As you all probably know, our recent releases were delayed and some even contained critical bugs that we missed. We also very often have broken nightlies, last week the assets issue was fixed there, but still all plugin pages with react components are broken. Looking at results of the community survey, it’s clear that the community sees this (see the Stability chart) and wants us to fix bugs (see the What Next chart). We already took some countermeasures to improve the situation, e.g. we have the list of sanity checks we perform on 1.18 RC1, reporting breakages on discourse etc, but we’d like to go further.
So, we’ve decided to make one person fully dedicated just to keep releases and nightly builds stable and delivered on time. We’ve found a volunteer for this new role and I believe that it’s not a big surprise who: it’s @tbrisker, who was partly doing it already.
He will be responsible for monitoring all user inputs, such as Redmine, Support category on Discourse, #theforeman on IRC, GitHub PRs, the security mailing list, and considering the impact of reported issues. If the reported issue is critical for the release, it’s his responsibility to make sure it’s fixed. Either himself or asking specific person for help. This is where we need your help, if Tomer asks you to fix an issue, review a PR or test a fix, please try to work on that with the highest priority.
Since he will also be responsible for stability of the release, we decided to split the current release nanny role into two: a release manager and a release engineer. The release manager will be responsible for sending branching announcements, enforcing the schedule, deciding what should be merged into core projects and what is to risky and should be left in develop branch. The release engineer will only focus on transforming the code to packages, basically following the rest of the release process. It’s obvious the release manager will be in touch with release engineer for core, and will also coordinate releases with the release engineers/maintainers of the main plugins. We’ll split this for 1.19, Tomer will be the release manager while @ekohl volunteered for release engineer role. 1.17 and 1.18 will continue to be maintained by @Ondrej_Prazak until they are no longer supported.
Last big area of responsibility is around nightlies. Tomer should ensure our nightlies are building and are usable, not just installable. If he figures out there’s some problem, he will alert us and ask people to help with fixing the breakage.
In order for this to be successful, I’d kindly ask everyone to help Tomer with anything he needs. Please share your thoughts and recommendations. I’m personally looking forward for outcomes of this and wish Tomer minimal amount of critical issues to resolve