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See impetus and mailing list links (below) for more information.

Key points

  • Four releases a year on known dates (within reason, weekends, blockers, etc.).
  • Everything merged to master at all times is intended and ready to be included in the next scheduled release.  No or minimal cherry-picking to release branches.  Keep master releasable.
  • Each release has a fixed and well known feature-freeze date. Features may be targetted for releases, but no promises are made of features being included unless they have been merged to master by that date.
  • Merging earlier rather than later in the merge window is to be encouraged!
  • After the feature freeze date only fixes intended for the release should be merged to master until the next feature window opens. Aside from any release-specific commits, the release branch will be kept in sync with master.
  • All fixes merged to master after the feature-freeze date should be made in accordance with the Bug Priority Guidelines
  • One release a year is designated a long-term / extended support version -
    • Only this release has a full NetCAT process, and subsequently a much shorter (month less) merge window to accommodate it (and because the emphasis for this release should be on fully stabilising features added in the previous 3 releases).
    • For 9 months of the year that means that people have a choice of two downloads (need to consider how to describe that, and what if any infrastructure concerns that brings?).  NetBeans 11.0 remains available until April 2020.
    • Minimal serious bug fixes might be backported to the LTS release and pushed via UC, taking into account the Bug Priority Guidelines (critical or blocker affecting significant users?) These should be done on the relevant release branch.
    • Users needing features should be encouraged on to the faster release train, and help test those features before next LTS.
    • Major version number is incremented for LTS.  So NetBeans 12.0 would be in April 2020.  Perhaps counter-intuitively the major version number would be increased for the versions with least new features. (Consider NetBeans 11.1 equivalent to NetBeans 11 feature update 1?)

Questions still to be answered?