[Development] Proposal: Eliminate soft branching phase from release process

Oswald Buddenhagen oswald.buddenhagen at gmx.de
Sat Oct 12 13:14:22 CEST 2019

On Fri, Oct 11, 2019 at 12:04:20PM +0000, Kari Oikarinen wrote:
>I want to propose eliminating soft branching phase and instead use the
>creation of the branch as a cut-off for feature freeze (or bug fixes
>for a patch release).

but in case you actually tried to do your homework first ... well i'm 
failing to find the old mails myself. something is rather b0rked with 
the mail archive indexing; google and duckduckgo produce mostly hits to 
the mbox files.

>As far as I can tell, the major motivation for providing this week of
>soft branching is to allow people to finish their last changes without
>needing to retarget the change to a new branch.
no, it's not.
the reason is that the huge CI delay makes it impractical to know 
whether a change will still land in time for branch creation. also, 
people just don't pay attention to the branching announcements in real 
so the alternatives to soft branching are a) restricting the source 
branch before branching (which is obviously counterproductive) or b) 
accepting the need for a significant number of cherry-picks (which are a 
hassle to make, and an annoyance in the resulting git history).

>Currently there is a bit of uncertainty about when exactly the
>downmerges happen,
yes, and that's entirely fine. the whole *point* of the process is to 
make it irrelevant when it happens. if you rely on the time of the 
downmerge but are not a release manager, you're doing it wrong.

>since it requires not only someone to do it, but
>also CI not being active in the target branch. That's a requirement
>because downmerges (if they have no conflicts) are pushed directly to
>the repositories instead of going through regular CI. Eliminating them
>also eliminates this irregularity.

>It hasn't been a big problem,
yes, exactly.

but if you wanted to get rid of the direct pushes, the forward merge bot 
(which is rather automated at that point, unlike back in the day) could 
be easily extended to push and stage the downmerges as well.

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