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Release Cycle Observations

On Thu, Sep 26, 2019, at 9:38 AM, Donny Davis wrote:
> As many of you know I am fairly new to public participation in 
> Openstack, but I am a long time lurker and operator. This is my first 
> cycle and I wanted to capture an observation on the release cycle of 
> Openstack. *this is only an observation for discussion*
> Over the last week or so I have watch people just about kill themselves 
> to get features into Openstack for this release. Everyone in this 
> community appears to be giving it their all. And way to go everyone for 
> pushing so hard. Seriously!
> So this brings me to my observation. 
> Can the release cycle be modified to ease this push at the end? I think 
> what we all want is a smooth and steady stream of features and bug 
> fixes, but a 6 month release cycle seems to do directly the opposite. 
> Also if everyone has gate issues at the end of the cycle, is it the 
> gate or the cycle? The gate seemed to work fine early on...

I think there are a few things that happen with the gate to make it seem worse at the end of the cycle. The first is that at every other point in time you can just recheck until code merges, taking your time as there is no deadline. The problems are often there but can be ignored.

Next the cost of failure goes up with larger queues. We tend to have very large queues at the end of the cycle. This means we feel the pain of resource waste more at the end of the cycle when ideally we'd avoid it entirely.

Finally despite the problems we do still merge code and often more than at any other time of the cycle. There is a lot of new code coming in last minute that shakes loose race conditions and other failures.

> Maybe if we went to a Major / Minor release sort of system we could 
> remove some burden to *get that feature into X release* and we could 
> steady out that flow of features / bug fixes. Maybe something like a 9 
> month major, one month minor release cycle. It would also probably help 
> with micro api versioning. 
> I am sure the more experienced developers here can highlight pros / 
> cons, etc of all of the release types. 
> Just a thought. Tell me yours. 
> ~/DonnyD