Happy Release Day!

by Alexandra in Qt DevNet News (32482 views)

Over here we have a great tradition to celebrate the little things that make us proud. Today’s reason to celebrate is not exactly a little one but it’s one that stays behind the scenes, mostly invisible to you.

This week, we have pushed our 50th release since launching the Qt Developer Network in May 2011. Repeat after me: fif-ti-eth!

Release manager Gurudutt at his desk

If you’re into math you’ll quickly figure out that overall we have managed to roll out a release every second week*. Some were relatively small bug fix releases, others brought bigger improvements, design changes, or major features — like the integration of the Qt documentation, or the coming Q&A forums. Main driving force behind this rigorous schedule is our release manager Gurudutt. Applause!

So, how do we do it?

Everything that catches our attention, or that you report at bugtracker.qt-project.org, and any idea that crosses our minds, is captured as issues in our Redmine instance. Gurudutt sorts everything into release buckets, while Marius keeps an eye on the backlog/wishlist bucket. Every week we hold a status meeting with the fine folks at Trollweb in Stavanger, and discuss, prioritise and (re-)assign issues, close them, and sometimes bump them to the following release. No black magic involved, it’s all pretty standard procedure.

New development is first happening on our development server. After a first round of testing, Gurudutt releases the changes to the stage server. There the code matures, and we make sure we don’t break things. Gurudutt wipes the installation on this server from time to time to keep it in sync with our production server. Every time we make sure to delete all private user data, so you don’t receive funny emails from us.

When it’s time to release, Gurudutt goes through the issue list again, bumps stuff that didn’t make it to the following one — provided it’s not a critical fix that is missing — and then puts up the red release banner.

After an appropriate warning time has passed, he sets the site to read only — caching for the win! — and rolls out the new codebase. That takes him something like 3 minutes by now. Pretty impressive, huh? He sets the system back to accepting input, the banner goes away, and we’re done.

The beauty of web development

Obviously, we don’t have to bother with packaging and shipping updates to a bazillion of computers running our software. By sticking to a 2 weeks release cycle, we can roll-out fixes quickly so you don’t have to wait forever to get this annoying CSS bug fixed, or your miscalculated number of points straightened out. And of course, if we break stuff it’s much quicker to either roll back or to get a fix out the next day. Chances are you won’t even notice.

How do you or your organization handle releases? Are you working on packaged software that is updated once a year and has an endless QA cycle? Do you have special channel to push small updates to your users? Do you rely on a slow app store process? Tell us in the comments!

*) Given our ridiculously high bus-factor, we skipped some weeks in between there. One of us is sick – no release this time.

Picture of Volker

June 6, 2012

Volker, Ant Farmer

Kudos to the great work! The updates take place seamlessly and in the very, very rare case that a little bug sneaked in it’s fixed within hours.

Picture of sierdzio

June 6, 2012

sierdzio, Area 51 Engineer

consider Volker’s wishes seconded by me :D Thx!

Picture of GentooXativa

June 6, 2012

GentooXativa, Lab Rat

Kudos to the great work, you are making Qt something special :D

Picture of bibek

June 6, 2012

bibek, Lab Rat

Nice reading. Keep up the great work.
Cheers :)

Picture of Eslam mahgoub

June 6, 2012

Eslam mahgoub, Lab Rat

Kudos to the great work. keep moving forward :)

Picture of inejose

June 7, 2012

inejose, Lab Rat

Congratulations! :)

Picture of Milot Shala

June 7, 2012

Milot Shala, Lab Rat

Congratulations! :D

Picture of victorrbravo

June 8, 2012

victorrbravo, Lab Rat

Happy release Day! cheers

Picture of Stavros Filippidis

June 8, 2012

Stavros Filippidis, Lab Rat

Congratulations! :) .

Picture of francomartins

June 8, 2012

francomartins, Lab Rat

tank’s for you help’s Gurudutt , and Congratulations !

Picture of Sam

June 14, 2012

Sam, Ant Farmer

Congratulations !!!!!!!!!! :)

Picture of CreMindES

June 29, 2012

CreMindES, Lab Rat

Congrats, and thanks for your great job :)

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