[openstack-dev] [release] new change management tools and processes for stable/liberty and mitaka

Doug Hellmann doug at doughellmann.com
Tue Nov 3 19:46:04 UTC 2015

As we discussed at the summit, the release management team is
modifying our change management tracking tools and processes this
cycle. This email is the official announcement of those changes,
with more detail than we provided at the summit.

In past cycles, we have used a combination of Launchpad milestone
pages and our wiki to track changes in releases. We used to pull
together release notes for stable point releases at the time of
release. Most of that work fell to the stable maintenance and release
teams. Similarly, the release managers worked with PTLs and release
liaisons at each milestone checkpoint to update Launchpad to
accurately reflect the work completed at each stage of development.
It's a lot of work to fix up Launchpad and assemble the notes and
make sure they are accurate, which has caused us to be a bottleneck
for clear and complete communication at the time of the release.
We have been looking for ways to reduce that effort for these tasks
and eliminate the bottleneck for some time.

This cycle, to address these problems for our ever-growing set of
projects, the release management team is introducing a new tool for
handling release notes as files in-tree, to allow us to simply and
continuously build the release notes for stable branch point releases
and milestones on the master branch. The idea is to use small YAML
files, usually one per note or patch, to avoid merge conflicts on
backports and then to compile those files in a deterministic way
into a more readable document for readers. Files containing release
notes can be including in patches directly, or you can create a
separate patch with release notes if you want to document a feature
than spans several patches.  The tool is called Reno, and it currently
supports ReStructuredText and Sphinx for converting note input files
to HTML for publication.  Reno is git branch-aware, so we can have
separate release notes documents for each release series published
together from the master build.

The documentation for Reno, including design principles and basic
usage instructions, is available at [1]. For now we are focusing
on Sphinx integration so that release notes are published online.
We will add setuptools integration in a future version of Reno so
that the release notes can be built with the source distribution.

As part of this rollout, I will also be updating the settings for
the gerrit hook script so that when a patch with "Closes-Bug" in
the commit message is merged the bug will be marked as "Fix Released"
instead of "Fix Committeed" (since "Fix Committed" is not a closed
state). When that work is done, I'll send another email to let PTLs
know they can go through their existing bugs and change their status.

We are ready to start rolling out Reno for use with Liberty stable
branch releases and in master for the Mitaka release. We need the
release liaisons to create and merge a few patches for each project
between now and the Mitaka-1 milestone.

1. We need one patch to the master branch of the project to add the
   instructions for publishing the notes as part of the project
   sphinx documentation build.  An example patch for Glance is in

2. We need another patch to the stable/liberty branch of the project
   to set up Reno and introduce the first release note for that
   series. An example patch for Glance is in [3].

3. Each project needs to turn on the relevant jobs in project-config.
   An example patch using Glance is in [4]. New patches will need
   to be based on the change that adds the necessary template [5],
   until that lands.

4. Reno was not ready before the summit, so we started by using the
   wiki for release notes for the initial Liberty releases. We also
   need liaisons to convert those notes to reno YAML files in the
   stable/liberty branch of each project.

Please use the topic "add-reno" for all patches so we can track

Once those merge, project teams can stop using Launchpad for tracking
completed work. We will still use Launchpad for bug reports, for
now. If a team wants to continue using it for tracking blueprints,
that's fine.  If a team wants to use Launchpad for scheduling work
to be done in the future, but not for release tracking, that is
also fine. The release management team will no longer be reviewing
or updating Launchpad as part of the release process.


[1] http://docs.openstack.org/developer/reno/
[2] https://review.openstack.org/241323
[3] https://review.openstack.org/241322
[4] https://review.openstack.org/241344
[5] https://review.openstack.org/241343

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