Hadoop's release process needs improvement. We should better ensure that releases are stable, not releasing versions that have not been proven stable on large clusters, and we should better observe Apache's release procedures. Once agreed on, this process should be documented in http://wiki.apache.org/lucene-hadoop/HowToRelease.
Here's a proposal:
. candidate release builds should be placed in lucene.apache.org/hadoop/dev/dist
. candidate artifacts should be accompanied by a md5 and pgp signatures
. a 72-hour vote for the release artifact should be called on hadoop-dev.
. 3 binding +1 votes and a majority are required
. if the vote passes, the release can then posted to www.apache.org/dist/lucene/hadoop for mirroring
This would bring us into accord with Apache's requirements, and better permit large-cluster validation.
We should also build consensus for a release before we commence this process. Perhaps we should aim for releases every two months instead of every month. We should perhaps develop more elaborate branching and merging conventions around releases. Currently we mostly lock-out changes intended for release X+1 from trunk until release X is complete, which can be awkward. How can we better manage that?