Technical Release Manager for Samba

Andrew Bartlett abartlet at
Mon May 11 00:22:35 MDT 2015

On Thu, 2015-05-07 at 07:25 +1200, Andrew Bartlett wrote:
> On Wed, 2015-05-06 at 12:29 +0200, Björn JACKE wrote:
> > Currently we don't even manage to get the releases out in time with our current
> > time plan. The reason for that is that there are "release blocker bugs" which
> > stop Karolin from finishing the release. Most of those bugs in the "release
> > blocker bugs are actually no regressions. There are a lot of feature
> > enhancements, which some developers would like to finish before a new release.
> > This is the main problem I see. Karolin doesn't want to decide on her own which
> > of the bugs listed in the release meta bugs need to be fixed and which not.
> Indeed, and that was why I suggested having a specific point person to
> hold the technical side of that role.  Either way, we need to change our
> process.  Jeremy commented earlier that consensus is what has driven the
> team for so long, and I've certainly argued passionately for consensus
> before, but the downside of consensus in this situation is:
>  - There is no need for consensus to mark an issue (bug, feature,
> regression) as a blocker
>  - Consensus has been required to override this, and ship the release
> anyway.  
>  - Even when that is obtained, it isn't fast, and weeks go by in the
> process.

I realise there isn't the consensus to take forward this part of the
proposal at this point, but I wanted to express some thought that came
up in a helpful in-person discussion I had with Jelmer recently.  

That is, if we take as the basis that the team has a responsibility to
make timely releases per our new schedule, we then need to implement
that.  The problem is that a responsibility shared is a responsibility
that nobody feels individually.  Each one of use will have important
changes, changes we think belong in a release.  In a team of over 20
people, there is an almost 100% chance that another developer will be
happy to approve your patch - why not, because there is no consequence
to them personally in doing so.  

The idea with the technical release manager is that the person who has
been delegated the task of ensuring the release is ready technically can
weigh up the competing priorities (time, regressions, bugs, features),
because the team will be looking to them to lead us all to a timely

I think rules like 'genuine regressions only' will help, but will
ultimately suffer the same difficulties we have now.


Andrew Bartlett

Andrew Bartlett             
Authentication Developer, Samba Team
Samba Developer, Catalyst IT

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