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From "robert burrell donkin" <>
Subject Re: 0.9.8 release
Date Wed, 04 Apr 2007 12:48:36 GMT
On 4/3/07, Michael Dick <> wrote:
> All too easy, thank you both!
>  I just added the files. Release-notes and Changes came mostly from JIRA.

release notes are surprisingly important for open source projects.
downloads are often the first point of contact for potential users,
developers and downstream repackagers.  good release are a form of
geurilla advertising and conveying as good first impress of the

IMHO it's better to think of the release notes in the broad: as
content which can and should be repeated in several different forms in
different locations. a release should be announced on the appropriate
mailing lists. downloaders are more likely the same content used for
the release notes . these notes also form the history of the project
and it's a good idea to record them permentantly on the website (this
is also useful for search engine indexes) with the date. the same
content can and should be used as a basis for all these notes.

i'd recommend starting with a sentence describing the nature of the
release ("foo-1.2.3 is a bug fix release" or "foo-1.3.0 is a feature
release"). then briefly outline compatibility ("This release is
backwards compatible with foo-1.2.0.") then platform requirements
("Foo require Java 1.4.2 or higher").

the release notes should contain a paragraph introducing the project
and available resources (wesite, mailing lists and so). a sentence
encouraging people to get involved is also a good idea.

if the release is not backwards compatible with the last release, then
include a list of changes which those using earlier library need to
make. (use a tool to generate the base output.)

release notes don't need to be worked up every time from scratch: a
lot of this additional content will not change.

- robert

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