Gentoo Archives: gentoo-dev-announce

From: Chris Gianelloni <wolf31o2@g.o>
To: gentoo-dev-announce@l.g.o
Cc: gentoo-releng@l.g.o
Subject: [gentoo-dev-announce] Summary from Release Engineering meeting on 23 Jan 2008
Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2008 22:59:47
1 This summary was written by Donnie Berkholz, so don't give me any credit
2 for it... ;]
4 You can find the complete log at:
7 2008.0 release
8 --------------
10 Tentative schedule (dates may change):
11 Feb. 1 Snapshot of the tree taken
12 Feb. 25 Docs due to GDP from release coordinators
13 Feb. 25 Snapshot frozen for beta
14 Feb. 29 Docs finalized
15 Mar. 3 Beta1 released
16 Mar. 14 Final upload
17 Mar. 17 Release
19 To make it easier for the release engineering team to collaborate,
20 releng lead Chris Gianelloni (wolf31o2) wants all architectures to build
21 their releases on public developer machines. This also means that if an
22 architecture's release coordinator can't finish the release, anyone else
23 can pick up the work and continue.
25 The releng team plans a few changes to profiles. Moving to multiparent
26 profiles will significantly reduce the profiles' maintenance effort and
27 code. It may happen for 2008.0; Chris said, "I am not sure that we'll
28 have time to do the profile switching, but I'm going to try to come up
29 with it. The plan will be to create 'normal' 2008.0 profiles, and I'll
30 work on making them multi-parent." Another suggested change to profiles
31 is the creation of an all-new multiparent subprofile, optimized for
32 Gentoo development. The 'developer' profile would be based on the
33 desktop profile with an additional set of FEATURES useful to developers.
35 Chris also proposed changes to the release process, including when
36 profiles are created for future releases. "As soon as we finish up a
37 release," he said, "I'd like to go ahead and create the new release
38 stuff in the repos." That includes new catalyst spec files in the releng
39 repository, a new development profile, and possible changes to the
40 handbook. Making this change means work can immediately start instead of
41 waiting until the next release cycle, and it's also useful for automated
42 builds.
44 Public beta releases make up a major component of the new plans. Chris
45 hopes beta releases will increase community participation as well as the
46 quality of the final release. These feature-complete public betas will
47 require the earlier development of release materials. To ensure
48 sufficient time exists for testers to take advantage of the beta, a
49 mandatory 2-week testing period will follow the beta release.
51 A comprehensive testing checklist will be developed on the gentoo-releng
52 mailing list, as will a list of which details of testers' machines and
53 environments they should turn in to developers. Since in the past,
54 testers often provided insufficient information to releng developers
55 because their instructions weren't specific enough, a new form will
56 include all of the required questions and details. "Sadly you almost
57 want a beta that phones home as to what it was successfully run on,"
58 said Tom Gall (tgall). Christian Faulhammer (opfer) suggested using a
59 hardware reporting tool such as app-admin/hwreport.
61 Finally, Chris wants to make himself less of a single point of failure.
62 Conversion of the releng repository to SVN and maintenance of a shared
63 release checklist there will help, he said, so everyone can make updates
64 as they get things done.
66 A question about security came from Tobias Klausmann (Blackb|rd), who
67 asked how to avoid the same problem that hit 2007.1. "Part of the
68 problem last time was that Chris was trying to update the snapshot for
69 *every* security bug," said x86 release coordinator Andrew Gaffney
70 (agaffney), "instead of just the ones that affected the media."
73 Automated builds
74 ----------------
76 Branching profiles and specs for the next release early will enable the
77 releng team to begin automated and regular internal release builds.
78 "They'll check out the SVN for the new release and use the new dev
79 profile," Chris said, "so we find problems and fix them year-round
80 instead of just during the release cycle."
82 Making these internal release builds publicly accessible can be done by
83 individual architecture teams, but Chris said the releng team won't
84 distribute them automatically. This could help people with architectures
85 that require hardware support nonexistent in the last release.
87 "My long-term goal for the automatic builds is for us to be able to use
88 them as our initial beta," Chris said. "We pick one that's as close to
89 release quality as possible, release it as beta, *then* start the
90 release cycle."
94 How do we involve the community more?
95 -------------------------------------
98 Some of the most popular suggestions--addition of the public beta,
99 letting users help with beta testing, and explicitly asking for
100 feedback--were already proposed for other goals like improving release
101 quality. They may also help involve the community.
103 Another popular idea was creating a survey to ask users for the top
104 features they want in the next release. This might happen with simple
105 infrastructure like email or the forums, since Gentoo doesn't yet have
106 anything better.
108 The last idea for getting users involved is to simply do a good job of
109 announcing the beta. Gentoo users have many places to get information
110 (GMN, forums, website, planet, many mailing lists), so getting news
111 about the beta to anywhere more users see it will require wide
112 dissemination of the announcement.
114 In addition to users, the releng team wants to get more developers
115 involved. Donnie Berkholz (dberkholz) suggested appealing to their
116 motivations for being a developer in the first place by doing things
117 like testing their own packages on the LiveCD. And Chris also wants to
118 get developers more actively involved rather than just being consumers.
121 Other topics
122 ------------
124 Using full-fledged project-management software like dotproject was
125 proposed by developer Preston Cody (codeman). Chris said he just used a
126 spreadsheet but wanted something more collaborative, so Preston
127 suggested Google Docs. For now, the release checklist will live in SVN.
129 Switching away from the Cafepress store was also brought up. Cafepress
130 doesn't produce DVDs, but the releng team wants to encourage LiveDVD use
131 because they have so much more content. Chris is researching some
132 alternate stores.
134 Regarding hardware, most architectures have working, hosted development
135 machines. The main amd64 dev box, poseidon, could use some faster hard
136 drives for the automated builds.
138 Since constant security vulnerabilities forcibly canceled the 2007.1
139 release, improving how the releng team deals with them was a concern.
140 The main change will be a closer collaboration between the security team
141 and the releng team. "Releng is going to be treated just like an arch,
142 with a security liaison and everything," Chris said, "and we'll be added
143 to CC just like any other architecture. Before, I just found out about
144 stuff when either someone told me or when it hit the arch aliases I was
145 on ... neither of which was very good for planning."
147 --
148 Chris Gianelloni
149 Release Engineering Strategic Lead
150 Games Developer
151 --
152 gentoo-dev-announce@l.g.o mailing list