Xfce development and release model

Jannis Pohlmann jannis at xfce.org
Wed May 27 18:04:08 CEST 2009

Hey all,

for the last two days, Stephan and I have been busy thinking about how
to improve the development and release process after we've switched to
git. Today we wrote these ideas down in a document available in our

There are a number of questions and problems that came up again and
again every now and then, like

    * What are the core components of Xfce?
    * How often do we want to release and in what fashion?
    * Who's in charge of the release process?
    * What dependency versions do we depend on?
    * When are feature-freeze, string-freeze, code-freeze and thelike?
    * How many pre-releases should we do and how do we call them?
    * What do we use as a replacement for SVN revision versioning with

Another important question is how can we reduce the amount of stress
and work for the individuals involved in development and releasing? 

The following document tries to answer most of these questions and
gives detailed explanations on how we think the entire development and
release process can be improved significantly.

There are a number of reasons why we think the approach described in
the document meets these goals:

  * work is distributed among people involved in the project
  * blocker bugs are clearly defined 
  * individual releases during the development and maintenance process
    allow people to publish bugfixes more easily and make the overall
    release process less painful
  * releasing often reduces deltas and thus helps distributions and
    users follow the development process more easily. It also helps to
    trace regressions.
  * it includes a proper definition of the Xfce core
  * the planning phase reduces confusion about dependency versions and
    dependencies in general. It serves as a solid foundation for every
    phase of the release cycle
  * it's more fun to develop if you know what you're working towards (a
    fixed schedule helps to focus)

So, without further ado, here's the document:


Stephan and Jannis
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