Node.js Foundation Release Working Group
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Latest commit f8dbb0c Jan 22, 2018 @gibfahn gibfahn doc: current releases are still End-of-Life (#297)
Now the repo covers Current releases as well, it should be clear about
their status.

Refs: https://twitter.com/wa7son/status/950300918347714560

README.md

Node.js Release Working Group

Release schedule

Release Status Codename Active LTS Start Maintenance LTS Start Maintenance LTS End
v0.10.x End-of-Life - - 2015-10-01 2016-10-31
v0.12.x End-of-Life - - 2016-04-01 2016-12-31
4.x Maintenance LTS Argon 2015-10-01 2017-04-01 2018-04-30
5.x End-of-Life
6.x Active LTS Boron 2016-10-18 2018-04-30 April 2019
7.x End-of-Life
8.x Active LTS Carbon 2017-10-31 April 2019 December 20191
9.x Current Release
10.x Pending Pending October 2018 April 2020 April 2021

Dates are subject to change.

  • 1: The 8.x Maintenance LTS cycle is currently scheduled to expire early on December 31, 2019 to align with the scheduled End-of-Life of OpenSSL-1.0.2.

LTS Schedule

The Release schedule is available also as a JSON file. There is also a live Google Calendar that may be subscribed to. The Release schedule, is generated using the lts module.

Mandate

The Release working group's purpose is:

  • Management/execution of the release and support process for all releases.

Its responsibilities are:

  • Define the release process.
  • Define the content of releases.
  • Generate and create releases.
  • Test Releases
  • Manage the LTS and Current branches including backporting changes to these branches.
  • Define the policy for what gets backported to release streams.

The Release working group is structured into teams and membership in the working group does not automatically result in membership in these teams. These teams are:

  • Releasers team
  • LTS team
  • CITGM team

The releasers team is entrusted with the secrets and CI access to be able build and sign releases. Additions to the releasers team must be approved by the TSC.

The Long Term Support (LTS) team manages the process/content of LTS releases and the required backporting for these releases. Additions to the LTS team needs sign off from the rest of the LTS team.

The Canary in the Gold Mine (CITGM) team maintains CITGM as one of the key sanity checks for releases. This team maintains the CITGM repository and works to keep CITGM builds running and passing regularly. This also includes maintaining the CI jobs in collaboration with the Build Working Group.

Release Plan

New semver-major releases of Node.js are cut from master every six months. New even-numbered versions (e.g. v6, v8, v10, etc) are cut in April. New odd-numbered versions (e.g. v5, v7, v9) are cut in October.

When a new odd-numbered major release is cut, the previous even-numbered major version transitions to the Long Term Support plan.

Every major version covered by the LTS plan will be actively maintained for a period of 18 months from the date it enters LTS coverage. Following those 18 months of active support, the major version will transition into "maintenance" mode for 12 additional months.

The exact date that a release stream will be moved to LTS, moved between LTS modes, or deprecated will be chosen no later than the first day of the month. If it is to be changed, it will be done with no less than 14 days notice.

Given this schedule, there will be no more than two active LTS releases at any given time, overlapping for a maximum period of six months.

Once a major version enters LTS coverage, new features (semver-minor) may only be landed with consent of the Release working group. No semver-major changes other than those required for critical security fixes may be landed.

Changes in an LTS-covered major version are limited to:

  1. Bug fixes;
  2. Security updates;
  3. Non-semver-major npm updates;
  4. Relevant documentation updates;
  5. Certain performance improvements where the risk of breaking existing applications is minimal;
  6. Changes that introduce large amount of code churn where the risk of breaking existing applications is low and where the change in question may significantly ease the ability to backport future changes due to the reduction in diff noise.

Generally changes are expected to live in a Current release for at least 2 weeks before being backported. It is possible for a commit to land earlier at the discretion of the Release working group and the maintainers of the LTS branches.

Once a release moves into Maintenance mode, only critical bugs, critical security fixes, and documentation updates will be permitted.

Note that while it is possible that critical security and bug fixes may lead to semver-major changes landing within an LTS stream, such situations will be rare and will land as semver-minor bumps in the LTS covered version.

All LTS releases will be assigned a "codename" drawn from the names of elements on the Periodic Table of Elements. For each upcoming LTS release, the Release working group will select a handful of candidate names and submit those for a collaborator vote.

An odd-numbered major release will cease to be actively updated when the subsequent even-numbered major release is cut.

LTS Staging Branches

Every LTS major version has two branches in the GitHub repository: a release branch and a staging branch. The release branch is used to cut new releases. Only members of the release team should land commits into the release branch. The staging branch is used to land cherry-picked or backported commits from master that need to be included in a future release.

For example, for Node.js v4, there is a v4.x branch and a v4.x-staging branch. When commits land in master that must be cherry-picked for a future Node.js v4 release, those must be landed into the v4.x-staging branch. When commits are backported for a future Node.js v4 release, those must come in the form of pull requests opened against the v4.x-staging branch. Commits are only landed in the v4.x branch when a new v4.x release is being prepared.

Node abstraction layer

It should be stated that the abstraction layer (currently NAN) should support all current LTS releases. Given that Active LTS will overlap for a period of 6 months, this means that the abstraction layer will, at any given point in time, fully support a maximum of 2 LTS releases.

The working group members are the union of the LTS, Releasers and CITGM team members listed below.

LTS Team members

Releasers team

CITGM team