Developer Area/Release Instructions/Pre-release

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< Developer Area‎ | Release Instructions

This document details the steps to follow in preparation of a release.

πŸ“£ Please complete these steps a week before the release, especially announcements to Mahara Partners.

Done? > Go to 'Release day'

πŸ“‹ Checklist before starting

🟑 Start up

🟑 Release manager - check permissions

Ask the tech lead/product owner for permissions if you cannot check off any of the steps.

πŸ”’ Apply for CVE numbers for security fixes

Apply for a CVE number as soon as a bug report exists for a security issue. CVE numbers that we receive are embargoed are details are not leaked until we let MITRE know that they can be published. Catalyst NZ staff also have access to that information on Seafile along with a running record of which bugs have been reported to MITRE (or others if needed).

While CVE numbers are not a requirement, it is good practice and they are useful for administrators who monitor security announcements. πŸ›‘ Note: This MITRE CVE form can ONLY be used if the issue hasn't been made public yet.

  1. Apply for CVE numbers for each non-public security issue with the MITRE request form
  2. Add the CVE number to the security bug report using the 'Link to CVE' option on the sidebar. Note: it takes a few days for Launchpad to accept the CVE number.
  3. Prepare the security announcement post in the Launchpad bug report through comments or updating the description.
   Security forum post template
   Title... in Mahara before affected versions
   Vulnerability type: ...
   Attack type: ...
   Impact(if needed): ...
   Affected components: ...
   Description: Affected Mahara versions, and summary of issue.
   Reported by: ...
   Bug report: Launchpad ID and URL to the bug report)

🚧 Prep branches, milestones, and bugs

Release candidate (RC)

(RC) Create a new _DEV branch

This branch is only created once per major version during the first RC. Subsequent release candidates shall use the same branch.

Create a new _DEV branch based off of main.

  1. git checkout main
  2. git checkout -b 1.10_DEV
  3. git push gerrit 1.10_DEV

If Gerrit won't let you push your new branch, create it through,branches

Commit and push these changes:

  1. In the Makefile of the new _DEV branch, replace main with the name of the branch.
  2. Create an empty 'ChangeLog' file. The file needs a capital C and L in the name.
  3. Update the release in htdocs/lib/version.php to be [whatever]rc1.

(RC) Bump the version on main

  1. Go to the main branch and bump the version to 1.5.0dev (if you just created the 1.4_DEV branch)
  2. In htdocs/lib/version.php (update series, release and version - version should be today's date)
  4. Commit and make push

(RC) Do not create a release

Bugs should not have an RC as its milestone. Leave them as 'Fix committed'.

Note: For organising bugs after the first release candidate, an rc2 milestone may be created for to track which ones will go onto the final release. Once an rc2 bug has been committed, their status should change back to its original .0 milestone.

Major release (M)

These are done at the end of April and October.

(M) Update the README

Review the file and update it to reflect any changes:

  1. Check the supported versions of PHP, Postgres, and MySQL / MariaDB.
  2. Check the minimum browser requirements.
  3. Update the copyright message so it extends to the current year.
  4. Update the Software requirements page to match the changes.

Note: For PHP versions, the minimum and maximum supported version needs to be listed to avoid confusion as PHP does release versions more frequently.

Minor points and security releases

We release minor point updates for all the supported released versions of Mahara during security releases and after major releases.

Create a release on Launchpad (excludes RC)

Go to OR Go to the series page and click 'Create milestone'.

  1. Move any bugs that are not going to be part of this release to the next milestone in the series, e.g. if this is X.Y.3 then move to X.Y.4. You may need to make the milestone if it doesn't already exist via and using the 'create milestone' link.
  2. Click on 'Create release' and give it today's date.
  3. Double check that 'Keep the X.Y.Z milestone active' remains unchecked.

🌏 Prep the new language packs

You need to set up launchpad translations for the new branch. See the separate instructions on setting up a new translations branch.

πŸ“° Comms

Let Mahara Partners know one week before the release

🚨 Note: Kristina does this task as a member of the Mahara partners group.

Let Mahara Partners know in the Partner forum that a release is upcoming. Details are not shared though as the reports are still embargoed.p

Draft the Security Announcements forum post

Get the announcement information from the Launchpad bug comment/description and format it for the security announcement into HTML.

Draft the News forum post for the security releases

Take the URLs of the newly created security announcement forum posts and insert them into the following template to look something like this.

Note: links to the Security Announcements forum posts will be available once created one the day of the release.

Title:  Mahara security releases <insert milestones part of this release>
Kia ora Mahara community,
We have security updates available for all supported versions of Mahara:
- 21.10.1
These updates include fixes for a number of security vulnerabilities for which you can find more information:
Title of security issue
You can download the latest versions from Launchpad or check out the relevant branch from Git.
We recommend you update your instance of Mahara to the latest minor point release of the series of Mahara you
are using, or if you are on an unsupported version of Mahara, upgrade to a supported one.
Thank you,
<Name of person leading the release>

πŸ”Ž Investigation

Check bug reports and their statuses

  1. Book a meeting with the tech lead, product owner, and those working on the release.
  2. Get the series number for each supported Mahara version, e.g. 21.10, 21.04, and 20.10.
  3. Go to Mahara's Launchpad to check there is an unreleased milestone for each supported series number. See above for how to create new milestones.
  4. Go through each bug report and check they have allocated milestone(s). If they don't, ask the Tech lead where to allocate them.

Track the associated bug reports

  1. Create a spreadsheet to track the bugs. [ Example template]
  2. Go through each supported milestone's bugs:
    1. See associated bugs for a milestone by going to 'Series and Milestones' and clicking the first milestone with an empty circle above it.
    2. Record the progress status of the bug, i.e. if there someone is working on it, and the patch URL in
  3. Double check that all 'Private security' bug reports with patches that are ready, go into the release.

Follow-on tasks

  1. Update your spreadsheet daily
  2. Check-in with team members working on bugs going into the release daily
    1. Get bugs code-reviewed, verified, and merged by delegating tasks to team members.
  3. Backport security patches into supported Mahara versions.

πŸ“‰ Daily progress monitoring

  • Update your tracking of bugs daily
  • Share with the team what needs doing to progress and delegate tasks


  • Is everything set up for the main GoCD pipelines