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Writing a Release Note

Good release notes are essential for users as they upgrade from one release to the next. Here's the procedure the Derby team uses to maintain useful release notes:

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Some additional discussion regarding this process can be found in [https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/DERBY-2570 DERBY-2570].

Generating the Release Documentation

As part of producing a Derby release, the Release Manager creates RELEASE-NOTES.html, a web page which lives in the top directory of the branch codeline, next to the STATUS and CHANGES files. This file ships with the release distributions and is also incorporated into the release download page on the Apache website. RELEASE-NOTES.html describes Derby's key capabilities and it summarizes the delta between the new release and some previous release--usually the last release produced by the community. The Issues section of RELEASE-NOTES.html includes the releaseNotes.html files which were attached to significant JIRAs.

To generate RELEASE-NOTES.html, the Release Manager first prepares the environment:

Then the Release Manager builds RELEASE-NOTES.html:

Please note that the Release Manager should run the JIRA reports freshly just before typing "ant genrelnotes". This is because, during the release period, new issues may be fixed and included in the release and the text for individual release notes may be improved. Stale reports overlook the new issues and improved notes.