r7 - 2007-01-04 - 06:34:39 - HarlanStennYou are here: NTP >  Dev Web > ReleaseIssues > ReleaseEngineeringIssues
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Release Engineering Issues

"What's New" list for the announcements

I'd like to see us have a decent solution to this issue for the 4.3.0 release.

"What's New" for -stable

Presently, we grab the first whack of entries in the NEWS file up to the version that is stored in the ntp-stable/A.snap/.newsbase file. This is tolerable because we really should be noting the differences between each point release in -stable.

As I understand it, SteveKostecke suggests this document contain:

  • the Version number
  • Release Focus
    • N/A
    • Documentation
    • Code Cleanup
    • Minor Feature Enhancements
    • Major Feature Enhancements
    • Minor Bug Fixes
    • Major Bug Fixes
    • Minor Security Fixes
    • Major Security Fixes
  • Changes

It would also be nice to have a less-than 600 character summary of the changes written in complete sentences using 3rd-person English.

"What's New" for -dev

While we sometimes note changes in the NEWS file for -dev, we do not (presently) identify changes in each point release for -dev.

Future thoughts

It might be useful to diff the previous and current NEWS files to generate the "What's New" list for the announcements.

If we go to something along the lines of the CHANGES file in bind9, we could do the same.

This approach could work for both -stable and -dev.

ChangeLog and NEWS files

We use ChangeLog and NEWS files primarily because:

  • we use automake and autoconf and these files are required by GNU coding standards
  • I like that we can keep detailed change information in a ChangeLog and summarize the important changes in a NEWS file.

One current problem is that maintenance of these files is difficult.

We now generate the ChangeLog file from the bk commit logs, and as of bk-4 we can easily remove the empty merge comments, which make this list much more readable.

The NEWS file is still manually maintained.

While I'm not thrilled with the CHANGES file that comes with bind9, I do see that contains useful information and if I could figure out an easy way to maintain such a file I'd probably use that format.

Here's something: http://ch.tudelft.nl/~arthur/svn2cl/

This is an xsl stylesheet for generating a classic GNU-style ChangeLog from a subversion repository log. It is made from several changelog-like scripts using found in different places.

It's similar to cvs2cl (http://www.red-bean.com/cvs2cl/).

-- SteveKostecke - 19 Oct 2006

The current ChangeLog and NEWS files are mis-named.

The current ChangeLog file is really a CommitLog file.

The current NEWS file is really a ChangeLog file.

The NEWS file should a contain NEWS about each stable(-RC) release. The following pieces of information should be present:

  • Release Version
  • A <600 character summary (third person, complete sentences) of the important changes.
  • Name / e-mail address of person authorizing release & date of release

The valid release focuses are listed elsewhere in this topic.

The summary can be used in a number of places including the release announcement, Freshmeat, and the Releases RSS feed.

-- SteveKostecke - 04 Jan 2007

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