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Draft - Work in Progress

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See alternative proposals 2A and 2B under specifics below. Draft document of proposals still under discussion.

Release Proposal

General Goals

1) A simple, measured introduction to a new set of product development processes (1)

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  • Initial members will include Pete Peterson (the Release Manager (Anthony Whyte), QA Director ), Anthony Whyte (Community Liaison(Pete Peterson), and a at least one recruited 2.7 branch manager (TBD, and more than one branch manager would be preferable)
  • These initial 3 members will in turn propose to the community a formal process by which others may be recruited formal processes for both recruiting additional members to this team , and a published decision-making processmaking decisions within its purview
  • This team will be empowered to make operational decisions about release management, up to excluding new code for QA or technical reasons, but will make proposals on list for community comment
  • Security-related issues that impact release planning and timing will be managed jointly by the Security WG and release management team

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  • in close consultation with the Security WG
    Info

    Two alternatives below

    Section
    Column

    2A) Independent tool releases before general QA

    • A general Sakai 2.7 feature release by April 2010, the general QA of which will begin before the end of 2009. It may include new tools reviewed by the Product Council.
    • Independent releases of Forums, Tests & Quizzes, and other tools prepared to work in this way before the beginning of general QA. (these tool releases should be intended to work against Kernel 1.1.x)
    • New tool releases must meet a set of criteria before the beginning of general QA, or the release team may be obliged to include a prior stable version of the tool instead.
    • The responsibility of organizing release management, QA and documentation for these independent tool releases will fall to the respective project team, although it's expected that other members of the community will be called upon to help.
    Column

    2B) Two feature releases over the next 10-12 months (4)

    • A 2.7 release which
    is limited to
    • prioritizes lightweight refinements to existing functional components (i.e. components/tools already present in 2.6) by the end of 2009. This may include significant new capabilities if they can be worked through the Product Council process in time, and are not judged by the release team to put the deadline in serious jeopardy.
    • A 2.8 release which
    may
    • will include new tools and other significant new capabilities reviewed by the product council, but scoped to allow full testing and delivery by May 2010
    .

3)2.5 and 2.6 maintenance releases, the number, scope and timing of each to be determined by the release management team

4) Supporting Kernel (K1) releases, the number, scope and timing of each to be determined by the kernel team, while the release management team determines the kernel version to which a given Sakai release will bind

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35) The product manager will:

  • Shepherd the review and planning process up until code freeze
  • Work with the release management team to identify issues that need to go to the product council
  • Work with the release management team to produce a an achievable published plan for the release(s)
  • Serve as liaison between the release management team and product council

46) The product council will:

  • Work to quickly establish straightforward but preliminary guidelines for inclusion in 2.8, and refine them through iterations of documentation and discussion with both the development teams and the wider community
  • Serve as a court of appeal where needed, as where issues of new functionality may surface in conversation between the product manager and , the release management team, and project teams

Next Steps

Weekly, open release meetings (i.e. anyone may join the discussion, though not all opinions may be formally binding) (6) will begin which will include the product manager and release management team. The product manager will coordinate and own the agenda, and early orders of business will include:

  1. An initial review triage of proposed new features (7) :
    • determine which, if any, will need to go to the product council (and these will generally be for 2.8)for review
    • identify where more documentation is needed from development teams, and communicate this out
    • make an initial risk assessment of various projects which can inform test planning (e.g. riskier changes may receive earlier QA focus)
    • establish realistic freeze dates for 2.7, based on time needed for QA, availability of resource, etc.
  2. The initial members of the release management team will work to propose (to the community) formal processes for how its decisions will be made and how members may be recruited
  3. The product manager will document significant changes for 2.7-2.8, and coordinate their review by the product council.

Footnotes

Info

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footnote1
footnote1
1. The new Product Development Process introduces new roles and new ways of doing business. There is a newly appointed product council, which will be working to establish a transparent process with clear criteria, and there is also a new product manager, among whose responsibilities is ownership of a Sakai roadmap. The new process is not going to achieve maturity overnight, especially at this time of year (Q3 2009) when many are preoccupied with both vacations and a Fall term preoccupations hold sway, and so a balance needs to be struck that allows the council begin taking up its charge quickly but simply, without throwing all expectations and ingrained habits into sudden confusionoff all forward momentum.
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footnote2
footnote2
2. The community needs a reliable release roadmap in order to both contribute to the general effort and make preparations for its own deployments.
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footnote3
footnote3
3. Release scope will be framed by an analysis of what can be managed and adequately tested under the constraints of available time and volunteer resource from the community. Functional priorities will require the guidance of the product council, but against this an achievable release management plan still needs to be developed, and on this basis some proposed new features may have to be postponed for a future release. If such a plan seems impossible under the constraints of time and available resource, a proposal will go out to the lists for comment, one which either reduces planned features or extends the deadline (or both).
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footnote4
footnote4
4. These two releases would correspond roughly to two different kinds of processes for reviewing release readiness of new development work. A "lightweight" process can be used for modest refinements or small additions to existing functionality, and typically won't involve the product council. A "heavy" process would involve product council review at a minimum, and typically passage through the entire product development cycle. Changes to existing functionality that the release management team deems significant (e.g. a big change to the UX, or involving some considerable technical risk) will be brought before the review of the product council by the product manager.
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footnote5
footnote5
5. While QA and other release management processes are underway for 2.7, review and planning for 2.8 will also begin. To the extent that 2.8 involves significant new capabilities, this activity will happen at first mostly in the context of product council processes.
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footnote6
footnote6
6. The meetings will publish minutes, document decisions, and send out any significant proposals to the list for community comment.
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footnote7
footnote7
7. New features and plans from development teams are being collected in Confluence at: Proposed changes to 2.7