Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Passing the time during a RC vote, a Release Management perspective.

The Apache Karaf 2.2.3 RC is currently up for vote for 72 hours, during this time we wait for our users and developers to download the staged kits (or build from svn tags) and test them out.
I've had some users ask just what are we supposed to do in order to test a RC? Well there is no set list of tasks to perform, but here are some suggestions:

  • Download the kit appropriate to the operating system you're using (zip for windows, tar.gz for *nix systems), extract the files, and run the bin/karaf script to see if it boots to command prompt.
  • Assuming the Karaf prompt boots, try issuing a few commands. If you have a project you're hosting on Karaf try installing it and see how it operates.
  • If you're looking to try the source code, then checkout from the release tag and try a full maven clean install on your platform. 
So now that you've tested the Karaf RC, what do you do if you've found an issue? The first thing to do is report it to vote email thread (assuming its still in progress). Generally the information we'll need includes the platform you're working on, versions of maven & java, and a description of the error you've encountered. So a report such as "Attempted build on AIX 6 with Maven 2.2.1 & JDK 1.6 and found Class Not Found error in package XYZ during source build" would be greatly appreciated. If you've found that everything is in working order with the RC then please by all means reply to the vote thread with your +1 (it's counted as non-binding if you do not belong to the project PMC, however we greatly appreciate every vote an RC receives).

So while our users and contributors are testing the latest Karaf RC, what does the Release Manager do? It's the RM's responsibility to monitor the vote email thread, respond to enquiries, and make clarifications. If a critical or blocking issue is reported then the RM will have to mitigate the issue or cancel the vote, and see that the issue is reported for resolution and a new release candidate scheduled with the appropriate fix(s) applied. In the case of Apache Karaf, unlike other projects, the RM also takes this time to sample a fine bottle of wine and listen music (and quite often cook a lot). In the case of Karaf 2.2.3 RC for example, the RM is sampling Chateau Roc de Bernon Puisseguin-Saint-Emilion 2006 and listening to Joel Plaskett albums, while BBQing on a sunny patio deck.

Hanging out on the patio, flipping burgers - monitoring for RC questions and votes. Release management requires many sacrifices ;)
If you'd like to get involved in testing the Apache Karaf 2.2.3 RC please check out the following links:

Temporary online copy of Apache Karaf 2.2.3 release notes (will be published upon passing of vote):

Staging repository (obtain kits from here - note this link will only work while staged):

Release tags (checkout the source from this tag for test building):

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