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From Paul Benedict <>
Subject Re: Releases, Continuous Delivery and the Future
Date Mon, 15 Dec 2014 21:36:50 GMT
Jason, thanks for taking the time to write this up. It is a good read.

One extra tidbit I'd like to discussion is this. When I recommended we burn
the version when the vote/build fails, I wasn't expecting we would move the
fixed issues to the new version. Let's not do that. I find that confusing
because it's impossible to keep track which issues are tied to what vote.
For example, when 3.2.4 failed with 20 fixed issues, I want to see the
3.2.4 issues stay as-is and 3.2.5 to have new issues. We don't need the
extra JIRA maintenance of moving issues when a version is burned, and,
overall, it is a better historical record of the facts. WDYT?


On Sun, Dec 14, 2014 at 7:29 PM, Jason van Zyl <> wrote:
> Hi,
> The discussion keeps resurfacing about how we deal with failed releases so
> I'll summarize how I think it should ultimately be done as a starting point.
> I'll go over the cases we've encountered thus far:
> 1) The user case prefers non-disjunct sets of releases, or from our PoV
> re-used versions. I believe people are confused by missing versions and
> will always result in questions like "What happened to version X?", where X
> is a non-viable build. Not many people read release notes, will not
> self-serve and it will just be a lot of questions and confusion. The
> typical user doesn't care about the question of whether a particular build
> is viable or not. I think they naturally expect contiguous, increasing
> versions when they update to new versions of a product.
> 2) The tester case prefers new versions but has tolerated re-used
> versions. Testers for core only really have to deal with the binary
> distribution and if it gets thrown away there's not much chance of local
> repository inconsistency because the typical tester, who is not an
> integrator, isn't going to depend on the new core release for anything.
> Running 3.2.4 doesn't put anything related to 3.2.4 in your local
> repository.
> 3) The integrator case prefers new versions. Different content with the
> same version is a violation of our immutability philosophy and can cause
> issues. Even though this is very much contained at the moment let's be
> optimistic and believe we will have many integrators that will test
> pre-released versions. Igor is right in that it's not fun to keep track of
> this and why should the burden be placed on the integrator. The answer is
> it shouldn't.
> 4) The release manager case prefers new versions. I have typically reused
> versions because I believe 1) is true. It's a PITA to erase tags,  shuffle
> issues around in JIRA, and reset the POMs. I would prefer to just move
> forward, but I have done it because the user confusion is not worth the
> small effort it takes me to clean up a few resources. One hour for me
> versus thousands of hours of confusion for all users. It's an easy
> calculation.
> Taking all these cases into consideration so that all participants are
> satisfied I think we ultimately want increasing and contiguous versions for
> users, testers and integrators while the release manager does not have to
> shuffle a bunch of resources around in the event of a non-viable build.
> What we want is a form of continuous delivery where a version like 3.2.4 is
> the version that we call it to the outside world (some refer to it as the
> marketing version) and the qualifier changes from build to build so we have:
> 3.2.4-qualifier
> And for simplicity's sake let's just say the qualifier is a build number
> so we end up with:
> 3.2.4-01
> 3.2.4-02
> ...
> 3.2.4-NN
> Every build is a complete build that can be released, and in the stream of
> builds that are produced we decide that one is good enough for public
> consumption. Nothing in the issue tracking or documentation needs to change
> as it's still referred to as 3.2.4. People who download the distribution
> aren't going to care what the exact versions say on the JARs but some
> education might be required to tell people that something like 3.2.4 is
> actually 3.2.4-05 if they want to refer to an artifact from 3.2.4. I don't
> think making aliases to the marketing versions are a good idea and wouldn't
> want to duplicate artifacts so that they can be referred to by the
> marketing version. People will just become accustom to knowing a qualifier
> is necessary to find the actual version.
> This is more how things work at Eclipse where if you look at something
> from Jetty:
> You'll see that something like jetty-servlet 9.2.3 is actually referred to
> as 9.2.3.v20140905. Jetty seems somewhat inconsistent with respect to
> milestones but you get the idea. I think this works for all parties but
> especially users where say we all happen to write blog entries about 3.2.4
> and it fails twice and we actually release 3.2.6. This is just so confusing
> as anything that referred to 3.2.4 now really means 3.2.6 which is totally
> inconsistent. I think skipping failed versions from the users perspective
> like we are currently doing is just a recipe for a massive amount of
> confusion and wasted time. Moving toward a stream based approach with a
> marketing version and qualifiers for actual versions is really the only way
> it can work for everyone.
> Thanks,
> Jason
> ----------------------------------------------------------
> Jason van Zyl
> Founder,  Apache Maven
> ---------------------------------------------------------
> To think is easy. To act is hard. But the hardest thing in the world is to
> act in accordance with your thinking.
>  -- Johann von Goethe

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