KDE Core/ReleasesProposal

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Releases from KDE SC 4.12 and beyond

Motivation

The main motivation for this change is to reduce the amount of time between releases and make them simpler, making us able to deliver new features faster to our users while keeping if not improving the current quality.

Proposed changes

The time elapsed between big releases (4.12, 4.13, 4.14...) will be of 3 months (instead of 6) having the following structure:

  • Two month for merging features
  • One month to prepare the release

Tentative schedule for 4.12

  • Start of development: July 10, 2013 (Potential moment of 4.11 branching)
    • During this time merging of STABLE features is allowed
  • Branching of 4.12: October 15, 2013 (Two month after 4.11 release)
    • Beta 1 is created ASAP
    • Strings are frozen
    • Dependencies are frozen
    • Artwork/Bindings frozen
    • API frozen
  • Release candidate: October 30, 2013 (2 weeks after Beta 1)
  • Release 4.12 final: November 15, 2013 (One month after 4.12 branching)
  • Release 4.12.1: December 15, 2013
  • Release 4.12.2: January 15, 2014

Tentative schedule for 4.13

  • Start of development: October 15, 2013 (Branching of 4.12)
  • Branching of 4.13: January 15, 2014 (Two month after 4.12 final)
    • Release of 4.13 Beta
  • Release candidate: January 30, 2013
  • Release 4.13 final: February 15, 2013 (Three months after 4.12)
  • Release 4.13.1: March 15, 2014
  • Release 4.13.2: April 15, 2014

In a picture

​​KDE Releases

Freezes

All the freezes will be effective the day of the branching, this include:

  • String freeze
  • Dependency freeze
  • Feature freeze
  • ...

Maintainers

Since we will be decreasing the amount of time for testing, it is specially important that only features that are reviewed and stable are merged into master. Saying it in another way master should be always in a state where we can make a release from it.

If you had plans for 4.12 already, keep them! Even though 4.12 would be released 3 months sooner than it was planned, 4.13 will be released around the time (Mid Jan/Feb 2014), so no need to re-adjusts already made plans. Said it in another way, instead of having 1 release of 6 months we are having 2 of 3.

Developers

Not much changes besides the fact that releases become way simpler since we'll have 1 freeze day where everything will be frozen, instead of having different days spread across the release cycle.

Additionally missing a freeze becomes less important since releases will be done more often.

Distributions

Benefits

  • Since we have shorter release cycles it is more probable that distros will be able to pick up more recent version of KDE SC
  • Master will be always in a releasable state
  • Cycles with less changes, will have less bugs
  • Since cycles will have less changes, testing will be easier

Inconvenient:

  • Instead of 4 or 5 minor releases only 2 will be scheduled
There is NOTHING preventing us to do more minor releases if we have people taking care of them,
 exactly as it happens right now (we have had un-scheduled .5 and .6 releases)

Translators

While there will be only one month to translate new or modified strings, the amount of changes in every release can be expected to be minor as well.


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