4.6.1 release process proposal

Brian J. Tarricone bjt23 at cornell.edu
Fri Jan 16 10:38:38 CET 2009

Botsie!  Long time no see.  You should stop by in #xfce-dev so we can
heckle you ^_^.

On Fri, 16 Jan 2009 09:13:58 +0530 Biju Chacko wrote:

> I'm wary of doing a release with components built on multiple 
> environments -- it requires a fair amount of care and discipline to
> get right.

No, it really doesn't.  As long as each particular system is capable of
building a correct package, it doesn't matter if the various module
tarballs were built on different system.

Now, you could argue that building a correct package isn't easy, but
I'm not sure I'd agree.  Yes, it does take some work, but after you
build a few times and give your test packages to other people to do a
test build on their system, you can pretty reasonably say your system
is doing the right thing.

> I'd suggest a CI (Continuous Integration) System running a Release 
> Pipeline.


> Basically, on every check-in the entire project is rebuilt

Who's going to provide the hardware for this?  Who's going to host it?
I really don't think mocha is strong enough to be doing multiple builds
per day (currently it just does one every night) considering that the
box does a bunch of other things too.

> Benefits:
> - All grunt work is automated and Release managers and maintainers
> only do stuff which needs their attention.

Yeah, good.

> - We would use a canonical environment for all builds. We wouldn't
> get caught by a maintainer using a newer GTK+, say, than what we've
> targeted for a particular release.

Also good.  This isn't so much release-related as
ongoing-development-related, though.  Sure, we've been bitten by this
problem in the past, but I wouldn't characterise it as a release
issue.  It's a "developers need to test-compile against the lowest
common denominator of dependencies" issue.  Something that's annoying
and most none of us do... an excellent candidate for automation, as you

> - During a development phase we get quick feedback on whether modules 
> are broken or not.

Also good.

> - We'd be able to release nightly builds to make it easier for people
> to test trunk.

We already do that:
(As you can see, it's not perfect; some things fail to build for months
and nobody notices.  In this case the problem is on the build server,
not a problem with the packages.)

> I've got a fair amount of experience in this area so I could help set 
> this up.

Sure, if you're willing to do the work, it sounds like it could be a
great idea.  What do you need to get started?


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