Re: Release notes

Hi Elijah,

Some quick comments:

- Finding writers is always a tough task. GNOME Journal has a pool of
random writers. Maybe it's a good place to make a call for volunteers.

- However, the most demanding/relevant work around the release notes
is not the writing itself but gathering information from developers
about the major achievements in their modules. Finding people with
competence, energy and patience for doing this is quite hard. The
general process for organizing the release notes is documented[1] but
the actual work for making it is not. I'm sure Murray can comment more
on this.

- The Roadmap is supposed to help the preparation of the release
notes. However, we didn't provide good ways to "validate" the Roadmap
info (for some modules) at the end of the development cycle so that it
could be realibly used as a basis for the release notes. This is
something that I plan to improve for the 2.22 release.


ps: Murray is probably quite busy after the birth of his kid. Maybe it
will take some time until he replies.


2008/1/6, Elijah Newren <newren gmail com>:
> Hi Murray,
> I'm horrible.  I meant to check with you a few months ago on this
> topic, and then it got lost in my big TODO pile.  Really sad,
> particularly because we've lost some good time to act on this.  :-(
> We talked about the release notes at the last release team meeting (in
> September?).  While I knew the release notes were important, I don't
> think I ever realized just how important the release notes were until
> seeing the contrast in the last two cycles; 2.18 and 2.20 didn't seem
> very different to me quality-wise in any overall measurement other
> than release-notes (where they were drastically different).  Yet 2.18
> got us awful press and 2.20 was received totally differently.  So, I
> think you did the most mportant job in 2.20, and you made it totally
> shine.  Thanks a million.
> The reason release notes came up was not just much better reactions we
> got due to your hard work; we were also worried about too much work
> being placed on your shoulders.  We were wondering what we might be
> able to do to get a team of volunteers to help you out with this task,
> and wanted to solicit your advice.
> In addition to some potential names of people that we might contact to
> ask if they'd be willing to help, there was one idea that was thrown
> out:
>   - Try to find volunteers that are willing to write up sneak-peek
>     articles, much like Davyd's old articles.  Promote this and try to get
>     multiple people writing such articles.
> If this could be pulled off, it has a couple potential advantages:
>   - This would provide material for the person who writes the final
>     release notes, hopefully making their job easier.
>   - This gives us a good idea of how thorough volunteers are and
>     whether they understand the size of the task (we're guessing that
>     most volunteers just don't understand how big the "release notes"
>     task is and buckle under pressure after having already
>     volunteered)
>   - Having multiple sneak-peek articles would rock anyway
>   - If someone fails to write up a sneak-peek article, we really don't
>     lose too much, unlike what happens when release notes writers fall
>     through.
> But that may be a big if, and there may be better ways of encouraging
> new contributors.  Thoughts?
> Thanks for all your hard work,
> Elijah

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