We (marketing / promo hat on) are right now trying to write the announcement for KDE 4.0.3,
which will be released on April 2nd, a bit more than a week from now. Let’s have a look at how
this actually works, and zoom in on the bugfix / translation updates that 4.0.x releases are.
The announcement is usually written by a subset of the Marketing Team, coordination takes place
on the kde-promo mailinglist. On this list, people that are willing and able to write about KDE
hang out. Those people are collecting information about those releases. For a big thing such as
KDE 4.0, this is relatively easy, there’s more than enough to talk about. For an update release
(such as next week’s) we’re mostly relying on the changelog as raw material. We try to form an
impression of what’s happened in branch in that period, and munge that into something which is
readable for human beings and provides a high-level summary for those that won’t dive into
details. Then, the original announcement version is written and ASAP (though usually too late)
sent to the translation teams so we have a multi-language announcement ready on release day.
The trade-off here is: Writing the announcement earlier, the changelog will be incomplete, but
the translation teams get more time, so we end up having more and better translations on
release day. Writing the announcement later, there’s more in the changelog (although
unfortunately not much more :/) but the translation teams have too little time, so we lack
translations. Having a more complete changelog available earlier is the solution to this
problem. So we need help from developers. Kudos at this point go out to the KHTML and Okular
teams, who, from the top of my head, usually have done their changelog homework well.
https users will what to change):
svn co svn+ssh://svn.kde.org/home/kde/trunk/www/sites/www/announcements/changelogs kwrite changelogs/changelog_branch_4_0.xml
Scroll down to a line that looks like <release version=”4.0.3″ date=”2008-0?-??”>, scroll
down a bit more, to the part containing the module and product your changes went in, and add them.
You can use the tags bugfix
documented in the DOCS. In practise,
it’ll be a bit of copy/pasting. Commit your changes and have a smile on your face when you read
about your improvements in the announcement a few days later.
If you want to see what you’ve done, run the following on the changelog and see your
changes put into the webpages:
xsltproc --stringparam outputversion "4.0.3" -o changelog4_0_2to4_0_3.php changelog.xsl changelog_branch_4_0.xml
I think this ignoring of the changelog is a display of a culture that we see quite often
within KDE. A culture that is very humble and fully concentrates on getting work done. Only in
this case, it causes problems for others that also want to get their work (informing about KDE)
done. So if you changed something in the KDE 4.0 branch between 27th of February and 26th March
(this coming Wednesday) please support the Marketing Team’s work by adding your change to the
changelog. Remember, if a change is worth backporting, it’s worth putting in the changelog. The
more entries there are in the changelog, the more choice the Marketing Team has to streamline the
message. Of course, also the ‘raw’ changelog will be available to the users, usually linked from
the announcement on www.kde.org and multiple other sites reporting about KDE 4.0.3. Users will
look for their pet issue being addressed. The Marketing Team does an awesome job in communicating
what’s happening (who doesn’t love reading the Commit-Digest for example?), but they can’t do
that on their own. Please spend those 5 minutes and help your fellow gearhead.