Release early, release often?

So FeedThing is now good enough to be the only aggregator I use. It’s responsive and it uses roughly 10% if the memory of .NET news readers such as Sauce Reader.

The overwhelming tempation is to release a version. Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do in the wild and wooly world of open source?

What worries me is that I think that probably only works if you have no competitors. Or maybe if you have no free competitors.

Objectively speaking, if I downloaded FeedThing in its current state, I’d not bother with it again (I know this by the pile of dead aggregators in my recycle bin). The biggest weakness is adding feeds. No auto discovery, no integration of any sort with the browser.

If I release early, even if I am lucky enough to come to people’s attention, I am likely to drive them straight away, never to return.

PulpFiction is in the same position as me. Trying to release a new aggreagor against established competition. Now OK, their offering is commercial, but even still I can’t help thinking that they’ve done the right thing by waiting until they are feature complete before releasing a version.

Which is all so tedious. Release early, release often offers so much more instant gratification.