[Starlingx-discuss] RFC: StarlingX release cadence proposal

Cabrales, Ada ada.cabrales at intel.com
Fri Jun 29 01:02:13 UTC 2018

I like this proposal. I think it would give us periodic, stable versions to work on/with. Also, it gives us the opportunity to plan what would we have on each monthly | quarterly release, considering feature's priority.

So, if we decide to follow this schema, let's define what we want to have ready for the Summit in November  (the September release, as pointed by Bruce previously) and plan around that.


From: Jones, Bruce E [mailto:bruce.e.jones at intel.com]
Sent: Wednesday, June 27, 2018 6:48 PM
To: starlingx-discuss at lists.starlingx.io
Subject: [Starlingx-discuss] RFC: StarlingX release cadence proposal

At our weekly  call today we discussed release plans and release cadence.  It was a long discussion and a good one.  In the end we agreed that we'd like to follow the "bus stop" model of time based releases, and the Ubuntu model of an annual major (LTS) release with quarterly updates.

Note that we did not suggest or agree that our currently planned "Release 2" should be a LTS.  We all agreed that would be premature.  We will declare an LTS at some point in the future.

After separate discussions with David, Dean and Ada, rather than just proposing that "our current November release is the first quarterly release", I have a modified proposal to make for how we should handle releases.  This is an RFC looking for feedback, questions and comments.

Monthly milestone builds

Each month in the 2nd week of the month we will pull a branch.  Dean and I suggest using year/month as the branch names, for simplicity.  For example, we propose that the branch name for a July 2018 milestone build would be "stx.2018.07".  The version number of that build would be "stx.2018.07.0x", where "0x" is a patch number.   Yes, that's a change to how version numbers are handled.  See below.

The purpose of the monthly build is to 1) provide a stable build for long running test cycles 2) provide a "latest known to be good" build for users and partners, and 3) feed into the quarterly release.

Fixes for show stopping bugs found in monthly build testing should be done on master and cherry-picked to the branch, increasing the patch number with each one.

Quarterly release

Each quarter's quarterly release will be the monthly milestone build from the 2nd month in the quarter.  This gives us 4-6 weeks of time to run test cycles and fix bugs for the release.  For each quarterly release, the code freeze for that release is the 2nd week in the 2nd month in the quarter.

Branch handling

Branches from the 1st and 3rd month in a quarter can be short-lived.  Branches for the 2nd month's (quarterly) build will live longer and I would suggest at any given time we keep the N and N-1 quarterly release branches open for bug fixes.  If/when we declare a LTS release, that branch would of course live much longer.


Why do we release a build from the 2nd week of the 2nd month?  In part because that schedule misses the major holiday weeks.  No one likes to do releases over the summer or winter holidays.


The planning for release content for what we are currently calling "Release 2" will need to change.  If this proposal is accepted, we won't have a "release 2" anymore, just a "release stx.2018.08.x" released in September and "release stx 2018.11.x" released in December.  This changes the content we'd have in the release for the November summit (which would be the September release) but anyone there looking for the bleeding edge could pick up the RC for the December build, which would be in testing at that time.

Branching also means that key bug fixes would need to be cherry picked to the older branches.  New feature code should always go to master only.

Version numbers

This proposal also includes a version number change from what the underlying TC product uses today.  I think it's inevitable that the StarlingX project has separate / different version numbers from TC, but I don't know what it means to the system to actually get there, or what headaches it might cause.  We should key that up as a separate discussion.

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