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Release Instructions

To prepare a release:


As soon as you become the release manager: review the goals for the release on the Parrot roadmap ( and announce the tasks to the Parrot mailing list. Make sure everyone knows what they've committed to accomplish in time for the release.

Right after the release preceeding your release, it is a good idea to start tracking parrot news in NEWS. A good resource are the reports in the weekly #parrotsketch IRC-meeting. A reliable log of these meetings is available in

A couple of weeks in advance: Ask people to run make fulltest and report (and hopefully fix!) any problems they find. Check in with language project leads for release blockers, to allow time to fix them. Also ask people to review the tickets targeted for the upcoming release

Make sure your ssh key have been added to the FTP server Without the key you won't be able to ship the release.

Set up your account on and ask an previous release manager to provide you with editor privileges if you don't already have them. Any previous release manager should be able to help.

A couple of days in advance: announce the new release to and to the IRC channel #parrot. Ask whether there are any showstopping bugs. Check in again with the language project leads. It's also good to ask for updates to NEWS, CREDITS, PLATFORMS, RESPONSIBLE_PARTIES, DEPRECATED.pod and

On the Saturday before a release you should notify other developers to stop committing non-release related code to trunk. This will help avoid complications. They are of course free to commit to branches as much as they like. You might also set the topic in #parrot, announcing the time when you plan on starting the release procedure. This will help the committers with timing their last minute commits.

You might also select a name (and optionally a quote) for your release. For example, you could select a name from


The day of the release has come. Make sure you're up to date:

 $ svn update

Update files with version-specific information:


Increment the version number in the following files: VERSION, MANIFEST.generated, README.

Also update the version number, date, and your name in the the file: docs/parrothist.pod.

Update this file, that is release_manager_guide.pod, to remove the pending release you're in the middle of.


Update ChangeLog, NEWS with the new version number and any other changes that have occurred since the last release: Hopefully these files are being updated as committers work. If not, it's probably a good idea to gather the updates weekly rather than waiting until the day of the monthly release.


Update release-related information in tools/util/release.json. This will be used later when making release announcements. There are a few essential fields that must be updated at each release:


The date of the next release is in Appendix 1.

Enter the date of the Saturday before the next release.


Update the date part of the link to the wiki page for the next bugday.


The URL of the FTP directory where the Parrot tarball can be found.


Make sure RESPONSIBLE_PARTIES is still accurate.


Give yourself credit for the release in CREDITS.


In the two files src/ops/core_ops.c and include/parrot/oplib/core_ops.h is the function Parrot_DynOp_core_a_b_c, which has a name that includes the version number. a_b_c is the version number. You have to update this version number on two places in the file src/ops/core_ops.c. In the file include/parrot/oplib/core_ops.h you have to change this line:

 op_lib_t *Parrot_DynOp_core_a_b_c(PARROT_INTERP, long init);

Ignore the warning to not edit this files. It is necessary to edit this files, so that "make" builds with the increased version number.


Configure parrot and run make distro_tests, and either fix what those tests complain about, or fix them so they don't complain.


If this is a developer release, or there have been no new entries to the PBC_COMPAT file, skip this step.

If this is a supported release, and new entries to PBC_COMPAT have been added since the last supported release, make a new entry with a new major version number for this release at the top of the list.

  3.0     2007.10.17      coke    released 0.4.17

Delete all minor version numbers since the last major bytecode version number, as these are only used in development and not relevant to the bytecode support policy. (Those changes are all included within the major version number increase for the supported release.)

Once you've updated PBC_COMPAT, running sh tools/dev/mk_packfile_pbc if necessary, then run sh tools/dev/mk_native_pbc to update the pbc files used in the native pbc tests. Note that you must have Parrot already built for this to work, and that this script will reconfigure and rebuild Parrot with various primitive size options.


Make sure everything works:

 $ make realclean
 $ perl --test ...
 $ make world docs html 2>&1 | tee make_world_docs_html.log
 $ make fulltest        2>&1 | tee make_fulltest.log

Note that running "make fulltest" takes a while and that separate harnesses are being run.


When all is well, then commit your changes:

 svn diff | more
 svn commit

Write down the revision number from this commit. You will need it later in step 7.


Prepare the release tarball.

 $ make release VERSION=a.b.c

where a.b.c is the version number. This will create the tarball named parrot-a.b.c.tar.gz. This will automatically avoid including DEVELOPING in the release tarball.


Untar parrot-a.b.c.tar.gz into another area.


Make sure everything works:

 $ perl
 $ make world docs html 2>&1 | tee make_world_docs_html.log
 $ make fulltest        2>&1 | tee make_fulltest.log

Verify that the version is correct and doesn't contain the suffix devel:

 $ ./parrot -V

Tag the release as "RELEASE_a_b_c", where a.b.c is the version number. Specify the revision number generated in step 3, above.

 $ export SVNPARROT=
 $ svn copy -r <REV> -m "tagged release a.b.c" \

SSH to (If you don't have the necessary login information, get it from one of the previous release managers.)

 $ ssh -l <USERNAME>

If the release is a monthly development release, create a new directory under ~/ftp/releases/devel.

 $ mkdir ~/ftp/releases/devel/a.b.c

If the release is in the supported series ("Appendix 1 - Upcoming releases") create the new directory in ~/ftp/releases/supported instead.

 $ mkdir ~/ftp/releases/supported/a.b.c

Copy the different compressed tarballs and the according checksum files from your machine into the new directory.

 $ scp parrot-a.b.c.tar.gz parrot-a.b.c.tar.bz2 \
       parrot-a.b.c.tar.gz.sha256 parrot-a.b.c.tar.bz2.sha256 \

(Or using wget or whatever tool you prefer.)

When you're finished making changes, run the trigger script to push the changes out to the FTP mirrors.


Check your changes at It should only take a few minutes for the mirrors to sync.


Compose the release announcement. Use tools/util/crow.pir to make this part easier. You can specify the format of your announcements like so:

  $ ./parrot tools/util/crow.pir --type=text
  $ ./parrot tools/util/crow.pir --type=html

Take the screen output and paste it into the application you need. HTML works well for use Perl and PerlMonks, and text for the rest. It is not a bad idea to add a "highlights" section to draw attention to major new features, just be sure to say the same thing in both text and HTML versions.

Be sure to include the SHA1 sums of the tarballs in the release announcement; They're automatically generated by make release.


Update the website. You will need an account with editor rights on


Add a new page for the release announcement with "Create content" -> "Story". There's some additional stuff needed at the top of the page; use one of the old announcements as a guide.

The "<!--break-->" line marks the end of the text that will appear on the front page.


For the "News" category, select both "Releases" and "News".

Add tags to the page for significant changes in this release (e.g. "rakudo" for significant Rakudo language updates, or "gc" for significant garbage collection subsystem updates).


Under "URL path settings" uncheck "Automatic alias" and set the path to news/[year]/Parrot-[release number].


Under "Publishing options" make sure "Published" and "Promoted to front page" are checked.


Under "Administer" -> "Site building" -> "URL Redirects", change the URL for "release/current" to the FTP file for the new release (for example, Also update the URL for "release/developer" or "release/supported" depending on which type of release this is.


Update Run "make html" in a release copy of parrot, and save the resources/ and html/ directories created in docs/. ssh into the parrotvm, and in the webroot for, expand these into a release directory (e.g. 1.4.0). in <webroot>/parrot, there are symbolic links for latest, supported, and devel. Update the latest symlink to point to your new directory. If this is a supported release, also update the supported symlink. Do not delete any old copies of the docs.

Preview the new page, and submit it.

(The old release announcement may be edited to uncheck "Promoted to front page" to keep the main page fresh.)


Publicize the release by publishing the announcement through the following channels (and any others you can think of):


Send a text email to parrot-dev, parrot-users, perl6-language, perl6-announce, perl5-porters, etc. You should also include in this mailing; email to lwn at that domain.


Submit the use Perl announcement story to use Perl, Perl Monks, Slashdot, Newsforge, etc. Don't forget to set a Reply-To: or Followup-To: header, if your mail client lets you.


Modify the topic on #parrot, e.g.:

 /topic #parrot Parrot 0.4.8 Released |

Update the wiki frontpage at


Update the Wikipedia entry at


Update the C2 wiki entry at


Review the milestone for the current release in Trac at Close any completed release-related tickets. Edit the milestone to mark it as "Completed". Marking a milestone as completed will migrate all open tickets to a selected milestone (generally the next milestone). Non-critical tickets can have their milestone unset.


Add the version to Trac so new bug reports can be filed against your buggy code.

Make the latest released version the default version for new reports.

Remove any sufficiently old versions listed there.


You're done! Help yourself to a beer, cola, or other celebratory drink.


This document was written after a couple of subtly incorrectly assembled releases--usually when someone forgot to delete DEVELOPING (which is now automated!), but at least once where the MANIFEST check failed. The intent of this file is to document what must be done to release so that such mistakes won't happen again.



Appendix 1 - Upcoming releases

To make a monthly release schedule possible, we spread the burden of releases across multiple release managers. Releases are scheduled for the 3rd Tuesday of each month.

The starred releases are Parrot's quarterly supported releases, see docs/project/support_policy.pod.

The calendar of releases is available at the comp.lang.parrot google calendar, visible at

 - Sep 21, 2010 - 2.8   - gerd
 - Oct 19, 2010 - 2.9*  - gerd
 - Nov 16, 2010 - 2.10  - ??
 - Dec 21, 2010 - 2.11  - ??
 - Jan 18, 2010 - 3.0*  - ??
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