /opt/fourjs/fgl/3.00.00.   Make sure you do not install over the top of your current version.

Use environment variables and port numbers to keep the EAP version and your compiled objects (42m, 42r, 42f etc) separate from your production version and production-compiled objects

Be aware that if you use Genero Studio to upgrade a 4pw, 4rp, 4fd file to a new version, that there maybe no way to downgrade the file back to the previous version.  Think of it like this, if you save a Word 97 document in Word 2000 format, would you expect Word 97 to be able to open a document saved in Word 2000 format?
 
Any upgrade or migration processes will be on the basis of converting the old version to the new version i.e old version -> new version.  There will not necessarily be a process to move from new version (verison 1) to new version (version 2).

Last update: 2015-07-17 09:27 GMT


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