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From Jeremy Hanna <>
Subject Discussion: release quality
Date Tue, 29 Nov 2011 23:16:45 GMT
I'd like to start a discussion about ideas to improve release quality for Cassandra.  Specifically
I wonder if the community can do more to help the project as a whole become more solid.  Cassandra
has an active and vibrant community using Cassandra for a variety of things.  If we all pitch
in a little bit, it seems like we can make a difference here.

Release quality is difficult, especially for a distributed system like Cassandra.  The core
devs have done an amazing job with this considering how complicated it is.  Currently, there
are several things in place to make sure that a release is generally usable:
- review-then-commit
- 72 hour voting period
- at least 3 binding +1 votes
- unit tests
- integration tests
Then there is the personal responsibility aspect - testing a release in a staging environment
before pushing it to production.

I wonder if more could be done here to give more confidence in releases.  I wanted to see
if there might be ways that the community could help out without being too burdensome on either
the core devs or the community.

Some ideas:
More automation: run YCSB and stress with various setups.  Maybe people can rotate donating
cloud instances (or simply money for them) but have a common set of scripts to do this in
the source.

Dedicated distributed test suite: I know there has been work done on various distributed test
suites (which is great!) but none have really caught on so far.

I know what the apache guidelines say, but what if the community could help out with the testing
effort in a more formal way.  For example, for each release to be finalized, what if there
needed to be 3 community members that needed to try it out in their own environment?

What if there was a post release +1 vote for the community to sign off on - sort of a "works
for me" kind of thing to reassure others that it's safe to try.  So when the release email
gets posted to the user list, start a tradition of people saying +1 in reply if they've tested
it out and it works for them.  That's happening informally now when there are problems, but
it might be nice to see a vote of confidence.  Just another idea.

Any other ideas or variations?
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