Release Process for Axis2 (and other related projects)
Cutting a branch
- When a release is ready to go, release manager (RM) puts forward a release plan as per standard Apache process, including dates. This gets VOTEd on by the committers. During this period the trunk is still the only relevant source base.
- As soon as a release is approved (or even before), RM should add the new version into JIRA as a target.
- At the point where we would normally do the "code freeze" for a release, the RM cuts a branch named for the release. This branch is where the release candidates and releases will happen.
- Ideally a release branch is only around for a week or maybe two before the release happens.
- The only things that should EVER get checked into the release branch are
- bug fixes targeted at the release,
- release-specific updates (documentation, SNAPSHOT removal, etc). In particular new functionality does not go here unless it is a solution to a JIRA report targeted at the release.
- Normal development continues on the trunk.
Dependencies and branches
- The trunk should always be "cutting edge" and as such should usually be pointing at SNAPSHOT versions of all dependencies. This allows for continuous integration with our partner projects.
- Soon after a release branch is cut, the RM is responsible for removing ALL dependencies on SNAPSHOT versions and replacing them with officially released versions. This change happens only on the release branch.
Managing change and issue resolution with a release branch
- The RM goes through JIRA issues and sets "fix for" to point to both "NIGHTLY" and the new branched release number for the fixes that are targeted for the release after the branch is cut.
- In general, the assignee/coder fixes JIRA issues or makes other changes *on the trunk*. If the JIRA issue is targeted at the release, or upon coder's discretion, they then merge the fix over to the release branch.
- This way the trunk is ALWAYS up-to-date, and we don't have to worry about losing fixes that have only been made on the release branch.
- When the assignee resolves an issue, they confirm it's been fixed in both branches, if appropriate.
Checking changes into the branch
- If bug fixes are needed later for a release which has long since happened (to fix user issues, etc), those fixes generally should also happen on the trunk first assuming the problem still exists on the trunk.
- There are only two cases where we would ever check anything into the branch without first checking it into the trunk. 1) Release specific items (release number references, release notes, removal of SNAPSHOTs), and 2) if the trunk has moved on in some incompatible way.
Release specific Artifacts
- It is good practice to keep only a template of the release specific artifacts in the trunk and have the completed one in the branch. These artifacts include items such as the release note.
- tagging for a release should happen using the branch
Based on the discussion in the mailing list at http://marc.info/?l=axis-dev&m=117734349010193&w=2. Orginal outline by Glen Daniels.