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How to release software

To release a new version of a piece of software (eg zinc, cmgui etc) on the plone website should be relatively straight forward but I had a few problems.

First you need "manager" permissions for the release center page relevant to your software. To see if you have the right permission first navigate to the appropriate page.

Eg For zinc I click on the Release Center option (the last option on the left hand navigation bar), then Zinc, the Releases. If this page has an option to "add software release" near the top right hand area of the screen, you have the correct permissions. If this option is not present, see the web admin (Gareth) to get assigned the correct permission level to be able to add a release.

When ready to do a release, simply click on the "add software release" button and fill out the form. Note that plone generated an error when I first tried to click on this button and I got a big long ugly looking stack trace displayed instead of the form. I got around this by switching my default editor to Kupu . To switch your default editor to Kupu, go to the upper right area of the screen select Preferences and then Personal preferences. Scroll down and under the content editor choose Kupu from the drop down list.

Note that originally I switched from the default basic html text area editor to the FCKeditor but this didn't work well. It loaded up the form but the text I entered was not displayed correctly. Instead it printed raw html to the screen rather than rendering it. Kupu seemed to work fine.

The form requires you to fill in a bunch of information including:

  • version - your version number of the software release
  • release summary - a short sentence or two summarising the main features of the release
  • full release description - this will show up as "release notes" on the generated page. Detail anything users need to be aware of.
  • Change log - detailed description of what has changed since last release.

Once you have created a release, you should navigate to it in the left hand panel and then load up executables for each suppoerted operating system (plus a tarred, gzipped copy of the source if appropriate). Use the "add item" option in the upper right area of the screen to do this. You will need to manually add each one.