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Lightening the Release Review Burden

Tuesday, September 11, 2018 - 11:00 by Wayne Beaton

The Eclipse Architecture Council is in the process of making a change to how the Eclipse Development Process (EDP) defines the Reviews that Eclipse open source projects are required to engage in. Foremost on our minds is the nature of Release Reviews which the EDP current requires ahead of all major and minor releases (service releases are excused from the requirement).

The current thinking is that we will decouple Releases from Reviews and instead require a regular (probably annual) equivalent to the Release Review.

This is actually not as big a departure from the current process as you might think. The EDP describes the Release Review as an opportunity “to summarize the accomplishments of the release, to verify that the IP Policy has been followed and all approvals have been received, to highlight any remaining quality and/or architectural issues, and to verify that the project is continuing to operate according to the principles and purposes of Eclipse.” That is, it is far less about the current release than it is about ensuring that the process is being followed and that the project is doing the right sorts of things to attract and grow community.

Likewise, the purpose of an IP Log is not to accurately represent the contents of any particular release, but rather to provide a checkpoint to ensure that the project is correctly following the Eclipse IP Due Diligence Process (so project teams can continue to receive contributions or engage in other activities that might change the IP Log between the point in time when it is reviewed and approved, and the project makes a release).

Eclipse committers are required to observe the Eclipse IP Policy and IP Due Diligence Process at all times, and so our open source projects must always be in correct state with regard to intellectual property management.

For those of you who have made it this far, it would be great if you could weigh in on Bug 534828 which includes an effort to more precisely define “Release”. We’re tracking all of our plans to update the EDP via Bug 484593. Input is welcome.