Chat recap: Release Model Working Group – January 29, 2020

Today the kickoff meeting for the group happened at in the CoreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. channel, based on this agenda. You can read the whole chat in Slack.

This recap is not in the order things were said, but in the order that (IMHO of course 🙂 ) makes more sense to see the project as a whole.

The Situation Now

As provided by @chanthaboune (thanks!)

  • We have some handbook documentation that has most of the steps plus some out of date things
  • We are lacking full documentation of the interior processes (knowing that some are irresponsible to publish in their entirety).
  • We are also lacking which steps are
    1. out of date
    2. contingent on other steps
    3. should be tied to particular timeframes
    4. automatable

Short introduction of the scope of the group

The increase of the cadence is not a foregone conclusion. The working group is here to research and document.

By documenting the existing release process, the group can:

  • Evaluate the technical changes needed to speed up the release process
  • Evaluate if those changes are doable with the existing resources and tools

The end result will be a few factual, non-opinionated documents which outline the above.

So! What is the group actually working on?

This point sparked a lively conversation! After a bit of back and forth, the group decided to adopt an existing document, put together by @chanthaboune over two years (thanks, again!): it divides the release into phases that group types of work needed.

Some of the attendees have already expresses interest in some specific areas:

  • @aaroncampbell is interested in helping document out the jobs of, and needs/struggles of, the security team.
  • @francina and @audrasjb are interested in the pre-kickoff phase:
    • Talk to leads, committers, and component maintainers.
    • Set a scope
    • Set a schedule
    • Etc…
  • @pandjarov (who wasn’t present, so @francina represented his commitment) is ready to work on E2E tests. These have been identified as a must-have even if the release model doesn’t change.
  • @amykamala is available for general project management and help with facilitating/coordinating E2E testing improvements with the hosting team + document.
  • @clorith can track down all the various teams touched by a release.
  • @marybaum is interested in the human side: making sure we have enough people at any stage and make sure there are backups.

Action item: go over the Google Spreadsheet, see if there is a topic that you are familiar with and it sparks joy. If yes, please see below and start working on it based on the workflow suggested.

Tools

We will be using GitHubGitHub GitHub is a website that offers online implementation of git repositories that can can easily be shared, copied and modified by other developers. Public repositories are free to host, private repositories require a paid subscription. GitHub introduced the concept of the ‘pull request’ where code changes done in branches by contributors can be reviewed and discussed before being merged be the repository owner. https://github.com/.

A repo has been created and we can use the Project feature to keep track of the process.

The workflow will be (at least for now, so we can test it):

  1. Create an issue for the topic researched.
  2. All comments, research, findings will be added as comments. This will help keep the discussion focused.
  3. Once the research is ready, recap and move it to a document

Proposed meeting times

  • 1st and 3rd Wednesday, at 20:00 UTC (alternating with the New Contributors chat and back to back with Dev Chat)
  • 1st and 3rd Wednesday, at 8:00 UTC for APAC

Action item: times to be confirmed by group members.

All right, that’s a lot of info: what is next?

  1. Please confirm in the comments that the proposed meeting times are ok and if you are available to facilitate the chats.
  2. @francina – I will create the first issue on GitHub as an example. Done.
  3. Everyone interested: adopt a topic and get working 🙂 PingPing The act of sending a very small amount of data to an end point. Ping is used in computer science to illicit a response from a target server to test it’s connection. Ping is also a term used by Slack users to @ someone or send them a direct message (DM). Users might say something along the lines of “Ping me when the meeting starts.” me if you need to be added to the repo. Use the first issue as an example if you wish.

Thank you for making WordPress, now let’s get working!

#release-process