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From Roman Shaposhnik <ro...@shaposhnik.org>
Subject Re: Ease of release process and exit criteria
Date Fri, 19 Aug 2016 23:44:23 GMT
On Fri, Aug 19, 2016 at 2:23 AM, Mark Thomas <markt@apache.org> wrote:
> Hi,
>
> I've noticed a pattern in some the board reports of PMCs who are
> beginning to experience difficulties. In a notable number of cases a
> significant part of the problem is difficulty in producing a release.
> The sorts of phrases I am seeing are along the lines of releases "are
> too difficult", "take too much effort" or "the person that used to do
> the releases is no longer active". I've seen this in projects of all
> sizes and maturity levels.
>
> I've also experienced this in projects I have been involved in.
> Fortunately, in those cases the community was able to figure out the
> release process, simplify/automate it and document it, reducing the
> future risk to the project.
>
> To put some specifics on this to give an idea of what I am talking
> about. The documented Windows build process for Tomcat Native is this:
>
> http://tomcat.apache.org/native-doc/#Building/Windows
>
> which is fine if you want to test a patch or build it form source to use
> locally but is insufficient to produce a release. What the community
> then produced is this:
>
> https://cwiki.apache.org/confluence/display/TOMCAT/Building+the+Tomcat+Native+Connector+binaries+for+Windows
>
>
> This got me wondering. Is protecting projects from this sort of future
> problem something that could / should be addressed during incubation?
> I'm thinking of a graduation criteria long the lines of:
> "Is the release process clearly documented to the point that someone new
> to the project could produce a release build?"
>
> If there is general consensus on this, I'm happy to draft something to
> add to http://incubator.apache.org/guides/graduation.html#releases
>
> Thoughts?

It is not just documenting it, but having access to all the build environment
the community considers a must for doing a release. Case in point: recently
I've had an opportunity to work with commons community on fixing an issue
in jsvc to enable its build on ARM. Given that this was driven out of
the downstream
requirements my next step was to suggest a patch release and semi-volunteer
as an RM. Then Sebb explained to me that this would require builds on Windows
at which point I had to bow out.

Thanks,
Roman.

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