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Making releases

From: Reuben Thomas
Subject: Making releases
Date: Mon, 14 Mar 2011 22:06:07 +0000

I finally cajoled maint.mk into actually making a stable release of GNU Zile.

There are a couple of odd things about the final stages:

1. It doesn't upload the release tarball &c. itself, it emits commands
to do so. Why?

2. There's no post-release hook which I can use for my Freshmeat
announcement (AFAICS).

3. It doesn't send the email itself, it emits an email. I can see one
reason for this, namely, it leaves a "FIXME: Insert comments". There
are a couple of other odd things about the message, which I reproduce
below for convenience.

First, it has a line from make at the start and end; I presume this is a bug?

Secondly, what's the <#secure method=pgpmime mode=sign> bit? I presume
this is something to do with signing which I've not seen before? It
doesn't seem to be documented.

Thirdly, why "./NEWS" and not "NEWS"?

It seems this is very close to total automation. I would make a couple
of suggestions:

1. Remove the FIXME. Instead, move the NEWS extract above the
boilerplate. This puts what people most want to read at the top, and
NEWS is a good place to write such comments in any case.

2. Rather than just writing a file, send the email. I suggest a
default setting of "mail", with a commented-out setting that instead
opens the mail message in Emacs's composer. (It's a pity that (AFAIK?)
there's no standard GNU launch-URL command to simply open the user's
configured mail composer.) In the default case you could add catting
the message to the terminal. If you do this before uploading the
distribution archive, then the prompt to type one's GPG passphrase
also acts as an "OK? (Y/N)" point at which the maintainer can bail

It's all about reducing the number of commands that have to be typed
which are always the same.

make[2]: Entering directory `/home/rrt/Software/zile-stable'

To: address@hidden
Cc: address@hidden, address@hidden
Mail-Followup-To: address@hidden
Subject: zile-2.3.23 released [stable]

<#secure method=pgpmime mode=sign>

FIXME: put comments here

Here are the compressed sources:
  http://ftpmirror.gnu.org/zile/zile-2.3.23.tar.gz   (909KB)

Here are the GPG detached signatures[*]:

To reduce load on the main server, use a mirror listed at:

[*] You can use either of the above signature files to verify that
the corresponding file (without the .sig suffix) is intact.  First,
be sure to download both the .sig file and the corresponding tarball.
Then, run a command like this:

  gpg --verify zile-2.3.23.tar.gz.sig

If that command fails because you don't have the required public key,
then run this command to import it:

  gpg --keyserver keys.gnupg.net --recv-keys 80EE4A00

and rerun the `gpg --verify' command.

This release was bootstrapped with the following tools:
  Autoconf 2.67
  Automake 1.11.1
  Gnulib v0.0-4982-ga6bd3da


* Noteworthy changes in release 2.3.23 (2011-03-14)

** Bug fixes

  {beginning,end}-of-buffer now take account of transient-mark-mode
  (bug present since “forever”).

** Build-related

  Turn on more compiler and build system, and run-time checks (thanks,

make[2]: Leaving directory `/home/rrt/Software/zile-stable'

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