Re-evaluating Ubuntu's Milestones

Rik Mills rikmills at
Mon Apr 9 19:49:54 UTC 2018

Generally in favour here, and i saw no significant opposite opinions
when we've informally discussed this in Kubuntu.

Rik Mills
Kubuntu Devel
Kubuntu Council

On 09/04/18 02:46, Simon Quigley wrote:
> Hello,
> This past cycle was interesting, with Spectre/Meltdown complications
> among other things causing the first two Alphas to be cancelled, and on
> the Lubuntu side of things, we missed Beta 1 because of a critical bug
> that wasn't noticed due to lack of testing. This cycle made me question
> the purpose and usefulness of the milestones in a release cycle.
> If we do e.g. Alpha 1 as a community, these images are frozen in time
> and are said to be "safe to install" when in reality, further bugfixes
> can be spun in the daily ISO less than 24 hours later, making that
> milestone and the several days leading up to it something which will
> just be paved over the next day. In reality, due to the Proposed
> Migration procedures we have set in place[1], the release pocket should
> *always* be installable and working. Effort could be better spent making
> sure that the tests for these packages are better and that continuous
> integration is improved all around, rather than just hard freezing the
> archive and doing manual tests for some flavors, which often times
> blocks the work of others.
> I wanted to see if my thoughts were shared, and after speaking to
> several people from different flavors (albeit fairly informally, so
> these should not be treated as final opinions, but from Xubuntu, Ubuntu
> MATE, Kubuntu, and Ubuntu Budgie) regarding the state of milestones in
> the archive, it seemed like we shared common points, and it was clear to
> me that it would be a good idea to formally propose some change in these
> procedures.
> I am proposing that we get rid of the Alpha and Beta 1 milestones
> entirely, and we organize a monthly testing "week" (Tuesday through
> Thursday), which involves no archive freezes, no formally released ISOs,
> but testing of every product (community and Canonical) that is typically
> shipped as part of a final release (so including Desktop and Server).
> The goal would be to ensure that any issues are ironed out early on, to
> foster collaboration between people (Canonical, community, and everyone
> in between) regarding what's working and what isn't thus far in the
> cycle, and plans for the rest of the cycle (possibly via a short mailing
> list thread, something on the community hub, or whatever happens to work).
> So a (tentative) schedule would look like this for 18.10:
>  1. At the beginning of the cycle, the usual toolchain uploads are done,
> the autosyncer is turned on, and the "floodgates" are opened. This could
> potentially take us to the end of May, depending on how many transitions
> are started, what kind of changes are coming in from Debian, how quickly
> people can get things organized/migrated, and when Mark decides to
> announce the Calculating Camel. If the archive is consistent enough by
> the last weekend of May (26th/27th), we could do an organized testing
> session from then (so, the 29th through the 31st). This makes sure that
> once all of the transitions are finalized "for now" that nothing broke
> between the Bionic DIF[2] and that point.
>  2. By the latter half of June, we have hit the Feat. Def. Freeze[3] for
> some packages in Main, and the transitions which started from the
> floodgates being opened should be calmed down. The last week of June
> (26th through the 28th) could be another coordinated testing period.
>  3. In comes July, which is really the last full month you can land
> features that should be included in the 18.10 release, according to the
> usual timing of the release cycle. We would do coordinated testing that
> last week as well (24th through the 26th). Any last transitions could be
> discussed which affect everyone and could be landed in time for Feature
> Freeze.
>  4. Feature Freeze comes in on the week of August 23rd, ish. That would
> put coordinated testing right after that (28th through the 30th), and
> makes it important for there to be testing, because we can assume that
> features are no longer the primary focus of the flavors for the upcoming
> release. If upstream release cycles for common components happen to line
> up in a way which makes it desirable to ship in a release, that could be
> discussed. Otherwise, deep testing of edge cases (unusual install
> methods come to mind right away) would become a more specific goal, so
> we can ensure that the final release is as bug-free as possible.
>  5. In between that and the latter end of September would be UIF[4] and
> the Documentation String Freeze[5]. Additionally, this is also the
> typical spot of Final Beta, and the goal (since we didn't release a
> "Beta 1") would be to release an image, but call it "18.10 Beta" (thus
> removing versioned betas and just declaring it to be a "beta"). The
> archive would freeze as normal, Beta images would be released, and the
> archive would enter the usual semi-frozen state where seeded packages
> need manual approval. From this point on, the release cycle would
> proceed as it always has.
> Thoughts?
> [1]
> [2]
> [3]
> [4]
> [5]

More information about the Ubuntu-release mailing list