Developer Area/Release Instructions/Major Release

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< Developer Area‎ | Release Instructions
Revision as of 11:52, 21 October 2014 by Aaronw (talk | contribs)

Here are the things to do before and after running through the usual release instructions when preparing a new major release.

BEFORE the release

Release candidate

Major releases should be preceded by at least one release candidate.

Creating the new branch

The new branch should have been created as part of the first RC release. If it wasn't, then do it now. See the instructions under the Release Candidate page.

Write the Change log & Release notes

You'll need to write up the Change Log beforehand at least, because it gets included in the release's ZIP file. It should include any information about backwards-compatibility breaking.

You can copy what you like from the 1.9.0 change log and release notes.

AFTER the release

Bump the stable_version on

(This is what sets the right download link in the header.)

Here's what I added in htdocs/local/upgrade.php for the 1.4 release:

if ($oldversion < 2011061501) {
    set_config('mahara_stable_version', '1.4');

Generate the git stats

The git contributor stats go in the release announcment on the Mahara News forum. Grab our version of gitdm from the mahara-scripts repo:

git clone git://

and here is how to generate the stats at the end:

cd ~/code/mahara-scripts/gitdm/
git log --git-dir=~/code/mahara/.git -p -M --no-merges 1.3.0_RELEASE..1.4_STABLE | ./gitdm -c mahara.config -u -s -o results -h results.html

Have a look at the results text file to ensure that developers are only listed once (otherwise add them to the mahara.aliases file). Also make sure that there is no "(unknown)" company by making sure that all of the necessary mappings are in mahara.domain-map.

Launchpad series

When releasing 1.4, we did the following:

  • Changed the status of 1.5 to "Active development" and the description to "Future release of Mahara"
  • Changed the status of 1.4 to "Current stable release" and the description to "Stable release of Mahara"
  • Changed the status of 1.3 to "Supported" and the description to "Old stable release of Mahara"
  • Changed the status of 1.2 to "Obsolete" and the description to "Old stable release of Mahara (no longer supported)"

Make sure to update both the Mahara and Mahara-Lang projects.

User manual

When releasing a major version, the user manual also needs some attention

  • Change the boldness of the links in the sidebar to the latest release in all versions of the manual.
  • Change the sentence on the index page of the new release to include the release date.
  • Change the redirect in the maharadocs.postinst file in to the latest version and ask a sysadmin at Catalyst to redo the package on the server.


There are a few places where the release should be announced:

  • Release notes posted in the News forum (copy the format from the release notes for the previous release).
  • post which will also immediately post to Twitter.
  • Any other places where you want to announce the release.