[petsc-dev] plans for PETSc release

Jed Brown jed at jedbrown.org
Sun Apr 24 13:38:32 CDT 2016

Barry Smith <bsmith at mcs.anl.gov> writes:

>   Jed,
> 1) I don't think having a feature freeze in master for a week is
> tenable at all. Developers want to move stuff along into it and
> continue work as they should. 

Having a freeze on 'master' doesn't prevent work on new features.  What
difference does it make if the feature you just finished that won't be
in a release for several months to a year is merged to 'next' or
'master' one week later?

But with a freeze on 'master', some developers might put some effort
into testing with other packages and on weird machines.

> Plus developers don't like to think that stuff they are working and
> just finishing won't be in a release for another year so will lobby
> (as Lisandro did) to slip into the current release.

This is why I think we should announce when the feature merge window is
closing, and follow it with a freeze in 'master'.

> 2) You seem to think that if we announce a freeze on master (or some
> branch) dozens of disparate types of users will jump all over it and
> do massive testing during that week finding all kinds of issues. Maybe
> that happens with some package's users but not PETSc; we're lucky if
> one or two people give it a half-hearted try out.

One thing some of us do around release time is to spin up builds with
any downstream packages that we interact with and see if everything
appears to be working correctly.  Sometimes that involves some patches
to those packages, which also gives them a jump on being able to support
the new version of PETSc when it starts nagging users to upgrade.  We
also might build it on some weird machines that we have accounts on but
don't regularly use.  We've definitely caught important things during
the last-week feature freeze in the past.

>    This is why I think having a quick turn around time in preparing a
>    release is best; so long as all nightly's run clean then I think we
>    should "pop out" a release as quickly as possible on that.

Fuck it, Ship it.®

I think having a few days' feature freeze is due diligence that
significantly improves quality of the release.

>   Your concern about breaking maint is admirable, next time we could
>   use a different temporary branch name for this beast to prevent
>   confusion.

I think we should use 'master'.  One week a year with no feature merges
won't slow anyone down.
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