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Release plan

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This page contains details about how to The '''release plan''' is the process by which a new version of [[FlightGear]] into the wildis released. It The release plan is actually a continous continual work -in -progress to be improved , and is refined with every new release.
[[File:ReleasePlan.jpg|thumb|250px|The original release plan.]]This '''FlightGear has had two release plans over [[FlightGear History|history]]. The original release plan''' was originally developed by Mathias Fröhlich, Martin Spott, Thorsten Brehm and Torsten Dreyer during LinuxTag 2011. The current plan was proposed by Torsten Dreyer after the 3.6 release was [[FlightGear Newsletter November 2015#FlightGear v3.6 canceled|cancelled]].
If you think you have something to contribute To suggest improvements and/or changes to the release processplan, feel free it is recommended to <span class=plainlinks>get in touch via the [{{SERVER}}{{localurl:{{NAMESPACE}}:{{PAGENAME}}|action=edit}} edit this page[mailing list]]</span>. In particular, improvements should Improvements can be based on the [[Release plan#/Lessons learned|lessons learned]] from past previous releases. Please discuss this concept at the mailing-list.
=== General release concept ===New A new version of FlightGear is released every three months, meaning four releases are scheduled twice a per year. The magic number to remember is 17 (we tried 42, but that didn't turn out so well. 17 is perfect: 1 is not a prime, 7 is a prime and so is 17). On the 17th of January (1) the month, new release branches are created and July (7) the [[build server]] creates the binaries and uploading them to SourceForge. If any changes are made to the release branch, a new bugfix release is created. The version of the <code>next</code> branch is incremented. And development coninutes as normal, with new nightly builds be created for [after each change. The table below shows the release cycle. See also [SimGear this mailing list post]], FlightGear and FGDATA.
After branching, there is one month for bug fixing {| class="wikitable"! Month !! Number in the release branch, so building and packing of the binaries and FGDATA takes place around cycle|-| January| style="background-color: #e55757" | 4 ''(previous year)''|-| February, 18th and | style="background-color: #e4ae3a" | 1|-| March| style="background-color: #e4ae3a" | 1|-| April| style="background-color: #e4ae3a" | 1|-| May| style="background-color: #6a6bd7" | 2|-| June| style="background-color: #6a6bd7" | 2|-| July| style="background-color: #6a6bd7" | 2|-| August, 18th. Allowing a few days for distribution of the files, new versions should be publically available around the 20th of February and August.| style="background-color: #63e557" | 3|-| September| style="background-color: #63e557" | 3|-| October| style="background-color: #63e557" | 3|-| November| style="background-color: #e55757" | 4|-| December| style="background-color: #e55757" | 4|}
The development stream of SimGear, == Version numbers ==FlightGear and FGDATA is set into a frozen state one month before the branch-day (17th), to let the dust version numbers consist of development settle and to allow fixing the most annoying bugs in the code. During this periodthree digits, developers should not add any new features, subsystems, and the like. Immediately after the stream has branched for the release, development in the main stream (next/master) is open for major changes until one month before the next branch-day. This results in a duty cycle of 5 month developing and 1 month thinking.separated by dots:
=== Version numbers Before 2016.1 ===FlightGear version numbers exist of three digits, seperated by dots:* '''Major''' (<u>23</u>.4.10): is only Only increased after significant changes to the functionality of the software, i.(e. g., 1.Xx.X => x → 2.0.0 (due to switch to [[OSG]]).* '''Minor''' (23.<u>4</u>.10): has Has two applications:** '''Stable releases''' always have ''even numbers'', i.(e.g. 2.68.0, 2.810.0, 32.012.0).** The '''development streamlatest [[Git]] version''' (or ''latest Git version'[[FlightGear build server|nightly build]]''') uses an ''odd number'', increasing the minor number of always one more than the latest stable release's version by one. I.eminor revision numbere.For example, when the latest release is 2was 3.84.0, the current development stream is 2was 3.95.0.* '''Revision''' (23.4.<u>10</u>): is increased Increased by bugfix releases, i.(e. 2g.8.1, 2.812.2, 2.8.31).
=== Detailed time schedule 2016.1 and checklist after ===# * '''Dec/Jun 17th:Year''' Development stream is declared "frozen" or "yellow"##Send a mail to the flightgear-devel mailing-list to announce the state##Create a "release preperations" topic at the forum and make it a "Global Announcement"##Change the content of wiki template at [[Template:GitStatus]] to (<codeu><nowiki>{{GitStatus:frozen}}2016</nowikiu></code>##Bump up the version-number of simgear/next, flightgear/next and fgdata/master to an even number (2.9.0 -> 3.01.0)##modify options.cxx to bump the hard-coded base package version number in []##Compile and test drive FlightGear with The year the new version-number##Commit the new version number to next (flightgear+simgear) and master(fgdata)##Tag (annotated) flightgear, simgear and fgdata with <tt>version/3was released.0.0</tt>##:* ''git tag -a version/3.0.0'Number' (Enter a wise comment)##Push the branches next/master '''and''' the tags upstream##:for flightgear and simgear: ''git push origin next''##:for fgdata: ''git push origin master''##:for the tags (all repos): ''git push origin version/32016.0.0''# '''Jan/Jul 17th:''' Create new release branch, assign new version number to dev-stream, re-open streams<!-- We don't really need this step...##Declare the streams "closed" or "red"##:Send a mail to the flightgear-devel mail-list, asking not to commit/push anything##:Post an update to the forum topic##:Change the content of wiki template at [[Template:GitStatus]] to <codeu><nowiki>{{GitStatus:closed}}1</nowikiu></code>-->##Pull current Git, create the release branches (for sg/fg/fgdata.0):##:''git pull##:''git branch Which release/3.0.0##On the next/master branches, bump up the version-number of simgear, flightgear and fgdata to an odd number (3.0.0 -> 3.1.0)##Compile and test drive FlightGear with the new development version number##Commit year the changes of version-number to next/master##Tag is (annotated) flightgear, simgear and fgdata with "version/2.9.0"##note:''git tag -a version/2.9.0'' (Enter a wise commentstarts at 1)##Push the branches next/master '''and''' release/3.0.0 '''and''' the tags upstream##:for flightgear, simgear and fgdata: * ''git push origin release/3.0.0'Revision'##:for flightgear and simgear: ''git push origin next''##:for fgdata: ''git push origin master''##:for the tags (all repos): ''git push origin version/32016.1.0''##Declare dev-streams "open" or "green"##: Ask a wiki admin to change the content of wiki template at [[Template:GitStatus]] to <codeu><nowiki>{{GitStatus:open}}0</nowikiu></code>##): Indicates one of two things:Send a mail to the flightgear-devel mailing-list to announce the state.## Trigger James for ** In the Jenkins-builds and Curt for a snapshot release and ThorstenB for the OpenSuse build# '''Feb/Aug 1st:latest [[Git]] version''' Start preparing the release notes and a press announcement# or '''Feb/Aug 17th:[[FlightGear build server|nightly build]]''' Create binaries/installers, pack fgdatathis digit is 0, publish files, announce new version, close the release-branchindicating that it is unstable.## Generate latest '''getstart.pdf''', push the PDF to fgdata/master - and cherry-pick to the ** When a new '''release branch'''. Generate latest '''getstart''' HTMLis created, push PDF and HTML this digit is set to the MapServer site1.##Tag the release/3.00 branches of simgearWith bugfix that is made, flightgear and fgdata and push the tags.##:for flighgearthis digit is increased by 1, simgear and fgdata: ''git tag version/3.0.0-final''##:for flighgear, simgear and fgdata: ''git push origin version/3.0.0-final''##Merge the branch release/3.0.0 into '''master''' (<u>'''NOT'''</u> next) for flightgear and simgear and push the branch##:We don't have a next branch for fgdata, no merging of the release branch here.##:for flighgear and simgear: ##:''git checkout -b master origin/master'' or ''git checkout master'' if you already have the local branch##:''git merge new version/3.0.0-final##:''git push origin master''##Core developers and other contributors should be invited to add their release related experiences (i.e. suggestions for improvements) to the wiki to help update and improve the release plan (i.e. this page) accordinglycreated.
=== To bump up {{note|In general, release are referred to by their first two digits (e.g., 3.4). However, when filing a bug report or debugging problems, it is a good idea to give the version full release number ===* fgdata** edit the ''version'' file* SimGear** edit the ''version'' file* FlightGear** edit the ''version'' file.}}
==Detailed time schedule and checklist = Definition of repository states ==={| class="wikitable"!! State! Description|-! [[File:Traffic light green.png|20px]]! Open/Green| Normal development of # Just after the code base and fgdata. Unrestricted (wellnext release, sort of) access to the streamsnext default airport is decided on by a poll on the forum. This state lasts for five month The next release will be named after it.# (On the 17th of the release month): The first Jenkins script is triggered to create <code>release/xxxx.x.0</code> branches were createdwith version xxxx.x.0.|-# Jenkins creates the binaries for xxxx.x.1.! # Patches going into the <code>release/xxxx.x.0</code> branch automatically trigger a new build with a increase of the revision version number (see [[File:Traffic light yellow#2016.png1 and after|20pxabove]]! Frozen/Yellow| No new features or major changes shall be pushed onto the development streams (neither source nor data)and we immediately have a bugfix release. This period is for preparing # On the <code for >next</code> branch, the release and make sure there are no major issuesversion number is changed. It lasts for four weeks until creation of the release branches# Nightly builds are created from <code>next</code> after every push in that branch.
It's a good idea for aircraft developers to adhere to this rule. However, aircraft in fgdata may be handled as an exception from the frozen state. Any change to aircraft may be pushed to the repository if it The process is guaranteed that this change does not affect any other aircraft or system and if no file outside the root directory of that specific aircraft is changed. Also, aircraft defined as part of the base package (e.g. the c172p) enter the frozen state and shall not undergo major changes in that period.|-! [[File:Traffic light red.png|20px]]! Closed/Red| Nothing shall be pushed to the development streams (simgear, flightgear and fgdata). This state is for creating the release branches. It lasts for just a few hours on Jan 17th and Jul 17th around 12:00 UTCrepeated after three months.|}
== Version files ==; FGData: {{fgdata file|version}}; SimGear: {{simgear file|version}}; FlightGear: {{flightgear file|version}}; FGRun: [ fgrun/version]<!--== Bug fix committing policy ===
Fixes for bugs during the shakedown test of the release branch may be applied to the branches next or release/2.8.0.
A fix goes into release/2.8.0 if the development of next has moved forward and this fix does not apply there. It also goes into the release branch if there will be a better fix for next.
'''DO NOT''' merge next into release/2.8.0 or vice versa. Most likely, there will be commits that are not welcome in or even break the other branch.
=== Bug tracking ===The [ /codetickets/ bugtracker] will be our is the primary source for the of bug fixing periodreports. Bugs reported on Unlike the forum or mailing list or forum , bugs reported there will not be tracked! Reporters shall be requested , making it easier for developers to file a bug report at the bugtrackerkeep up with them. Bugs shall be assigned a priority and a keyword When reporting bugs, it is best to make the assignment provide as much information as possible to a developer easier. Bug reports that can't be confirmed or need more input from easily find the reporter to get fixed will be assigned a new state "stalled" and only processed after more information has been providedbug. Bugs assigned If you can provide a high priority will be downgradedbacktrace, if no progress has been made over a certain amount of time. This is please do so and attach it to prevent the release from being blocked by a bug that no developer is able (or willing) to fixreport. The only exception is "does not compile for one of the major platforms"When creating backtraces, which certainly is a release-blocker. Bugs that were present in the latest stable release, and now considered please use "fixedthread apply all bt full", should be assigned a milestone label, corresponding with at the upcoming stable release number. By doing so, they'll end up in [ the list of fixed bugs]gdb command prompt.
=== Tasks and owners ===
The following table should be updated and augmented after each release, according to the [[Release plan#Lessons learned|Lessons learned]] section below.
! width="500px" | Task
! Owner(s)
! Status for [[Changelog 2.10.0|2.10.0]]
! rowspan="67" | Preparation| Announce the state-change of the dev-streams, '''cross-post to JSBSim list''' (see lessons learned!)
| TorstenD
| {{Done}}
| Create/maintain the git branches
| TorstenD
| {{Done}}
| Track the bugs on the tracker, trigger developers, adjust bug-priorities
| Sync the language files so they can be translated
||ThorstenB, James
| Beta testing
| Stuart, Gijs and anyone else
| Pack RC and final version of FGDATAfgdata
| MacOS
| Tat/James
| Distribute files to download servers
| Curt
! rowspan="23" | Make adjustments on the web-site
| Collect/make screenshots for the gallery
| Curt
| Generate aircraft page
| Curt, Gijs
| Tag the [ newsletter template] according to the released version
<nowiki>[[Category:Changes after 2.12]]</nowiki>
| Hooray, Gijs, Stuart (other wiki admins)
! rowspan="2" | Announce the new version to the public
| Write a changelog: [[Changelog 3.0.0Next changelog]]| All developers/contributors
| Contact flightsim websites and send them/link them to the "press announcement". See [[release promotion]] for a list of already-contacted and yet-to-contact websites/magazinsmagazines.
=== Open items, questions ===* Automate and/or document the creation of Windows and Mac installersRC's: "We need to get this automated some day. Or at least documented...(another one from "famous last words": if you have to do it more than once, automate it. If you can't automate it, document it."<ref>{{Cite web |url= |title=<nowiki>Re: [Flightgear-devel] Release candidates</nowiki> |author=Torsten Dreyer |date=29 January 2013}}</ref>* Automate the creation of FGDATA fgdata distribution* Possibly try to find a way to automate testing of updated jsbsim code, so that the chance for breakage is reduced by running scripted tests [<ref>{{Cite web |url=|title=<nowiki>Re: [Flightgear-devel][Jsbsim-devel] JSBSim Synch with FlightGear</nowiki> |author=Torsten Dreyer |date=13 January 2013}}</ref><ref>{{Cite web |url= |title=<nowiki>Re: [Flightgear-devel] JSBSim Synch with FlightGear</nowiki> |author=Anders Gidenstam |date=11 June 2013}}</ref><ref>{{Cite web |url=|title=<nowiki>Release preparations - feature freeze starts today</nowiki> |author=Anders Gidenstam |date=2013-12-17 19:46:48}}</ref>
=== Lessons learned ===This is a list of lessons learned from the previous releases, things that turned out well and should be kept for the next release as well as thing that didn't turn out so well and should be changed for future releases. Ideally, the release plan should be updated and augmented so that the lessons learned are incorporated accordingly. ==== 2.10 ====* {{Thumbs up}} Walking through the list of "lessons learned" as part of the "Upcoming release" announcement was useful []* {{Thumbs up}} Posting the link to the changelog for the upcoming release helped writing the changelog early, this should also be done for the [[Hardware Recommendations]] and [[Notebooks known to run FlightGear]] pages probably?* perform a sync with JSBSim sources before the feature freeze.* {{Thumbs up}} The changelog can be easily written by using "git log", searching the issue tracker and by going through the last 6 newsletters published since the previous release. It might make sense to explicitly add a "ChangeLog" message to important commits, so that the Changelog can be compiled more easily ?* Alternatively, request developers to add major changes also to $FG_SRC/ChangeLog again (last updated in 2001)?* for the web-based release announcement, it would be helpful to have screen shots or even youtube videos to demonstrate new features* GLSL shaders and effects should be treated like core code, and should be tested on different platforms before being enabled by default (i.e. signed-off by people using NVIDIA, ATI/AMD, Intel) []* New/updated Nasal scripts contributed to the base package should be checked to properly support important features like simulator reset, this also applies to Nasal scripts used by aircraft, Nasal scripts that fail these criteria, end up breaking existing features! []* there were a number of navcache/SQLite related issues reported via the issue tracker and the forum/devel list []* a little irritation/frustration was caused due to the conflicting review statements concerning the new radio propagation code [] [] [] - some of this boiled down to coding style related issues, highlighting the fact that different core developers have different "coding styles" and requirements when reviewing merge requests, because we still lack an official "FlightGear coding style guide" []* the [] script in $FG_SRC/scripts/python should be run as part of the release process, to create an updated doc file for $FG_ROOT/Docs and ship it with each release []* We've already got a fairly extensive lead-in time for the release. More testers on more platforms would seem to be the answer. Perhaps we should advertize for testers of those platforms that aren't adequately covered by developers running git? Making a complete package available, not just the binaries would help, as testers wouldn't need to be git-aware. []* The main area to improve is to distribute release candidates for all platforms earlier - preferably starting immediately after the freeze. That would already give us more time for testing - without extending the actual freeze period.[]* How about having a test run a week or two in advance, just to make sure we can indeed produce release installers for Win+Mac - and then release the first RC on December 17th/18th or 19th []** When releasing RC's do not limit them to Win/Mac binaries, but also create source snapshots so that distros can already work on the next package versions.** For RC's it might make sense to distribute binaries with debugging symbols included, so that people can more easily provide useful bug reports, or even backtraces.** Also, many end users still prefer using the forum for making bug reports and don't use the issue tracker - it might help to add a link (button) to the issue tracker to the about dialog or maybe even directly to the help menu ("Report an issue") (same for wiki/troubleshooting/faq ?)* To get to the 3.0 goal sometime in the near future, it's probably a good idea to create a backlog of open items in the wiki and link the release plan document to that. As usual, we don't have to be perfect for a new major release number. But the new features being the reason for the new major number should work reasonably correct. [] (also see [[:Category:Developer Plans]])* A normal Linux user has practically no chance to get last stable on his box running if it isn't in his distro - a normal Windows user gets everything nice and streamlined. []* According to the issue tracker there were 3-5 different contributors who provided C++ patches that didn't end up reviewed/merged, which caused some irritation.* it may make sense to also allow artwork contributors to contribute new splash screen images for use in the upcoming release. The screen shot contest should provide plenty of options [].* {{Thumbs up}} regarding aircraft included in the release: "I must stress usefulness of the Autostart feature, present in most aircraft not running at startup. It keeps frustration away from those who just want to enjoy the flight . (Please note that I actually agree with aircraft being shut down at startup, as long as autostart is present, or the starting procedure is trivially doable by just trying what you see in the cockpit.) " []* {{Thumbs up}} also, it would apparently make sense to provide tutorials for the default aircraft: "At first startup, I noticed the "Need help? use help->tutorials" message, and because I had no idea how to start up the plane (it would be just plain try and fail, than try something else), I did just that and started some basic tutorials. I wouldn't say going through the tutorials was frustrating, but they were quite boring and I was eager to get in the air as soon as possible." []* Language files should be synced between English and other languages, so translators can work on them before the release ;-)
==== 2.8 ==Lessons learned ==* {{Thumbs down}} Lack of stress-testing: A number of users reported severe memory growth issues (with fgfs consuming as much as 14gb of RAM), many directly related to new features, such as random buildings: See [] [http:Release plan// learned] [] [] These could have probably been identified earlier by running FG for extended periods a list of time, things that turned out well and testing should be kept for the shipped aircraft with the default KSFO scenery, and new features such next release as random buildings enabled.* {{Thumbs down}} Lack of graceful feature scaling: Several users with old graphics cards reported not being able to run FG 2.8 without crashing during startup, because the FG defaults well as thing that didn't scale for old hardware []* {{Thumbs down}} According to it seems that the NOAA metar source got phased turn out in 04/2012 so well and moved to a new URL[], some users reported issues related to this[]should be changed for future releases. HoweverIdeally, the metar URL is currently hard-coded in the fgfs/metar source code - in addition, the default format is no longer a plain text dump []. It would make sense to make the URL a string property that can release plan should be put into preferences.xml updated and then use a Nasal listener to parse the resulting XML/HTML and set a plain text property instead, augmented so that can be processed by the existing metar codelessons learned are incorporated accordingly.* {{Thumbs down}} [http://www.mail<! Broken OSX downloads]* {{Thumbs downAppendix}} [ the OSX 10.8 release and code signing caused some irritation]* {{Thumbs down}} [ After the 2.8 release a number of users on the forums reported seeing GLSL related errors, because some of the 2.8 shaders used GLSL features only supported by more recent GLSL compilers/drivers - it would probably make sense to test all shader settings on all 3 platforms and check if they cause any errors (and "backport" shaders as necessary). Apple/Mac OSX seems to be more problematic]* {{Thumbs down}} [ Microsoft Redistributables were apparently not shipped with the Windows installer ?]* {{Thumbs down}} [ The changelog should be written as early as possible]* The code freeze could probably be lifted for patches that are not normally enabled/used by any default code paths (or shipped aircraft) in a FlightGear release. This probably involves Nasal extension functions, fgcommands, telnet commands, but also custom hard coded instruments or instrumentation-related APIs (think Canvas). Basically, whenever there's no chance to break a release by committing a certain patch, because the code path will not be executed by default without explicitly enabling it. For 2.8, this also meant that the Nasal [[Canvas]] API could not be included due to the code freeze, which however wasn't used by any systems or aircraft - so that there would have been zero chance for breakage [] [].* The wiki contains a number of resources to help new users with hardware decisions, such as [[Hardware Recommendations]] [[Notebooks known to run FlightGear]] and [[Supported Video Cards]] - these should probably be updated for each release several weeks in advance.>
==Related content == 2.6 === Mailing lists ===* {{Thumbs up}} feature freeze in generalcite web*|url = http: helped a lot during release management. Kept the commit traffic low and thus helped identifying those commits required to pick into the release.* {{Thumbs down}} feature freeze for aircraft*: Technically, a feature freeze for aircraft is not necessary as long as this aircraft is not part of the base distribution and no common parts are affected//sourceforge. If it's guaranteed that the changes remain in FGDATAnet/Aircraftp/flightgear/mailman/message/34701971/MyAircraft and no other files are touched, these updates should be OK up to shortly before the release.* {{Thumbs down}} switching to a new version of supporting libraries like OSG.*: The move to OSG |title = <nowiki>[Flightgear-devel] Release 3.x introduced some major issues. If at all possible, switch to a new library early in the development cycle.8</nowiki>* {{Thumbs down}} manual creation of release candidates and the release binaries|author = Torsten Dreyer*: It's preferable to have equal numbers for release candidates for all O/S and probably a git-tag for each candidate.|date = Dec 17th, 2015* {{Thumbs down}} release date/time frame*: It took several days to release all the subparts. Might be better to upload all files and pages to hidden folders and publish them all at once (or at least within a couple of hours). That'll have several advantages:*:* no big difference between releases for the various OS.*:* the website will switch to the new release state quickly. With 2.6.0, the aircraft page was published before the setup. The release announcement was published even later.
[[Category:Core developer documentation]]
[[Category: Release]]

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