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Subject: Release management

Release management

From: Alex Parker <parker.alex.e_at_gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 31 Oct 2010 09:22:55 +0100

Hi all,

With 3.7 just out of the door, I think it would be timely to formalise the
process somewhat. I have a number of proposals that I'd value people's
opinions on.

1) Release manager.

I think we need someone in this role, to keep an eye on what should happen
when, send out emails, put us into freeze, prod other people where necessary,
do the builds, write release notes, and generally oversee the process. A
timeline can be agreed in advance, and then the RM sees that we stick to it.
It would also be down to the RM to decide to postpone the release if for any
reason it was felt necessary (major instability or the like).

I actually think it might be worth having two people in this role - two people
can easily liaise whereas it becomes harder with more people, and you never
know when unexpected real life might interfere at a critical moment, so having
some redundancy would be useful. In terms of who; both Frank Gevaerts and
myself have declared ourselves willing - if anyone would like to object or
propose other people then please speak up.

2) Release calendar

Part of the problem we have with releases is that nobody ever really knows
what is happening when. Clearly part of the solution to this is the RM, but
I'd also like to have a release calendar. I've started playing with this on
Google Calendar, which you can see here (please look at February):

http://www.google.com/calendar/embed?src=budlu5aq22827q4o5vl9oed450%40group.calendar.google.com&ctz=Europe/Paris

At the moment this is a calendar attached to my account, but I'd propose to
set up a Rockbox account. Who then has write access can be discussed (all
committers I'd imagine) but the advantage of this is that people can import
the calendar into their own, it can be embedded on the website etc. Any
thoughts here?

3) Point releases

Not long ago there was an email sent to the list about bug fix releases (e.g.
3.7.1). I strongly feel that we should try to do this where practical. To
that end, I propose that a further responsibility of the RM(s) is to prod,
poke and otherwise annoy people to backport bug fixes, or indeed to do it
themselves if possible. It would also be the RMs responsibility to decide
when to do a point release, and to see through the process.

4) Release frequency

If we go ahead with the point releases (which I really hope we do), then maybe
it would be an idea to slightly relax the major release schedule, to e.g.
every 4 months. Thoughts?

Anyway, a few things to think about - I'd appreciate people's input and
hopefully we can have a more streamlined release process in the future.

Alex
Received on 2010-10-31


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