[Release-testers] [llvm-dev] 4.0.1 Release Schedule + Need feedback for improving stable releases

Tom Stellard via Release-testers release-testers at lists.llvm.org
Wed Mar 29 06:07:07 PDT 2017

On 03/29/2017 06:14 AM, Hans Wennborg wrote:
> On Mon, Mar 27, 2017 at 5:58 PM, Tom Stellard via llvm-dev
> <llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org> wrote:
>> Hi,
>> I would like to start a discussion about improvements to the
>> stable release process, but first, here is a proposed schedule
>> for the 4.0.1 release.
>> May 1, 2017 -rc1
>> May 22, 2017 Deadline for submitting merge request
>> May 29, 2017 Deadline for merging changes.
>> June 3, 2017 -rc2
>> June 10, 2017 Final Release
>> This is slightly different from previous stable releases in that
>> we are doing an early -rc1 release.  This matches what we do for
>> major releases, and I think it will help us get more feedback from
>> testers sooner.
> Sounds good to me.
>> There is now a script in utils/release, called merge-request.sh, which
>> you can use to submit merge requests to bugzilla.  It's recommend
>> that you use this script in order to give us consistent bugzilla entries.
>> However, you can still file bugzilla requests manually if for some
>> reason you are unable to use the script.
>> If you file bugs manually, make sure you mark it as a blocker for
>> the release metabug: 32061 and add a link the commit on phabricator
>> in the url field: e.g http://reviews.llvm.org/rL12345
>> Description for the bug should be in the form of:
>> Merge r123456 into the 4.0 branch : <80 character commit message summary>
>> * Stable Release Improvements *
>> I would like to start an informal discussion about stable release
>> improvements.  My goals for this discussion are to find ways to
>> get more community members/organizations using the official stable
>> releases, and also to help simplify the release process for users,
>> testers, and release managers.
>> * Ideas:
>> 1. Longer support for stable release. We currently have 2 major and 2
>> stable releases per year.  Each major release is effectively supported
>> for only 3 months, because after the x.y.1 release , we move on to the
>> next major version.  Our current release schedule is approximately:
>> March: x.y.0
>> June x.y.1
>> Sept: (x+1).y.0
>> Dec: (x+1).y.1
>> One idea is to move to 6 releases per year and have an additional
>> x.y.2 release after (x+1).y.0, but before (x+1).y.0.  This would
>> mean that stable releases are supported for ~ 8 months. So something
>> like:
>> Jan:   (x-1).y.1
>> March: x.y.0
>> May:   (x-1).y.2
>> July:  x.y.1
>> Sept:  (x+1).y.0
>> Nov:   x.y.2
>> What do people think about this or other alternative release schedules?
>> Would this kind of extended support make stable releases more
>> attractive to users/organizations that use LLVM.
>> My main concern with adding an extra release is placing an extra
>> burden on release testers.  For release testers is doing two
>> more releases per year practical?
> I'd be fine with it. I don't find the release testing itself to be
> particularly burdensome. The hard part of releases is chasing down and
> fixing bugs, but for .2 releases I expect the process to be pretty
> smooth, basically building and testing  a build with a few extra
> patches on top of .1.
>> 2. Automated release testing.  This is connected to the previous
>> idea.  Can we automate the release testing?  It would be great if
>> we had some release tester bots that would test the release
>> candidates and upload the binaries.  It seems like this should
>> be doable within the current buildbot infrastructure.  Is the
>> only thing that keeps us from doing this, lack of dedicated test
>> hardware?
> I think it's more a problem of finding someone to configure and
> maintain the bots.
>> 3. Automated merge requests.  I would like to come up with a way
>> that we can tag commit messages so that a post-commit hook would
>> be able to automatically create merge requests in bugzilla.
>> There are a few ways I can think of to tag the messages, but I'm
>> just going to propose that adding the following line:
>> STABLE: 4.0
>> To commit messages would make it a candidate for an automated
>> merge request.  Any thoughts?
> I'm not sure this is worth it. Aren't many of the "we should merge
> this to stable" decisions made after the commit lands?

Yes, good point.

> A commit hook I'd really like is something that updates the bugzilla
> when a commit message mentions a PR. That's a different story though
> :-)

I like this idea better than what I had in mind, this way instead
of parsing commit messages, we would just need to look at closed bugs
to figure out what to merge.

> Cheers,
> Hans

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