This proposal summarizes an off-list conversation among Myrna van Lunteren, Bernt Johnsen, Andrew McIntyre, and myself.
Currently, there is a template for release notes in the top level directory of the code tree. Actually filling in this template is a time-consuming, error-prone process. We would like to automate this process as much as possible. We believe it ought to be possible to generate the Release Notes given the following inputs:
1) A high-level description of the release. The Release Manager would write this description, based on a template.
2) An xml report produced by a JIRA filter. The filter would list all of the JIRAs addressed by the release.
In order for this to work, we would need for the community to agree on conventions for the release notes which are attached to JIRAs, viz., the JIRAs whose "Release Note Needed" toggles are turned on. These JIRA-specific notes become items in the Issues section of the final Release Notes. Each of these items calls the reader's attention to a significant topic involving Derby's behavior, that behavior's compatibility with previous releases, and adjustments which the user may need to make to her applications.
The following approach makes sense to us:
A) The community will agree on an html template for these notes.
B) The note-writer will fill in this template and attach it to the JIRA using a canonical file name, say "releaseNote.html".
C) Various iterations of the note may be needed.
D) The utility for generating Release Notes will grab the latest rev of "releaseNote.html" attached to the JIRA.
This effort involves at least two major steps:
I) Getting the community to agree to these note-writing conventions.
II) Writing the Release Note generator.