[Releasing] rethinking the branching scheme

Heikkinen Jani Jani.Heikkinen at digia.com
Thu Feb 20 09:28:59 CET 2014

> -----Original Message-----
> From: releasing-bounces+jani.heikkinen=digia.com at qt-project.org
> [mailto:releasing-bounces+jani.heikkinen=digia.com at qt-project.org] On
> Behalf Of Frederik Gladhorn
> Sent: 19. helmikuuta 2014 16:19
> To: releasing at qt-project.org
> Subject: Re: [Releasing] rethinking the branching scheme

> 3. My impression is that we don't release enough patch releases. The
> reason is
> probably not simple. I suspect that we make the whole harder by not
> having
> branches, so we don't even see if a release is worthwhile and we don't
> encourage patches that would go into 5.1.x since there is basically now way
> to
> contribute them. This is also problematic for security fixes.
> On a technical level it's trivial to create a branch from any tag/sha1, but it
> seems to be a more social problem to me.
> Maybe having dev/stable/5.2/5.3/5.4 branches would make this easier.
> Other issues are of course that each release has a big cost in QA and
> packaging etc.

I agree we should be able to do patch release as need bases, not time based as it is pretty much at the moment. But as discussed more in different mail, there is technical issues which makes this hard to be done just now. I hope everybody understands this and don't think release team is reluctant to do these patch releases. It is just that also we have more work to do than we actually can and that's why also we need to prioritize our effort. If these parallel releases would be trivial job for us we don't see any reason not to do those whenever wanted. But as written we aren't at the moment in that situation. We are trying to make this technically possible and really trust this can be the situation in near future.

Another thing is of course manpower which is needed to ensure release works as it is expected. It is quite big effort which is needed to test each package & verify everything is working OK. We have release test automation for that but it doesn't cover everything. It will be better all the time but we won't be in the situation where no manpower is needed, not at least in the near future. With last releases we haven't seen so many test reports (via test report form) from community. I know at least some persons are testing packages  because there is some error reports written but still we need real indication that packages are checked/tested before we can really release those. That's why it is quite big effort from release team & digia internal developers to verify all these packages. That effort is also away from other tasks -> that's why we need to carefully think what needs to be released and when...


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