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“° 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.

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. Get bugs code-reviewed, verified, and merged by delegating tasks to team members.
  2. Backport security patches into supported Mahara versions.
  3. Update your tracking of bugs daily
  4. Share with the team what needs doing to progress and share the tasks

πŸ“‹ Checklist for devs before starting

🟑 Start up

  • Confirm who will be the 'Release Manager'
  • Confirm what type of release this is, i.e. major or minor point.
  • Update your mahara-scripts repo so that you have the latest release script. The release script will clone the repo and generate the zip files that go onto Launchpad.
  • Make sure you have a valid GPG key added to your Launchpad account. This is required to run the release script, which generates a signed zip file based on this GPG key. See

🟑 Release Manager tasks - check permissions

  • The Release Manager should make sure devs are part of the security group so that they can see security bug reports.
  • Give access to those who will be responsible for posting these announcements. After the release has been created, we post information about the release in the News and Security Announcement forums.

πŸ”’ Apply for CVE numbers for security fixes (release manager)

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 milestones and branches

(This applies to RC, major and minor point releases)

Setting up milestones on Launchpad

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.

Major release (M)

These are done at the end of April and October.

(Major only) 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.

🌏 Language packs

New language packs are prepped for major releases. For all releases, you need to update launchpad translations for the new Bazaar branch. See the separate instructions on setting up a new Bazaar translations branch.

✨ You did it!!! Head over to Release day to do the Major release ✨