Release Process

From Audacity Wiki
Revision as of 23:03, 5 April 2011 by Vaughan (talk | contribs) (First things first!)
Jump to: navigation, search

This page attempts to provide a description of what needs to be done in order to do an Audacity release.

Release Manager

  • Appoint a 'Release Manager', one of the 'Tech Leaders'.
    • Release Manager manages the whole process of setting dates etc.
    • Release Manager has final say on when a release candidate is good enough for actual release.
    • At the beginning of the release process, announce who is Release Manager, on audacity-devel and audacity-quality.


  • Set a string freeze date. After this point, no changes are made to any of the translatable strings within Audacity. The audacity.pot file needs to be updated with the frozen strings, and posted to For a Stable release, we would batch update the .po files with the updated messages from the .pot file. See Translating Audacity.
  • Notify the audacity-translation list that the string freeze is happening and what the target completion date is (leaving some time to build the final installers after that date and before the release itself). Final translations aren't needed for initial release candidates however.
    For our current Beta releases, which typically occur every two months or less, we are somewhat more relaxed. We tend not to have an explicit string freeze, so giving the flexibility to change translatable strings for a specific reason. Translators are usually given a deadline of 24 hours before Beta release to get translations in.


  • Set code freeze date.
  • Set IS_ALPHA to 0 in Audacity.h so that About dialog shows Beta designation. Set IS_ALPHA back to 1 when freeze is lifted.
  • Bump the version number on the front page of the Manual.
  • Build release candidate:
  • Upload to Google Code so that people can download them for testing. Post the links to these on audacity-devel and the Forum. Within the code freeze period, monitor the Forum, and report bugs to audacity-devel as well as in the Forum thread. Raise a Px Bugzilla issue if the problem is not to be fixed for release.
  • Ensure that installers are tested as well as the zips.
    • Past issues indicate need to test installers installing over an existing install.
    • Past issues indicate the need to test on a non-developer machine (in case it relies on features only found on developer machines).
  • Resolve issues and re-post as needed.
  • Build final distributions with final translations included in them and post to Google Code and to SourceForge (Beta downloads are not served from SourceForge, but some users still look there, so they should be archived there). Delete the rc's from Google Code to avoid user confusion and to conserve space.
  • Update the zipped manual stored at using the updated Manual from your source tree. Test unzipping the Manual before sending it. When unzipped, it should produce a "help" folder with the "manual" folder inside that.

Website release announcements

  • Prepare and commit README.txt and copy the "Changes since the last release" and the "Known Issues with the current release" to Release Notes.
  • Create the website release announcement and list of changes from the committed README.txt. Commit the website changes to SVN and push to the website so that it goes into the audacity_website.pot file and is then available to translators.
  • Make Forum announcement.
  • Announce release to mailing lists, GoogleCode Wiki, SourceForge and the Dreamhost list.

Tag the release in SVN

This is the command to use, per Richard's advice; it performs a minimal copy server-side instead of copying the whole thing from your working copy and thus runs very quickly:

svn copy -m "Tag release of Audacity 1.3.x"

Release Management

  • We have a firm policy of never providing for download two files with the same name and different contents, e.g. a hotfix to an installer will have a new name.
  • We haven't yet got a clear policy on what to do if we ever put a bad download up. Probably it's to deprecate it, and then discuss the solution on audacity-devel.
  • We haven't yet got a clear policy on hotfixes. If we do them at all they probably do not require the same testing as true releases get, since that delay reduces their value.