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Rawhide schedule changes - info for testers



Hi folks,

So Jesse has proposed some changes to the development process for F9:
http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/ReleaseEngineering/DevelopmentChangesProposal

Here's a detailed version of the schedule:
http://poelstra.fedorapeople.org/schedules/f9/f9-tasks-overview.html

They were discussed in the rel-eng meeting earlier this week and
everyone (myself included) seemed pretty happy with them. But I wanted
to make sure all you testers were aware of the changes coming.

Three basic assumptions about Rawhide that remain the same:
1) "Rawhide" is the development branch of Fedora
2) Test releases are just rawhide snapshots
3) Stable Fedora releases happen every 6 months

Here's a quick summary of the major changes for F9. Times are
approximate and subject to shift a bit due to holidays etc.

Old test releases: Test1, Test2, Test3, Final. 
  90 days from release to Test1
  30 days to Test2 (Feature/string freeze)
  30 days to Test3 (Final freeze)
  30 days to Final
New: Alpha, Beta, Preview Release, Release Candidate(s), Final.
  60 days from release to Alpha
  60 days to Beta (Feature/string freeze)
  30 days to PR1 (Final freeze)
  15 days to RC1
  15 days to Final

The Alpha snapshot is scheduled a bit earlier[1] than the old Test1 -
about 2 months into the cycle (4 months from release). 

The Beta snapshot comes at nearly the same time as Test2 did - about 4
months into the cycle (2 months from release). Like Test2, this release
lines up with the Feature Freeze and String Freeze. Also during this
period we plan to release weekly rawhide snapshots.

The Preview Release snapshot comes two weeks before the final release.
This lines up with the final development freeze. It represents the first
attempt at producing a Release Candidate[2].

As we approach the final release, Release Candidate images will probably
be made available for testing, like we did with Fedora 8.

If you want more details, check the links above. If you've got any
questions or concerns, please speak up soon.

-w

[1] Thanks to new changes in the release process, developers get an
extra month (or so) of rawhide development time.  If you've tried
rawhide lately you'll know that we've already had a lot of interesting
changes land (e.g. PackageKit, newer gdm) and it hasn't even been *one
week* since F8 was released. So this shift shouldn't cause any major
problems.

[2] Originally we were going to call this RC0, but it would be slightly
deceptive to call this snapshot a Release Candidate. A Release Candidate
is something we believe *could* be the final tree, unless bugs are
found. It's almost certain that a few bugs will be found in the Preview
Release and a few packages will need to be rebuilt before we can put out
something that really qualifies as a Release Candidate.


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