One of the most valuable things that I learned from last year’s Codegeist competition is that openness wins. Some of our competitors got their plugins working and put them up for download in the entries section very early in the contest. Others waited until the last possible minute to submit their work.
I’m not sure if those who waited were doing so out of a sense of competitive secrecy, or out of procrastination, or out of simply not being finished until the eleventh hour. However, I did notice a distinct trend.
The plugins that were submitted early had the benefit of a month of real-world use, feedback, and bug reports. In general, those ended up being substantially more polished and complete than those which appeared at the end. The authors were able to develop detailed documentation and to fix parts which didn’t make sense. They put up lots of screenshots. But most importantly, they were able to fix bug and add features that people requested.
So, my advice is release early, release often. As soon as you have anything workable, put it out and solicit opinions (the forums are a great place for this). The concrete feedback you gain on your Codegeist plugin will be more valuable than the element of surprise that you give up.

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