|Title:||Doing Python Releases 101|
|Author:||Barry Warsaw <barry at python.org>, Guido van Rossum <guido at python.org>|
Making a Python release is a thrilling and crazy process. You've heard the expression "herding cats"? Imagine trying to also saddle those purring little creatures up, and ride them into town, with some of their buddies firmly attached to your bare back, anchored by newly sharpened claws. At least they're cute, you remind yourself. Actually, no that's a slight exaggeration <wink>. The Python release process has steadily improved over the years and now, with the help of our amazing community, is really not too difficult. This PEP attempts to collect, in one place, all the steps needed to make a Python release. It is organized as a recipe and you can actually print this out and check items off as you complete them.
Things You'll Need
As a release manager there are a lot of resources you'll need to access. Here's a hopefully-complete list. * A GPG key. Python releases are digitally signed with GPG; you'll need a key, which hopefully will be on the "web of trust" with at least one of the other release managers. * Access to ``dl-files.iad1.psf.io``, the server that hosts download files. You'll be uploading files directly here. * Shell access to ``hg.python.org``, the Python Mercurial host. You'll have to adapt repository configuration there. * Write access to the PEP repository. If you're reading this, you probably already have this--the first task of any release manager is to draft the release schedule. But in case you just signed up... sucker! I mean, uh, congratulations! * Posting access to http://blog.python.org, a Blogger-hosted weblog. The RSS feed from this blog is used for the 'Python News' section on www.python.org. * A subscription to the super secret release manager mailing list, which may or may not be called ``python-cabal``. Bug Barry about this.
How to Make A Release
Here are the steps taken to make a Python release. Some steps are more fuzzy than others because there's little that can be automated (e.g. writing the NEWS entries). Where a step is usually performed by An Expert, the role of that expert is given. Otherwise, assume the step is done by the Release Manager (RM), the designated person performing the release. The roles and their current experts are: * RM = Release Manager: Larry Hastings <firstname.lastname@example.org> (US) * WE = Windows: Martin von Loewis <email@example.com> (Central Europe) and Steve Dower <firstname.lastname@example.org> * ME = Mac: Ned Deily <email@example.com> (US) * DE = Docs: Georg Brandl <firstname.lastname@example.org> (Central Europe) * IE = Idle Expert: ?? NOTE: It is highly recommended that the RM contact the Experts the day before the release. Because the world is round and everyone lives in different timezones, the RM must ensure that the release tag is created in enough time for the Experts to cut binary releases. You should not make the release public (by updating the website and sending announcements) before all experts have updated their bits. In rare cases where the expert for Windows or Mac is MIA, you may add a message "(Platform) binaries will be provided shortly" and proceed. XXX: We should include a dependency graph to illustrate the steps that can be taken in parallel, or those that depend on other steps. As much as possible, the release steps are automated and guided by the release script, which is available in a separate repository: https://hg.python.org/release/ We use the following conventions in the examples below. Where a release number is given, it is of the form X.Y.ZaN, e.g. 3.3.0a3 for Python 3.3.0 alpha 3, where "a" == alpha, "b" == beta, "rc" == release candidate. Release tags are named "vX.Y.ZaN". The branch name for minor release maintenance branches is "X.Y". This helps by performing several automatic editing steps, and guides you to perform some manual editing steps. ___ Log into irc.freenode.net and join the #python-dev channel. You probably need to coordinate with other people around the world. This IRC channel is where we've arranged to meet. ___ Check to see if there are any showstopper bugs. Go to http://bugs.python.org and look for any open bugs that can block this release. You're looking at the Priority of the open bugs for the release you're making; here are the relevant definitions: release blocker - Stops the release dead in its tracks. You may not make any release with any open release blocker bugs. deferred blocker - Doesn't block this release, but it will block a future release. You may not make a final or candidate release with any open deferred blocker bugs. critical - Important bugs that should be fixed, but which does not block a release. Review the release blockers and either resolve them, bump them down to deferred, or stop the release and ask for community assistance. If you're making a final or candidate release, do the same with any open deferred. ___ Check the stable buildbots. Go to http://www.python.org/dev/buildbot/stable/ (the trailing slash is required). Look at the buildbots for the release you're making. Ignore any that are offline (or inform the community so they can be restarted). If what remains are (mostly) green buildbots, you're good to go. If you have non-offline red buildbots, you may want to hold up the release until they are fixed. Review the problems and use your judgement, taking into account whether you are making an alpha, beta, or final release. ___ Make a release clone. Create a local clone of the cpython repository (called the "release clone" from now on). Also clone the repo at http://hg.python.org/cpython using the server-side clone feature. The name of the new clone should preferably have a "releasing/" prefix. The other experts will use the release clone for making the binaries, so it is important that they have access to it! It's best to set up your local release clone to push to the remote release clone by default (by editing .hg/hgrc to that effect). ___ Notify all committers by sending email to email@example.com. Since we're now working with a distributed version control system, there is no need to stop everyone from pushing to the main repo; you'll just work in your own clone. Therefore, there won't be any checkin freezes. However, all committers should know the point at which your release clone was made, as later commits won't make it into the release without extra effort. ___ Make sure the current branch of your release clone is the branch you want to release from. ___ Check the docs for markup errors. cd to the Doc directory and run ``make suspicious``. If any markup errors are found, fix them. ___ Regenerate Lib/pydoc-topics.py. While still in the Doc directory, run ``make pydoc-topics``. Then copy ``build/pydoc-topics/topics.py`` to ``../Lib/pydoc_data/topics.py``. ___ Commit your changes to pydoc_topics.py (and any fixes you made in the docs). ___ Make sure the SOURCE_URI in ``Doc/tools/pyspecific.py`` points to the right branch in the hg repository (or ``default`` for unstable releases of the default branch). ___ Bump version numbers via the release script. $ .../release/release.py --bump X.Y.ZaN This automates updating various release numbers, but you will have to modify a few files manually. If your $EDITOR environment variable is set up correctly, release.py will pop up editor windows with the files you need to edit. It is important to update the Misc/NEWS file, however in recent years, this has become easier as the community is responsible for most of the content of this file. You should only need to review the text for sanity, and update the release date with today's date. ___ Make sure all changes have been committed. (``release.py --bump`` doesn't check in its changes for you.) ___ Check the years on the copyright notice. If the last release was some time last year, add the current year to the copyright notice in several places: ___ README ___ LICENSE (make sure to change on trunk and the branch) ___ Python/getcopyright.c ___ Doc/README.txt (at the end) ___ Doc/copyright.rst ___ Doc/license.rst ___ PC/python_nt.rc sets up the DLL version resource for Windows (displayed when you right-click on the DLL and select Properties). ___ Check with the IE (if there is one <wink>) to be sure that Lib/idlelib/NEWS.txt has been similarly updated. ___ For a final major release, edit the first paragraph of Doc/whatsnew/X.Y.rst to include the actual release date; e.g. "Python 2.5 was released on August 1, 2003." There's no need to edit this for alpha or beta releases. Note that Andrew Kuchling often takes care of this. ___ Tag the release for X.Y.ZaN. $ .../release/release.py --tag X.Y.ZaN NOTE: when forward, i.e. "null" merging your changes to newer branches, e.g. 2.6 -> 2.7, do *not* revert your changes to the .hgtags file or you will not be able to run the --export command below. Revert everything else but leave .hgtags alone. ___ If this is a final major release, branch the tree for X.Y. When making a major release (e.g., for 3.2), you must create the long-lived maintenance branch. ___ Note down the current revision ID of the tree. $ hg identify ___ First, set the original trunk up to be the next release. $ .../release/release.py --bump 3.3a0 ___ Edit all version references in the README ___ Move any historical "what's new" entries from Misc/NEWS to Misc/HISTORY. ___ Edit Doc/tutorial/interpreter.rst (2 references to '[Pp]ython3x', one to 'Python 3.x', also make the date in the banner consistent). ___ Edit Doc/tutorial/stdlib.rst and Doc/tutorial/stdlib2.rst, which have each one reference to '[Pp]ython3x'. ___ Add a new whatsnew/3.x.rst file (with the comment near the top and the toplevel sections copied from the previous file) and and add it to the toctree in whatsnew/index.rst. ___ Update the version number in configure.ac and re-run autoconf. ___ Update the version numbers for the Windows builds in PC/ and PCbuild/, which have references to python32. $ find PC/ PCbuild/ -type f | xargs sed -i 's/python32/python33/g' $ hg mv -f PC/os2emx/python32.def PC/os2emx/python33.def $ hg mv -f PC/python32stub.def PC/python33stub.def $ hg mv -f PC/python32gen.py PC/python33gen.py ___ Commit these changes to the default branch. ___ Now, go back to the previously noted revision and make the maintenance branch *from there*. $ hg update deadbeef # revision ID noted down before $ hg branch 3.2 ___ When you want to push back your new branch to the main CPython repository, the new branch name must be added to the "allow-branches" hook configuration, which protects against stray named branches being pushed. Login to hg.python.org and edit (as the "hg" user) ``/data/hg/repos/cpython/.hg/hgrc`` to that effect. ___ For a final major release, Doc/tools/static/version_switch.js must be updated in all maintained branches, so that the new maintenance branch is not "dev" anymore and there is a new "dev" version. ___ Push your commits to the remote release clone. $ hg push ssh://hg.python.org/releasing/... ___ Notify the experts that they can start building binaries. ___ STOP STOP STOP STOP STOP STOP STOP STOP At this point you must receive the "green light" from other experts in order to create the release. There are things you can do while you wait though, so keep reading until you hit the next STOP. ___ The WE builds the Windows helpfile, using (in Doc/) > make.bat htmlhelp (on Windows) to create suitable input for HTML Help Workshop in build/htmlhelp. HTML Help Workshop is then fired up on the created python33.hhp file, finally resulting in an python33.chm file. ___ The WE then generates Windows installer files for each Windows target architecture (for Python 3.3, this means x86 and AMD64). - He has one checkout tree per target architecture, and builds the pcbuild.sln project for the appropriate architecture. - PC\icons.mak must have been run with nmake. - The cmd.exe window in which this is run must have Cygwin/bin in its path (at least for x86). - The cmd.exe window must have MS compiler tools for the target architecture in its path (VS 2010 for Python 3.3). - The WE then edits Tools/msi/config.py (a file only present locally) to update full_current_version and sets snapshot to false. Currently for a release config.py looks like snapshot=0 full_current_version="3.3.5rc2" certname="Python Software Foundation PCBUILD='PCbuild\\amd64' The last line is only present for the amd64 checkout. - Now he runs msi.py with ActivePython or Python with pywin32. The WE checksums the files (*.msi, *.chm, *-pdb.zip), uploads them to dl-files.iad1.psf.io together with gpg signature files, and emails you the location and md5sums. ___ The ME builds Mac installer packages and uploads them to dl-files.iad1.psf.io together with gpg signature files. ___ Time to build the source tarball. Be sure to update your clone to the correct branch. E.g. $ hg update 3.2 ___ Do a "hg status" in this directory. You should not see any files. I.e. you better not have any uncommitted changes in your working directory. ___ Make sure you have virtualenv installed (for Python 2.7). The release script installs Sphinx in a virtualenv when building the docs. For building the PDF docs, you also need a fairly complete installation of a recent TeX distribution such as texlive. ___ Use the release script to create the source gzip and xz tarballs, documentation tar and zip files, and gpg signature files. $ .../release/release.py --export X.Y.ZaN This can take a while for final releases, and it will leave all the tarballs and signatures in a subdirectory called 'X.Y.ZaN/src', and the built docs in 'X.Y.ZaN/docs' (for final releases). ___ scp or rsync all the files to your home directory on dl-files.iad1.psf.io. While you're waiting for the files to finish uploading, you can continue on with the remaining tasks. You can also ask folks on #python-dev and/or python-committers to download the files as they finish uploading so that they can test them on their platforms as well. ___ Now you want to perform the very important step of checking the tarball you just created, to make sure a completely clean, virgin build passes the regression test. Here are the best steps to take: $ cd /tmp $ tar xvf ~/Python-3.2rc2.tgz $ cd Python-3.2rc2 $ ls (Do things look reasonable?) $ ls Lib (Are there stray .pyc files?) $ ./configure (Loads of configure output) $ make test (Do all the expected tests pass?) If you're feeling lucky and have some time to kill, or if you are making a release candidate or final release, run the full test suite: $ make testall If the tests pass, then you can feel good that the tarball is fine. If some of the tests fail, or anything else about the freshly unpacked directory looks weird, you better stop now and figure out what the problem is. ___ Now you need to go to dl-files.iad1.psf.io and move all the files in place over there. Our policy is that every Python version gets its own directory, but each directory contains all releases of that version. ___ On dl-files.iad1.psf.io, cd /srv/www.python.org/ftp/python/X.Y.Z creating it if necessary. Make sure it is owned by group 'downloads' and group-writable. ___ Move the release .tgz, and .tar.xz files into place, as well as the .asc GPG signature files. The Win/Mac binaries are usually put there by the experts themselves. Make sure they are world readable. They should also be group writable, and group-owned by downloads. ___ Use ``gpg --verify`` to make sure they got uploaded intact. ___ If this is a final release: Move the doc zips and tarballs to /srv/www.python.org/ftp/python/doc/X.Y.Z, creating the directory if necessary, and adapt the "current" symlink in .../doc to point to that directory. Note though that if you're releasing a maintenance release for an older version, don't change the current link. ___ If this is a final release (even a maintenance release), also unpack the HTML docs to /srv/docs.python.org/release/X.Y.Z on docs.iad1.psf.io. Make sure the files are in group "docs". If it is a release of a security-fix-only version, tell the DE to build a version with the "version switcher" and put it there. ___ Let the DE check if the docs are built and work all right. ___ If this is a final major release: Tell the DE to adapt redirects for docs.python.org/X.Y in the Apache config for docs.python.org, update the script Doc/tools/dailybuild.py to point to the right stable/development branches, and to install it and make the initial checkout. The Doc's version_switcher.js script also needs to be updated. In general, please don't touch things in the toplevel /srv/docs.python.org/ directory unless you know what you're doing. ___ Note both the documentation and downloads are behind a caching CDN. If you change archives after downloading them through the website, you'll need to purge the stale data in the CDN like this: $ curl -X PURGE https://www.python.org/ftp/python/2.7.5/Python-2.7.5.tar.xz ___ For the extra paranoid, do a completely clean test of the release. This includes downloading the tarball from www.python.org. Make sure the md5 checksums match. Then unpack the tarball, and do a clean make test. $ make distclean $ ./configure $ make test To ensure that the regression test suite passes. If not, you screwed up somewhere! Now it's time to twiddle the web site. To do these steps, you must have the permission to edit the website. If you don't have that, ask someone on firstname.lastname@example.org for the proper permissions. It's insane for you not to have it. XXX This is completely out of date for Django based python.org. This page will probably come in handy: http://docutils.sourceforge.net/docs/user/rst/quickref.html None of the web site updates are automated by release.py. ___ Build the basic site. In the top directory, do an `svn update` to get the latest code. In the build subdirectory, do `make` to build the site. Do `make serve` to start service the pages on localhost:8005. Hit that url to see the site as it is right now. At any time you can re-run `make` to update the local site. You don't have to restart the server. Don't `svn commit` until you're all done! ___ If this is the first release for this version (even a new patch version), you'll need to create a subdirectory inside download/releases to hold the new version files. It's probably a good idea to copy an existing recent directory and twiddle the files in there for the new version number. ___ Update the version specific pages. ___ cd to `download/releases/X.Y.Z` ___ Edit the version numbers in content.ht ___ Update the md5 checksums ___ Comment out the "This is a preview release" or the "This is a production release" paragraph as appropriate Note, you don't have to copy any release files into this directory; they only live on dl-files.iad1.psf.io in the ftp directory. ___ Edit `download/releases/content.ht` to update the version numbers for this release. There are a bunch of places you need to touch: ___ The subdirectory name as the first element in the Nav rows. ___ Possibly the Releases section, and possibly in the experimental releases section if this is an alpha, beta or release candidate. ___ Update the download page, editing `download/content.ht`. Pre-releases are added only to the "Testing versions" list. ___ If this is a final release... ___ Update the 'Quick Links' section on the front page. Edit the top-level `content.ht` file. ___ For X.Y.Z, edit all the previous X.Y releases' content.ht page to point to the new release. ___ Update `doc/content.ht` to indicate the new current documentation version, and remove the current version from any 'in development' section. Update the version in the "What's New" link. ___ Add the new version to `doc/versions/content.ht`. ___ Add a news section item to the front page by editing newsindex.yml. The format should be pretty self evident. ___ When everything looks good, `svn commit` in the data directory. This will trigger the live site to update itself, and at that point the release is live. ___ If this is a final release, create a new python.org/X.Y Apache alias (or ask pydotorg to do so for you). Now it's time to write the announcement for the mailing lists. This is the fuzzy bit because not much can be automated. You can use an earlier announcement as a template, but edit it for content! ___ STOP STOP STOP STOP STOP STOP STOP STOP ___ Have you gotten the green light from the WE? ___ Have you gotten the green light from the DE? ___ Once the announcement is ready, send it to the following addresses: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com ___ Also post the announcement to `The Python Insider blog <http://blog.python.org>`_. To add a new entry, go to `your Blogger home page, here. <https://www.blogger.com/home>`_ Now it's time to do some cleaning up. These steps are very important! ___ Do the guided post-release steps with the release script. $ .../release/release.py --done X.Y.ZaN Review and commit these changes. ___ Merge your release clone into the main development repo: $ cd ../cpython # your clone of the main repo $ hg pull ssh://hg.python.org/cpython # update from remote first $ hg pull ../cpython-releaseX.Y # now pull from release clone Now merge your release clone's changes in every branch you touched (usually only one, except if you made a new maintenance release). Easily resolvable conflicts may appear in Misc/NEWS. ___ If releasing from other than the default branch, remember to carefully merge any touched branches with higher level branches, up to default. For example: $ hg update -C default $ hg resolve --list $ hg merge --tool "internal:fail" 3.4 ... here, revert changes that are not relevant for the default branch... $ hg resolve --mark ___ Commit and push to the main repo. ___ You can delete the remote release clone, or simply reuse it for the next release. ___ Send email to python-committers informing them that the release has been published. ___ Update any release PEPs (e.g. 361) with the release dates. ___ Update the tracker at http://bugs.python.org: ___ Flip all the deferred blocker issues back to release blocker for the next release. ___ Add version X.Y+1 as when version X.Y enters alpha. ___ Change non-doc RFEs to version X.Y+1 when version X.Y enters beta. ___ Update 'behavior' issues from versions that your release make unsupported to the next supported version. ___ Review open issues, as this might find lurking showstopper bugs, besides reminding people to fix the easy ones they forgot about.
___ Verify! Pretend you're a user: download the files from python.org, and make Python from it. This step is too easy to overlook, and on several occasions we've had useless release files. Once a general server problem caused mysterious corruption of all files; once the source tarball got built incorrectly; more than once the file upload process on SF truncated files; and so on. ___ Rejoice. Drink. Be Merry. Write a PEP like this one. Or be like unto Guido and take A Vacation. You've just made a Python release!
Windows has a MSI installer, various flavors of Windows have "special limitations", and the Windows installer also packs precompiled "foreign" binaries (Tcl/Tk, expat, etc). So Windows testing is tiresome but very necessary. Concurrent with uploading the installer, the WE installs Python from it twice: once into the default directory suggested by the installer, and later into a directory with embedded spaces in its name. For each installation, he runs the full regression suite from a DOS box, and both with and without -0. For maintenance release, he also tests whether upgrade installations succeed. He also tries *every* shortcut created under Start -> Menu -> the Python group. When trying IDLE this way, you need to verify that Help -> Python Documentation works. When trying pydoc this way (the "Module Docs" Start menu entry), make sure the "Start Browser" button works, and make sure you can search for a random module (like "random" <wink>) and then that the "go to selected" button works. It's amazing how much can go wrong here -- and even more amazing how often last-second checkins break one of these things. If you're "the Windows geek", keep in mind that you're likely the only person routinely testing on Windows, and that Windows is simply a mess. Repeat the testing for each target architecture. Try both an Admin and a plain User (not Power User) account.
This document has been placed in the public domain.