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Re: [Xen-devel] Xen release cycle revisited

Hi Juergen,

On 18/12/2017 18:32, Juergen Gross wrote:
On 18/12/17 17:38, Julien Grall wrote:
Hi Juergen,

On 18/12/17 16:10, Juergen Gross wrote:
On 18/12/17 16:57, Julien Grall wrote:
Hi George,

On 18/12/17 14:56, George Dunlap wrote:
On Fri, Dec 15, 2017 at 2:54 PM, Juergen Gross <jgross@xxxxxxxx> wrote:
On 14/12/17 14:13, Juergen Gross wrote:
On 14/12/17 13:43, Julien Grall wrote:

On 14/12/17 11:38, Juergen Gross wrote:
On 14/12/17 12:28, Julien Grall wrote:

On 14/12/17 07:56, Juergen Gross wrote:
Hi all,

Hi Juergen,

I would recommend to CC committers on that thread, so your thread
get lost in the xen-devel meanders :).

with 4.10 more or less finished it is time to plan for the next
4.11. Since 4.7 we are using a 6 month release cycle [1]
targeting to
release in June and December.

While this worked reasonably well for 4.7, 4.8 and 4.9 we had
difficulties with 4.10: bad luck with security patch timing
shifted the
4.10 release more towards mid of December. Doing thorough
testing of
latest security patches and trying to release at least 10 days
Christmas seemed to be almost mutually exclusive goals.

So what do we learn from this experience?

1. Should we think about other planned release dates (e.g. May
        November - would that collide with any holiday season)?

2. Shouldn't we have tried to include the latest security
patches in
        4.10, resulting in the need for 4.10.1 at once?

I am not sure to understand this questions here.

Hmm, yes, this is somehow garbled.

Next try:

2. Should we have released 4.10 without those late security
       resulting in the need for 4.10.1 at once?

We were not ready to release on the 2nd December. This would have
the release date too close to XSAs published date. The risk was
that the
security issues announcement would overshadow the release

Okay. So for me it seems as if a planned release early December is
main problem: either the release slips no more than 2 weeks or it
slip for more than 5 weeks.

Having only 2 weeks of spare time is a major risk.

What I'd like to suggest is to move the target release dates to early
May and November. Or would this create a conflict with any holiday
season we care about?

I think one concern was that if we release in early May, the feature
freeze would be early March, which will often be right after Chinese
New Year (a bit like having the feature freeze on January 5).

But having the feature freeze up shortly after a major holiday is
probably less bad than having the release shortly before a major
holiday (as we have had this time).
Yu would unofficially put the feature freeze for anyone "affected" by
the major holidays.

So it might be wiser to move the feature freeze before the holidays.
This would help planning and avoid adding frustration around the feature

Hmm, really?

So I should freeze one or two weeks earlier just because someone _might_
be on vacation? So I would eventually delay a major feature from someone
in Europe because of Chinese holidays? I don't think this is a good
Chinese NY is quite important in China. Knowing that they are
contributing a lot to Xen, it is not only someone but an important part
of the contributors.

Any major holidays affecting Europe/US is likely going to affect the
release. Mostly because the a major part of the maintainers are in
Europe/US today.

So you would delay feature from someone in China because of European/US
holidays. How this would this be fine compare to the invert?

So I don't get why moving the freeze date _before_ the holidays as you
suggested would not delay that feature. I can't believe that making the
development phase shorter will help more features to be finished.

Putting the freeze date at before the holidays will just hurt _all_
developers while for those being on vacation nothing changes regardless
whether the freeze is at the beginning or at the end of their holidays.

It does change a bit for developer on vacation. IHMO it is better going on official holidays (IIRC this is what it is in China) knowing that my feature was not merged because on the deadline rather than because I was on holidays... I don't think I am the only one who like that.

What you will end up to have is more people requesting an extension because the feature freeze is right at the end of their holidays. You will have to say no because on our policy (freeze exception). That will frustrate a bit more the person. Hence, why I think putting before a major holidays make easier.

What _is_ changing, though, is their ability to react on a potential bug
when the freeze date has come: with the freeze date at the start of
their holidays they will be able to fix the bug only after the end of
their holidays, so the freeze period is longer without any win for the
whole project.

I think George's e-mail summarize quite well what I am trying to convey. You have to take into account the two sides: submitter and maintainer.

What we should try to avoid in any case is a major part of the community
being on vacation between freeze date and release of the new version. As
we can't know for sure how long this phase will be we should make sure
to make it as long as possible, so setting the freeze date at the end of
a holidays season is just the right thing to do.

I'm open for other suggestions regarding the dates, of course. So I
believe the first thing we should do is to write down the holidays we'd
like to avoid. Then we should find the two longest time spans without
any major holidays about 6 months apart to settle the freeze and the
potential release dates. The freeze dates should be as early as possible
allowing for the maximum time until the release dates.

So IMO we want to avoid the following holidays seasons:
- Chinese new year: 1 week after Jan 22 ... Feb 17
- Main holidays season Europe/US: July, August
- Christmas: Dec 24 - Jan 1 (maybe longer?)
Adding e.g. Eastern would make it very hard to find a suitable date:
effectively mid of December until end of February are already blocked by
above dates. Adding Eastern would add 2 further months unless we adapt
each year individually (which is possible, of course).

It is probably worth for you to have a look at the Wei's RFC regarding 6-months releases:



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