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Making a Release

Before you start with this, make sure you understand the release model all developers should follow for core components.

Note that xfce provides xfce-do-release, an automated release-script which guides you through all steps required to release a xfce component.

That prevents mistakes and helps to get a clean build (by building in a container). It will catch all translation updates and pre-write a NEWS file for you by using the commit messages. Best use it over the manual release process when possible.

Install 'xfce4-dev-tools' to make use of it !

Version Numbering

Stable releases

Stable releases are created from the stable branch of the repository. So before you start make sure you are working in this branch.

# get the stable branch
git checkout --track -b xfce-4.14 remotes/origin/xfce-4.14
# pull the latest changes
git pull --rebase

Now make sure all the bug fixes are committed and pushed to the remote repository. You can check this at gitlab.xfce.org as well.

For the version number the micro version is increased by 1. So 4.12.2 becomes 4.12.3.

Development releases

Unstable releases are created from the master branch, which is in this period in feature-freeze. There we use an odd minor number. So the first development release is for example 4.15.0, then 4.15.1 etc.

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Build the tarball

If you are sure all the fixes are committed in the correct branch, its time to prepare the release.

Update NEWS, Release Notes, & Translations

As of Xfce version 4.15.0, xfce-dev-tools contains several Bash helper scripts to assist in building your release:

  • xfce-do-release - Main helper script. Checks versions, tags, commits and pushes changes, logs into and uploads to release manager.
  • xfce-get-release-notes - Complementary to xfce-get-translations and gets all the commits that aren't translation updates.
  • xfce-get-translations - Gets all language updates to a repository since a specified commit or tag.

Update version number

  1. Edit the configure script template configure.ac.in.
  2. Set the package version (<package>_version_major, <package>_version_minor and <package>_version_micro) to the version you want to release.
  3. Remove git from <package>_version_tag.
  4. Check the build dependencies.

Compile the code

./autogen.sh --enable-gtk-doc
make distcheck

If everything is ok distcheck will tell you the abc.x.y.z.tar.bz2 tarball is ready. If not fix the error(s) and commit the changes before running distcheck again.

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Tag release

If the tarball is build successfully, it is time to tag the release in git.

# make sure there are not pending changes
git status
# if not, commit them
git commit -a -m "Updates for the x.y.z release." && git push
# tag the release (annotated tag is required)
git tag -a abc.x.y.z
# send tag to remote
git push --tags

For more information read the git tag manual.

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Upload the tarball

  1. Open https://releases.xfce.org/ in your browser, log in with your Xfce HTTPS credentials.
  2. Click on Release New Version link next to your project.
  3. Follow the instructions presented to you by the release manager software to upload the abc.x.y.z.tar.bz2 tarball with the SHA1 checksum you can generate with sha1sum abc.x.y.z.tar.bz2 in a terminal.
    • For the announcements, please only pick mailing lists that make sense. Everything should be announced on xfce-announce@xfce.org and xfce@xfce.org.
    • Please note that you MUST subscribe to the announce mailling list before doing a release. Your first release mail need to be moderated by a list admin.
  4. Make a nice summary of the new features or just paste the contents of the NEWS file.

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Post release

  1. Add the git back to ?_version_tag() in the configure.am.in file, commit and push the change.
  2. Possibly switch back to the master branch.
  3. Celebrate 8-).

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