GitLab Release Posts


Release Blog Posts Handbook


On this page


Release posts

GitLab releases a new version every 22nd of each month, and announces it through monthly release posts.

Patch and security issues are addressed more often, whenever necessary.

Templates

To start a new release post, please choose one of these templates, and follow their instructions to insert content. Please make sure to use the most recent template available.

For patch and security releases, please make sure to specify them in the title, add the correct category:


Monthly releases

Monthly releases have an exclusive layout aiming to appraise the reader with the presentation of a new release every 22nd.

Note: The new design for monthly release posts was introduced in March 2017 with the release of GitLab 9.0. The new layout was introduced in May 2017 with the release of GitLab 9.2.

Getting started

To create a new monthly release post, add two files to the about.GitLab.com repository (consider the release of GitLab X.Y, released in YYYY/MM/DD):

Important! Please use the most recent templates for each of these files.

Merge Request

Create a merge request with the introductory changes before the kick off call to make the post available to receive contributions from the team.

Set the title to "WIP: Release post - GitLab X.Y".

Check "Remove source branch when merge request is accepted". Consider to check "Squash commits when merge request is accepted" only if there are too many commits that are useless (typos, styling, etc…).

The branch name must be release-X-Y.

Please use the release post template for your MR:

release post MR template

Important: all the files related to the release process, including data/features.yml, data/mvps.yml and data/promo.yml must be committed in this MR.

Authorship

Each month a Product Manager will lead the release post, being accountable for:

PM authorship schedule

Stages of contribution

Monthly release posts are created in two stages:

To be able to finish our work in time, with no rush, each stage will have its due date.

Due dates

To having the release post well written and ready in time for the release date, please set due dates for:

Ideally, the review should be completed until the 4th working day before the 22nd, so that the 3rd and the 2nd working day before the release could be left for fixes and small improvements.

General contributions

Added by the team until the 6th working day before the 22nd. Please fill all the sections.

They are mostly added by the Product Managers, each filling up the sections they are accountable for.

Accountability

You are responsible for the content you add to the blog post. Therefore, make sure that:

Write the description of every feature as you do to regular blog posts. Please write according to the markdown guide.

Important! Make sure to merge master into the release post branch before pushing changes to any existing file to avoid merge conflicts. Do not rebase, do git pull origin master then :wq.

PMs checklist

Once the PMs have included everything they're accountable for, they should check their item in the release post MR description: <MR link>#features:

https://gitlab.com/gitlab-com/www-gitlab-com/merge_requests/6239#features

PMs check list

By checking your item, you will make it clear to the author that you have done your part in time (during the general contributions stage) and you're waiting for review. If you don't check it, it's implicit that you didn't finish your part in time, despite that's the case or not.

Notes for PMs

Vacations:

If you are on vacations before/during the release fill all your items, and create placeholders in the release post Yaml file for all the items you cannot add for whatever reason. To complete them, and to follow up with all the content you are responsible for, assign someone to take over for you and notify the author.

Replies:

Please respond to comments in the MR thread as soon as possible. We have a non-negotiable due date for release posts.

Documentation:

Please add the documentation_link at the same time you add a feature block to the release post. When you leave it to add it later, you will probably forget it, the reviewer will ping you later on during the review stage, and you will have little time to write, get your MR reviewed, approved, merged, and available in docs.gitlab.com/ee.

Monthly release blog post sections

Introduction

Add the introduction to the blog post file (YYYY-MM-DD-gitlab-X-Y-released.html.md), in regular markdown.

Add a short paragraph before the <!-- more --> separator, and conclude the intro below it.

Introductory paragraph (regular markdown)

<!-- more -->

Introduction (regular markdown)

The first paragraph is the one that catches the eyes of the reader, so it should be super cheerful and invite the person to know what we're shipping that month.

The following paragraphs should briefly highlight what's in the post, and link to each feature description introduced by that release (link using the feature headings' anchors).

Make your intro creative and attractive, shouting out for all the awesomeness we're shipping that month.

CTA

Call-to-action buttons displayed at the end of the introduction. A CTA to the events page is added by default. Add webcasts, or custom buttons to this entry whenever necessary.

cta:
  - title: Join us for an upcoming event
    link: '/events/'
  - title: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet
  - link:

MVP

To display the MVP of the month, use the example provided in this template, and adjust it to your case. Don't forget to link to the MR with the MPV's contribution.

mvp:
  fullname: Dosuken Shinya # full name
  gitlab: dosuken123 # gitlab.com username
  description: | # supports markdown. Please link to the MR with the MVP's contribution.
    Dosuken extended our [Pipelines API](http://docs.gitlab.com/ce/api/pipelines.html#list-project-pipelines)
    by [adding additional search attributes](https://gitlab.com/gitlab-org/gitlab-ce/merge_requests/9367).
    This is a huge improvement to our CI API, for example enabling queries to easily return the latest
    pipeline for a specific branch, as well as a host of other possibilities. Dosuken also made a great
    contribution last release, laying the foundation for
    [scheduled pipelines](https://gitlab.com/gitlab-org/gitlab-ce/merge_requests/10133). Thanks Dosuken!

Suggestions should be ideally added along the month into the #release-mvp channel, as soon as you see a contribution, or a set of contributions that you think are great and should be taken into consideration for the choice. Every GitLab team member is encouraged to add suggestions to the channel, always linking to issues and merge requests.

Additionally, close to the release date, the release post autor will request suggestions from colleagues and the core team in the #development chat channel.

Based on both discussions, the release post author will make a decision. They should not wait for consensus. There can only be one MVP.

The MVP will be prized with a gift from GitLab, usually a swag pack. :)

Important: remember to update data/mvps.yml with the new MVP.

Features

The most relevant features of the release are included in the post by product managers. Classify the feature according to its relevance and to where you want to place it in the blog post:

Top feature

The most important feature of the release, mentioned right after the MVP section. Images can be added at will in the description entry. A link to the documentation is required.

Primary features

Features with higher impact, displayed in rows after the top feature, with an image next to its text. An image accompanying the description is required. A video can also be added to replace the image.

Secondary features (other improvements)

Relevant improvements in GitLab. Image is not required, but recommended.

Feature blocks

Use feature blocks to add features to the YAML data file. The layout will be applied automatically by Middleman's templating system.

Feature blocks in the YAML data file contain the following entries, as exemplified below:

- name: Multi-Project Pipeline Graphs
  available_in: [eep]
  documentation_link: 'https://docs.gitlab.com/ee/ci/pipelines.html#multi-project-pipelines-graphs'
  image_url: '/images/9_3/multi-project_pipelines.png'
  reporter: bikebilly
  issue_url: 'https://gitlab.com/gitlab-org/gitlab-ee/issues/2121'
  description: |
    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, [consectetur adipisicing](#link) elit.

Feature Name

Use a short and strong name for all feature names.

Feature Availability

Use the following pattern to apply the correct badge to the feature (CE, EES, EEP).

Provide a reference link to the feature whenever possible. It can be, in this priority order:

Important: always link to the EE documentation, even if the feature is available in CE.

As follows:

Illustration (images, videos)

Check the section Adding Content > Illustrations for more information.

Feature Reporter

Feature Description

Cover image license

According to our Blog handbook, it's necessary to provide the source of the cover image. Fill in the entry below to display this info at the very end of the blog post:

cover_img:
  image_url: '#link_to_original_image'
  licence: CC0 # which licence the image is available with
  licence_url: '#link_to_licence'

Upgrade barometer

Describes the information about upgrading GitLab to the new version. To be added by the release manager during the general contributions stage, who can ask for backend team leads' review. Should include the following info before the review starts (6th working day before the 22nd):

You can use the template presented in the release post data file.

Note: It's important to have this section added with all the others, but, of course, it can be updated later if necessary.

Performance improvements

To be added by the release post lead (author), in the "general contributions" stage.

Describes relevant performance improvements individually, when present. Otherwise, you can either use this standard redaction or write a new one:

- name: Performance Improvements
  available_in: [ce, ees, eep]
  reporter: bikebilly
  description: |
    We are continuing to make great strides improving
    the performance of GitLab in every release.
    [We're committed](/handbook/product/#performance) to not only
    making individual instances of GitLab even faster,
    but also to greatly improving the performance of GitLab.com,
    an instance that has over 1 million users!

    In GitLab X.Y we are shipping performance
    improvements for issues, projects, milestones, and a lot more!

    For a list of implementations, please check the merge requests for
    [GitLab Community Edition](https://gitlab.com/gitlab-org/gitlab-ce/merge_requests?scope=all&utf8=%E2%9C%93&state=merged&milestone_title=X.Y&label_name%5B%5D=performance)
    and
    [GitLab Enterprise Edition](https://gitlab.com/gitlab-org/gitlab-ee/merge_requests?scope=all&utf8=%E2%9C%93&state=merged&milestone_title=X.Y&label_name%5B%5D=performance).

Don't forget to replace X.Y above with the current release!

Omnibus improvements

To be added by the build Product Manager during the general contributions stage.

Extras

If you need an extra block to convey important info, and it doesn't fit the other blog post sections, you can use the extras block, right before deprecations (in the release post YAML datafile):

extras:
  - title: "Hello World"
    description: | # supports markdown
      Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit. Consequuntur, beatae!

For more multiple blocks, use:

extras:
  - title: "Hello World"
    description: | # supports markdown
      Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit. Consequuntur, beatae!
  - title: "Lorem"
    description: | # supports markdown
      Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit. Doloremque.

Deprecations

Describe the deprecations happening on that release or in upcoming releases. Let our community know about a future deprecation as soon as possible.

deprecations:
  - feature_name: Lorem ipsum dolor
    due: May 22nd, 2017. # example
    reporter: bikebilly # item author username
    description: |  # example (supports markdown)
      Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit.
      Veritatis, quisquam.

For multiple deprecations, use multiple feature deprecation blocks:

deprecations:
  - feature_name: Lorem ipsum dolor
    due: May 22nd, 2017. # example
    description: |  # example (supports markdown)
      Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit.
      Veritatis, quisquam.
  - feature_name: Lorem ipsum dolor
    due: May 22nd, 2017. # example
    description: |  # example (supports markdown)
      Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit.
      Veritatis, quisquam.

Review

The review is performed after content has been added, so it's important to respect the due dates, otherwise reviews will have to be done repeatedly.

Ideally, the review should be completed by the 4th working day before the 22nd, so that the 3rd and the 2nd working day before the release can be left for fixes and small improvements.

Content review

The content review is performed by product manager leading the post (author), who will check if everything is in place, and if there's nothing missing. Will also make suggestions, ask questions, and make sure all the comments are solved (ping people on Slack if necessary). Also, assure all items in the "general contributions" list presented in the MR description have been checked.

Technical writers/editors will follow with copyedit and check for grammar, spelling, and typos. Please follow the checklist in the MR description to guide you through the review.

Lastly, on the 2nd day before the 22nd (or as soon as the content is ready), the post should be reviewed by a Marketing team member (PMM, CMM) to evaluate wording and messaging.

Structural Check

Once the post is filled with content, the technical writing, UX, or frontend team, will check the syntax and the content structure:

Frontmatter

Look for each entry in the frontmatter. Wrap text with double quotes and paths with single quotes to prevent the page to break due to special chars.

---
release_number: "X.X"
title: "GitLab X.X Released with Feature A and Feature B"
author: Name Surname
author_gitlab: gitlab.com-username
author_twitter: twitter-username
categories: release
image_title: '/images/X_X/X_X-cover-image.ext'
description: "GitLab 9.0 Released with XXX, YYY, ZZZ, KKK, and much more!"
twitter_image: '/images/tweets/gitlab-X-X-released.jpg'
layout: release
---

Adding content

Markdown

For entries that support markdown, use regular markdown Kramdown, as we use for all blog posts and webpages on about.GitLab.com.

Illustrations

Images

Videos

Every video should wrapped into a figure tag, as in:

<figure class="video_container">
  <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/PoBaY_rqeKA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="true"> </iframe>
</figure>

The <figure> element is recommended for semantic SEO and the video_container class will assure the video is displayed responsively.

Consult the markdown guide for the correct markdown markup to apply to different sources (YouTube, Google Drive, HTML video).

For primary_features, you can add a video instead of an image, by using the entry video:. If present, the feature section won't display any images, only the video. Example:

# PRIMARY FEATURES
  primary:
    - name: Awesome Feature
      available_in: [ce, ees, eep]
      documentation_link: ''
      documentation_text: "Learn more"
      video: "https://www.youtube.com/embed/eH-GuoqlweM"
      description: |
        Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit. Quae, provident.

Technical aspects

Understand how a release post is formed:

The template files form the blog post, therefore, don't need to be changed every release. The content files are the ones to be added every release with its unique content, as described by the section getting started.

To learn more how the templating system works, read through an overview on Modern Static Site Generators.