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kcmartin Add first 1.16 release notes draft
Signed-off-by: Kristin Martin <>
Latest commit 3750e24 Jul 17, 2019

Kubernetes 1.16


Tracking docs



The 1.16 release cycle is proposed as follows:

  • Monday, July 01 - Release Cycle Begins
  • Tuesday, July 30, EOD PST - Enhancements Freeze
  • Thursday, August 29, EOD PST - Code Freeze
  • Monday, September 9 - Docs must be completed and reviewed
  • Monday, September 16 - Kubernetes 1.16.0 Released

What will we do differently this release?

  • We have dissolved the test-infra role from the release team. The responsibilities of this role have been reallocated amongst other roles on the release team. This is the tracking issue
  • The itemized list of code changes for the release will be migrated from the release changelog (where x and y are major and minor versions of Kubernetes, respectively) to

What are we continuing from the previous release

  • All Enhancements must have a KEP that is in implementable state by Enhancements Freeze. If the enhancement does not have a KEP in implementable state by Enhancements Freeze it will be removed from the milestone and will require an exception.
  • No code slush
  • The Emeritus Adviser will be responsible for advising the Release Team Lead and Lead Shadows, ensuring shadow selection happens, and that release shadows are getting the most out of their participation in the release process.


What Who Jul Aug Sep WEEK CI SIGNAL
Start of Release Cycle Lead Mon 1 week 1 master-blocking
Schedule finalized Lead Fri 5
Team finalized Lead Fri 12 week 2
Start Enhancements Tracking Enhancements Lead Tue 16 week 3
1.16.0-alpha.1 released Branch Manager Tue 16
Start Release Notes Draft Release Notes Lead Tue 23 week 4
Begin Enhancements Freeze[Enhancements Freeze (EOD PST) Enhancements Lead Tue 30 week 5 master-blocking, master-upgrade
1.16.0-alpha.2 released Branch Manager Tue 30
1.16.0-alpha.3 released Branch Manager Tue 6 week 6
release-1.12 jobs removed Branch Manager Tue 6
release-1.16 branch created Branch Manager Tue 13 week 7
1.16.0-beta.0 released Branch Manager Tue 13
release-1.16 jobs created Branch Manager Tue 13
Begin Burndown (MWF meetings) Lead Mon 19 week 8 1.16-blocking, master-blocking, master-upgrade
Call for Exceptions Lead Mon 19
Brace Yourselves, Code Freeze is Coming Comms / Bug Triage Mon 19
1.16.0-beta.1 released Branch Manager Tue 20
Docs deadline - Open placeholder PRs Docs Lead Fri 23
Begin Code Freeze (EOD PST) Branch Manager Thu 29 week 9
Burndown Meetings daily Lead Tues 3 week 10
Docs deadline - PRs ready for review Docs Lead Tues 3
1.16.0-beta.2 released Branch Manager Wed 4
Docs complete - All PRs reviewed and ready to merge Docs Lead Mon 9 week 11
Begin Code Thaw (EOD PST) Branch Manager Tue 10 1.16-blocking
1.16.0-rc.1 released Branch Manager Tue 10
Cherry Pick Deadline (EOD PST) Branch Manager Thu 12
v1.16.0 released Branch Manager Mon 16 week 12
Release retrospective Community Thu 19


Enhancements Freeze

All enhancements wishing to be included in 1.16 must have

  • A KEP in an implementable state
    • Including Testing Plans
    • Including Graduation Criteria
  • An open issue in the 1.16 Milestone

If your enhancement does not meet these requirements, it will be removed from the milestone and will require an exception.


One week prior to Code Freeze, we increase the cadence of release team meetings to begin tracking work more closely. We call this Burndown, because at this point we have a list of outstanding issues and PRs, and are actively working to burn that list down. SIG representatives will be asked to attend if their SIG has specific outstanding issues that are blocking the release.

Join kubernetes-sig-release@ to get a calendar invite. This meeting may conflict with other community meetings. Please prioritize this meeting if a member of the release team asks you to attend.

The intent of these meetings is to:

  • Focus on fixing bugs, eliminating test flakes and general release stabilization.
  • Ensure docs and release notes are written and accurate.
  • Identify all enhancement going into the release, and make sure alpha, beta, GA is marked in enhancements repo.
  • Provide a one-stop view of release progress including relevant release metrics.

Code Freeze

All enhancements going into the release must be code-complete, including tests, and have docs PRs open by Thursday, August 29, 2019.

The docs PRs don't have to be ready to merge, but it should be clear what the topic will be and who is responsible for writing it. This person will become the primary contact for the documentation lead. It’s incredibly important that documentation work gets completed as quickly as possible.

After this point, only release-blocking issues and PRs will be allowed in the milestone.

Code Thaw

One week prior to release, it is expected that all but a handful of outstanding PRs for kubernetes v1.16.0 have landed in the release-1.16 branch. Assuming the release team agrees, Code Freeze will be lifted, and we enter Code Thaw.

From this point forward, any PRs intended for v1.16 must be cherry picked to the release-1.16 branch.


Starting at Enhancements Freeze the release team will solicit and rule on exception requests for enhancements and test work that is unlikely to be done by Code Freeze. The exception approval is the responsibility of the SIG or SIGs labeled in the pull request. The release team may intervene or deny the request only if it poses a risk to release quality, or could negatively impact the overall timeline. Changes introduced at this point should be well-tested, well-understood, limited in architectural scope, and low risk. All of those factors should be considered in the approval process. Enhancements on an feature branch with documentation, test cases, and passing CI are more likely to be accepted.


Enhancements that are partially implemented and/or lack sufficient tests may be considered for pruning beginning after Code Freeze, unless they've been granted an Exception.

The release team will work with SIGs and enhancements owners to evaluate each case, but for example, pruning could include actions such as:

  • Disabling the use of a new API or field
  • Switching the default value of a flag or field
  • Moving a new API or field behind an Alpha Enhancements gate
  • Reverting commits or deleting code

This should occur before 1.16.0-beta.1 is cut so we have time to gather signal on whether the system is stable in this state. These are considered drastic measures, so the release team will strive to coordinate at-risk work with SIGs before this time. The goal is to make code freeze, and overall project transparency, enforceable despite the lack of a consistently used feature branch process.


If an enhancement needs documentation, enter "Yes" in the enhancement tracking spreadsheet and add a link to the documentation PR. You can open documentation PRs in the kubernetes/website repository. If you have questions, the release documentation lead, or representatives from SIG-Docs will be happy to assist you.

For documentation PRs:

  • Open PRs against the dev-1.16 branch based off of the 1.16 release PR. The documentation workflow uses feature branches for release documentation, rather than basing from master. Be sure to open your PR against the release branch.
  • Add your PR to the 1.16 Release milestone.
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