GNOME's Time-Based Release Schedule
Although we agree on rough aims for each major release, and attempt to achieve those aims, GNOME releases are time-based rather than feature-based. A roughly 6-month release cycle allows us to coordinate development of the features that have actually been implemented, allowing us to maintain the quality of the overall release without delaying everything because of one or two features. If a feature is not ready in time then the developers must not wait long to put it in the next major release. We have found that this encourages both high quality and rapid development compared to feature-based release schedules.
Havoc Pennington's original plan, suggesting time-based releases, might be interesting.
For instance, the current schedule is on the release start page. Once it has been created, the schedule should not be expected to change, because there is no need to wait for features to be completed.
A whole GNOME release schedule should last approximately 6 months.
The schedule should contain the following:
- Regular test release dates, approximately every 2 weeks.
- Requests for tarball releases will be sent to desktop-devel-list a few days before the release dates. The request dates should also be on the schedule, to avoid surprise. The tarballs will be made available on GNOME's ftp server, and there will be a folder of symlinks listing just the specific module tarballs for the particular GNOME release.
Dates for the various freezes.
- A date for the final release.
The releng module contains scripts for creating the schedule and related announcements (e.g. tarballs due email). See the scripts in the releng module, tools/schedule directory.