Release process

There are two types of releases: development releases, and stable bugfix releases. Development releases happen as a matter of course while we are working on a given minor version series, and may be either a result of some new features being ready for use or a minor bugfix. Stable bugfix releases occur when mainline development has moved on to another minor version, and a bugfix is required for the currently released version. These two cases are handled in different ways.

Development Python releases

Version numbers are MAJOR.MINOR.PATCH triples. Minor version increments happen when significant changes are required to the schema codebase, which will result in a significant departure from the previously released version, either in code layout or in functionality. During the normal process of development within a minor version series, patch updates are routinely and regularly released. (In some cases bugfix releases can also come with a suffix, e.g. 0.6.0a9.post1.)

Making a release entails the following steps:

  1. Create a PR against master that has the following changes:
    1. update the release notes in doc/source/changelog.rst with a description of what is in the release
    2. modify python/requirements.txt to pin the ga4gh-common package to a specific version
    3. modify python/constraints.txt to comment out all the lines referencing ga4gh packages
  2. Once this has been merged, tag the release on GitHub (on the releases page) with the appropriate version number.
  3. Fetch the tag from the upstream repo, and checkout this tag.
  4. Create the distribution tarball using python sdist, and then upload the resulting tarball to PyPI using twine upload dist/ga4gh-schemas-$MAJOR.$MINOR.$PATCH.tar.gz (using the correct file name).
  5. Verify that the documentation at is for the correct version (it may take a few minutes for this to happen after the release has been tagged on GitHub). The release notes docs should have changed, so that is a good section to look at to confirm the change.

All of the above steps after the tag is dropped on the target commit are now automated using Travis’ capability to deploy to Pypi.

When releasing the package to PyPi, the release manager should guarantee the protocol version in matches the protocol version being released.

Since PyPi and the source code may provide different minor versions, release notes for the PyPi package are maintained in python/README.rst.

Stable bugfix release

When a minor version series has ended because of some significant shift in the server internals, there will be a period when the master branch is not in a releasable state. If a bugfix release is required during this period, we create a release using the following process:

  1. If it does not already exist, create a release branch called release-$MAJOR.$MINOR from the tag of the last release.
  2. Fix the bug by either cherry picking the relevant commits from master, or creating PRs against the release-$MAJOR.$MINOR branch if the bug does not apply to master.
  3. Follow steps 1-5 in the process for `Development releases`_ above, except using the release-$MAJOR.$MINOR branch as the base instead of master.