[Numpy-discussion] Going toward time-based release ?

Jarrod Millman millman@berkeley....
Sun May 11 23:26:09 CDT 2008

On Sun, May 11, 2008 at 7:59 PM, David Cournapeau
<cournapeau@cslab.kecl.ntt.co.jp> wrote:
>        I would like to know how people feel about going toward a time-based
> release process for numpy (and scipy). By time-based release, I mean:
>        - releases of numpy are time-based, not feature based.
>        - a precise schedule is fixed, and the release manager(s) try to
> enforce this schedule.
> Do other people see this suggestion as useful ? If yes, we would have to
> decide on:
>        - a release period (3 months sounds like a reasonable period to me ?)
>        - a schedule within a release (api breaks would only be allowed in the
> first month, code addition would be allowed up to two months, and only
> bug fixes the last month, for example).
>        - who does the process (if nobody steps in, I would volunteer for the
> first round, if only for seeing how/if it works).

I was basically thinking about trying this for NumPy 1.2.0, which I
have been suggesting should be out by the end of August.  I am happy
to serve as the release manager for 1.2.  We also need to get a
release of SciPy out between NumPy 1.1 and 1.2.  I hadn't brought this
up yet, since I have been hoping to get out NumPy 1.1 before starting
to plan other releases.  But I think we are ready to release NumPy
this week, so now is the time to start this discussion.

Despite wanting to only take 3 months for 1.2, I believe that in the
future it would make more sense to have a minor release of NumPy or
SciPy every three months:

NumPy 1.1  (May)
SciPy 0.7     (July)
NumPy 1.2  (August)
SciPy 0.8     (November)
NumPy 1.3  (February)

NumPy will need to work with the last released SciPy (i.e., 1.1 will
need to work with 0.6) and SciPy can use features from the last NumPy
release (i.e., 0.7 can depend on 1.1).

Of course, we need to avoid breaking the API as much as possible.  If
we decided that it is necessary to break the API, we should give our
users as much notice as possible.

The one caveat to this is that you may recall I have tried to start
having a 3 month release cycle ever since I took over release
management last summer.  I was almost able to do it for the first
release of NumPy and SciPy.  But since November of last year, I have
been struggling to get out NumPy 1.1, which was originally scheduled
for early February.

One of the issues that I have faced in trying use the 3 month release
cycle is that most of us have very busy schedules.  But I think that
we are gaining new developers, which should help alleviate this
problem.  I would be very happy to move to a time-based release
schedule and would be very happy to help make this happen.  I have
been thinking about this for sometime, so I have a few ideas about how
to make this happen.  I would be very appreciative if you would be
willing to work with me to get 1.2 out by the end of August.


Jarrod Millman
Computational Infrastructure for Research Labs
10 Giannini Hall, UC Berkeley
phone: 510.643.4014

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