RapidSMS Release Checklist

This is a checklist for releasing a new version of RapidSMS.

This is intended for someone who has been designated the Release Manager, the person responsible for making an official release of RapidSMS.

For a higher-level overview of the whole release cycle, see the Release Process.

Git branches

RapidSMS uses the Git Flow process for development. The two branches of concern at release time are:

  • master - always has the most recently released code. Each release is tagged vX.X.X.
  • develop - contains the code under development for the next release

So technically, what makes a new release is merging develop to master and tagging it. Of course, we don’t want to do that until we’re ready.

Required permissions

You’ll need the following authorizations to make a release:

push to the rapidsms repository
push updates to the rapidsms package
Read the Docs
change the configuration for RapidSMS

If you need any of these authorizations:

  • create any of the accounts you don’t have
  • send an email to rapidsms-dev@googlegroups.com and ask for someone to give you the needed authorizations. Be sure to include your userid for each account.

Release checks

All the following checks should be verified before continuing:

  • master merged to develop to be sure any hotfixes are included
  • Version number in rapidsms/__init__.py updated
  • Next version number in rapidsms/docs/conf.py updated
  • New release labeled as current in rapidsms/docs/releases/index.rst
  • Previous release not labeled as current in rapidsms/docs/releases/index.rst
  • Create a release-X.X.X branch (based off master) in the RapidSMS project template repository. Make sure to update README.rst as well.
  • Update project template command line in intro/install/index.rst to point to the RapidSMS project template release branch.
  • All git issues for this release’s milestone have been resolved. (closed or moved to another milestone)
  • All tests pass against the develop branch. Look for a passing build on GitHub Actions of the tip commit on the develop branch.
  • A distribution tarball can be built with python setup.py sdist, it can be installed with pip, has the right version, and works when installed. (SUGGEST HOW TO TEST AN INSTALLED RAPIDSMS)

Release steps

Take these steps to release the new version:

  • Make a fresh clone of the repo:
git clone git@github.com:rapidsms/rapidsms.git
cd rapidsms
  • Checkout master:
git checkout master
  • Merge develop into master:
git merge develop
  • Run the tests locally. (This assumes you have tox on your path. Create a new virtualenv and install it if needed.) The tests must pass before proceeding.
  • Create a new tag:
git tag -a vX.X.X
  • Push the merged master branch and tag to github:
git push origin master --tags
  • While GitHub Actions is testing the pushed branch, compose a release announcement.

Here’s a template that can be used for release announcements. You can copy the summary from the release notes:

Subject: RapidSMS X.X.X Released

I’m excited to announce the release of RapidSMS X.X.X! Here’s a quick summary:

  • Major change or feature 1: one-line explanation
  • Major change or feature 2: one-line explanation

You can find the full list of changes and upgrade guide in the RapidSMS X.X.X Release Notes.

I’d like to give special thanks to Tom, Dick, and Harry for their work on this release. [EXPAND ON THAT].

More help is always welcome. If you’re interested, you can read the contributing guide.

The next release will be Y.Y.Y and will focus on FILL IN MAJOR GOALS FOR Y.Y.Y.

As always, if you have any questions or issues, please feel free to post them to this list or ask in the #rapidsms IRC channel on Freenode. Bugs can be reported on Github.

Start Next Release

Back on the develop branch, we can now start on the next release:

  • Merge master to develop to make sure we’re starting from the same code that’s currently released (there might have been merge conflicts or something during the release process).
  • Update the version in rapidsms/__init__.py and the next version in rapidsms/docs/conf.py.
  • Start a new release notes document in rapidsms/docs/release. Use the previous release’s document as a template. Be sure to label it at the top as under development.
  • Update rapidsms/docs/release/index.rst to mark the next release as under development.
  • Create a new Github milestone with the next release number, e.g. “v0.15.0”, so that developers can start targeting work for the next release.

Now we can start merging features intended for the next release. Review Git Flow for more about how to use git branches while developing.