Hi, all

I invite everyone to submit ideas as to how we can improve the release 
process: versioning, builds and testing. It seems like almost everytime a 
0.X.0 release comes out, there is almost instantaneously a showstopper bug 
that necessitates a 0.X.1 release, as happened this time.

I don't want to dictate how things would work - we have a lot of good 
developers here who do configuration management, source control and testing 
in real life just as I do - but here are a few obvious ideas.

1) Believe it or not I can actually guarantee to do builds on a given date, 
now that I have a system for doing the CHANGES file rather rapidly. So once 
we have decided on a given date for a release, I suggest that we mandate a 
code freeze starting N days before the release. At the start of the freeze I 
build a pre-release distro, and it will be labelled as a pre-release (PR 
suffix maybe?) During those N days (2 days, 3 days?) everyone will have an 
opportunity to test the release, and find those bad bugs that somehow never 
showed up before.

2) More comprehensive build tests. I am not so much concerned with how the 
PDF looks as just making sure we get no exceptions. Petr Andrs' font 
embedding examples, if used as build tests, would have caught a bad bug, for 
example. This testing is complementary to the testing Keiron Liddle has laid 
the groundwork for, which is oriented towards conformance testing.

3) Versioning and build numbers: I hate putting up FOP-0.20.0, and 24 hours 
later putting up FOP-0.20.1, just for a bug fix. Granted, it was an important 
defect, and needed to be addressed right away, but I don't think it rates 
that kind of revision increment. I don't have any good suggestions (I know 
how I do things at work, but that's different). Any thoughts?

I am sure there is other stuff also. My goal here is to develop a formal 
process document that describes exactly what I do, so that anyone with commit 
privileges can easily duplicate the complete release process.

Thanks.
Arved

-- 
Fairly Senior Software Type
e-plicity (http://www.e-plicity.com)
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Wireless * B2B * J2EE * XML

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