RFC 7: Release Guidelines

Author:Stephan Meißl
Last Edit:$Date$


This RFC documents the EOxServer release manager role and the phases of EOxServer’s release process.

(Credit: Inspired by the MapServer release guidelines at: http://mapserver.org/development/rfc/ms-rfc-34.html)

The EOxServer Release Manager Role

For every release of EOxServer, the PSC elects a release manager via motion and vote on the dev mailing list.

The overall role of the release manager is to coordinate the efforts of the developers, testers, documentation, and other contributors to lead to a release of the best possible quality within the scheduled timeframe.

The PSC delegates to the release manager the responsibility and authority to make certain final decisions for a release, including:

  • Approving or not the release of each beta, release candidate, and final release
  • Approving or rejecting non-trivial bug fixes or changes after the feature freeze
  • Maintaining the release schedule (timeline) and making changes as required

When in doubt or for tough decisions (e.g. pushing the release date by several weeks) the release manager is free to ask the PSC to vote in support of some decisions, but this is not a requirement for the areas of responsibility above.

The release manager’s role also includes the following tasks:

  • Setup and maintain a release plan wiki page for each release
  • Coordinate with the developers team
  • Coordinate with the QA/testers team
  • Coordinate with the docs/website team
  • Keep track of progress via Trac milestones and ensure tickets are properly targeted
  • Organize IRC meetings if needed (including agenda and minutes)
  • Tag source code in SVN for each beta, RC, and release
  • Branch source code in SVN after the final release (trunk becomes the next dev version)
  • Update version in files for each beta/RC/release
  • Package source code distribution for each beta/RC/release
  • Update appropriate website/download page for each beta/RC/release
  • Make announcements on users and announce mailing lists for each release
  • Produce and coordinate bugfix releases as needed after the final release

Any of the above tasks can be delegated but they still remain the ultimate responsibility of the release manager.

The EOxServer Release Process

The normal development process of a EOxServer release consists of various phases.

  • Development phase

    The development phase usually lasts several months. New features are proposed via RFCs and voted by the EOxServer PSC.

  • RFC freeze date

    For each release there is a certain date by which all new feature proposals (RFCs) must have been submitted for review. After this date no features will be accepted anymore for this particular release.

  • Feature freeze date / Beta releases

    By this date all features must have been completed and all code has to be integrated. Only non-invasive changes, user interface work and bug fixes are done now. There are usually 3 to 4 betas and a couple of release candidates before the final release.

  • Release Candidate

    Ideally, the last beta that is bug free. No changes to the code. Should not require any migration steps apart from the ones required in the betas. If any problems are found and fixed, a new release candidate is issued.

  • Final release / Expected release date

    Normally the last release candidate that is issued without any show-stopper bugs.

  • Bug fix releases

    No software is perfect. Once a sufficient large or critical number of bugs have been found for a certain release, the release manager releases a new bug fix release a.k.a. third-dot release.

EOxServer Version Numbering

EOxServer’s version numbering scheme is very similar to Linux’s. For example, a EOxServer version number of 1.2.5 can be decoded as such:

  • 1: Major version number.

    The major version number usually changes when significant new features are added or when major architectural changes or backwards incompatibilities are introduced.

  • 2: Minor version number.

    Increments in minor version number almost always relate to additions in functionality.

  • 5: Revision number.

    Revisions are bug fixes only. No new functionality is provided in revisions.

Voting History

Motion:Adopted on 2011-11-16 with +1 from Stephan Meißl, Milan Novacek, Martin Paces