A guide to making a nibabel release

This is a guide for developers who are doing a nibabel release.

The general idea of these instructions is to go through the following steps:

  • Make sure that the code is in the right state for release;

  • update release-related docs such as the Changelog;

  • update various documents giving dependencies, dates and so on;

  • check all standard and release-specific tests pass;

  • make the release commit and release tag;

  • check Windows binary builds and slow / big memory tests;

  • push source and windows builds to pypi;

  • push docs;

  • push release commit and tag to github;

  • announce.

We leave pushing the tag to the last possible moment, because it’s very bad practice to change a git tag once it has reached the public servers (in our case, github). So we want to make sure of the contents of the release before pushing the tag.

Release checklist

  • Review the open list of nibabel issues. Check whether there are outstanding issues that can be closed, and whether there are any issues that should delay the release. Label them !

  • Review and update the release notes. Review and update the Changelog file. Get a partial list of contributors with something like:

    git log 2.0.0.. | grep '^Author' | cut -d' ' -f 2- | sort | uniq

    where 2.0.0 was the last release tag name.

    Then manually go over git shortlog 2.0.0.. to make sure the release notes are as complete as possible and that every contributor was recognized.

  • Look at doc/source/index.rst and add any authors not yet acknowledged. You might want to use the following to list authors by the date of their contributions:

    git log --format="%aN <%aE>" --reverse | perl -e 'my %dedupe; while (<STDIN>) { print unless $dedupe{$_}++}'

    (From: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/6482436/list-of-authors-in-git-since-a-given-commit#6482473)

    Consider any updates to the AUTHOR file.

  • Use the opportunity to update the .mailmap file if there are any duplicate authors listed from git shortlog -nse.

  • Check the copyright year in doc/source/conf.py

  • Refresh the README.rst text from the LONG_DESCRIPTION in info.py by running make refresh-readme.

    Check the output of:

    rst2html.py README.rst > ~/tmp/readme.html

    because this will be the output used by pypi

  • Check the dependencies listed in nibabel/info.py (e.g. NUMPY_MIN_VERSION) and in doc/source/installation.rst and in requirements.txt and .travis.yml. They should at least match. Do they still hold? Make sure nibabel on travis is testing the minimum dependencies specifically.

  • Do a final check on the nipy buildbot. Use the try_branch.py scheduler available in nibotmi to test particular schedulers.

  • Make sure all tests pass (from the nibabel root directory):

    pytest --doctest-modules nibabel
  • Make sure you are set up to use the try_branch.py - see https://github.com/nipy/nibotmi/blob/master/install.rst#trying-a-set-of-changes-on-the-buildbots

  • Make sure all your changes are committed or removed, because try_branch.py pushes up the changes in the working tree;

  • The following checks get run with the nibabel-release-checks, as in:

    try_branch.py nibabel-release-checks

    Beware: this build does not usually error, even if the steps do not give the expected output. You need to check the output manually by going to https://nipy.bic.berkeley.edu/builders/nibabel-release-checks after the build has finished.

    • Make sure all tests pass from sdist:

      make sdist-tests

      and the three ways of installing (from tarball, repo, local in repo):

      make check-version-info

      The last may not raise any errors, but you should detect in the output lines of this form:

      {'sys_version': '2.6.6 (r266:84374, Aug 31 2010, 11:00:51) \n[GCC 4.0.1 (Apple Inc. build 5493)]', 'commit_source': 'archive substitution', 'np_version': '1.5.0', 'commit_hash': '25b4125', 'pkg_path': '/var/folders/jg/jgfZ12ZXHwGSFKD85xLpLk+++TI/-Tmp-/tmpGPiD3E/pylib/nibabel', 'sys_executable': '/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.6/Resources/Python.app/Contents/MacOS/Python', 'sys_platform': 'darwin'}
      {'sys_version': '2.6.6 (r266:84374, Aug 31 2010, 11:00:51) \n[GCC 4.0.1 (Apple Inc. build 5493)]', 'commit_source': 'installation', 'np_version': '1.5.0', 'commit_hash': '25b4125', 'pkg_path': '/var/folders/jg/jgfZ12ZXHwGSFKD85xLpLk+++TI/-Tmp-/tmpGPiD3E/pylib/nibabel', 'sys_executable': '/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.6/Resources/Python.app/Contents/MacOS/Python', 'sys_platform': 'darwin'}
      {'sys_version': '2.6.6 (r266:84374, Aug 31 2010, 11:00:51) \n[GCC 4.0.1 (Apple Inc. build 5493)]', 'commit_source': 'repository', 'np_version': '1.5.0', 'commit_hash': '25b4125', 'pkg_path': '/Users/mb312/dev_trees/nibabel/nibabel', 'sys_executable': '/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.6/Resources/Python.app/Contents/MacOS/Python', 'sys_platform': 'darwin'}
    • Check the setup.py file is picking up all the library code and scripts, with:

      make check-files

      Look for output at the end about missed files, such as:

      Missed script files:  /Users/mb312/dev_trees/nibabel/bin/nib-dicomfs, /Users/mb312/dev_trees/nibabel/bin/nifti1_diagnose.py

      Fix setup.py to carry across any files that should be in the distribution.

    • Check the documentation doctests:

      make -C doc doctest

      This should also be tested by nibabel on travis.

    • Check everything compiles without syntax errors:

      python -m compileall .
    • Check that nibabel correctly generates a source distribution:

      make source-release
  • Edit nibabel/info.py to set _version_extra to ''; commit;

  • You may have virtualenvs for different Python versions. Check the tests pass for different configurations. The long-hand way looks like this:

    workon python26
    make distclean
    make sdist-tests

    etc for the different virtualenvs;

  • Check on different platforms, particularly windows and PPC. Look at the nipy buildbot automated test runs for this;

  • Force build of your release candidate branch with the slow and big-memory tests on the zibi buildslave:

    try_branch.py nibabel-py2.7-osx-10.10

    Check the build web-page for errors:

  • Force builds of your local branch on the win32 and amd64 binaries on buildbot:

    try_branch.py nibabel-bdist32-27
    try_branch.py nibabel-bdist32-33
    try_branch.py nibabel-bdist32-34
    try_branch.py nibabel-bdist32-35
    try_branch.py nibabel-bdist64-27

    Check the builds completed without error on their respective web-pages:

  • Make sure you have travis-ci building set up for your own repo. Make a new release-check (or similar) branch, and push the code in its current state to a branch that will build, e.g:

    git branch -D release-check # in case branch already exists
    git co -b release-check
    # You might need the --force flag here
    git push your-github-user release-check -u
  • Once everything looks good, you are ready to upload the source release to PyPi. See setuptools intro. Make sure you have a file \$HOME/.pypirc, of form:

    index-servers =
    repository: https://upload.pypi.io/legacy/
  • Clean:

    make distclean
    # Check no files outside version control that you want to keep
    git status
    # Nuke
    git clean -fxd
  • When ready:

    python setup.py register
    python setup.py sdist --formats=gztar,zip
    # -s flag to sign the release
    twine upload -r warehouse -s dist/nibabel*
  • Tag the release with signed tag of form 2.0.0:

    git tag -s 2.0.0
  • Push the tag and any other changes to trunk with:

    git push origin 2.0.0
    git push
  • Now the version number is OK, push the docs to github pages with:

    make upload-html
  • Finally (for the release uploads) upload the Windows binaries you built with try_branch.py above;

  • Set up maintenance / development branches

    If this is this is a full release you need to set up two branches, one for further substantial development (often called ‘trunk’) and another for maintenance releases.

    • Branch to maintenance:

      git co -b maint/2.0.x

      Set _version_extra back to .dev and bump _version_micro by 1. Thus the maintenance series will have version numbers like - say - ‘2.0.1.dev’ until the next maintenance release - say ‘2.0.1’. Commit. Don’t forget to push upstream with something like:

      git push upstream-remote maint/2.0.x --set-upstream
    • Start next development series:

      git co main-master

      then restore .dev to _version_extra, and bump _version_minor by 1. Thus the development series (‘trunk’) will have a version number here of ‘2.1.0.dev’ and the next full release will be ‘2.1.0’.

      Next merge the maintenance branch with the “ours” strategy. This just labels the maintenance info.py edits as seen but discarded, so we can merge from maintenance in future without getting spurious merge conflicts:

      git merge -s ours maint/2.0.x

    If this is just a maintenance release from maint/2.0.x or similar, just tag and set the version number to - say - 2.0.2.dev.

  • Push the main branch:

    git push upstream-remote main-master
  • Make next development release tag

    After each release the master branch should be tagged with an annotated (or/and signed) tag, naming the intended next version, plus an ‘upstream/’ prefix and ‘dev’ suffix. For example ‘upstream/1.0.0.dev’ means “development start for upcoming version 1.0.0.

    This tag is used in the Makefile rules to create development snapshot releases to create proper versions for those. The version derives its name from the last available annotated tag, the number of commits since that, and an abbreviated SHA1. See the docs of git describe for more info.

    Please take a look at the Makefile rules devel-src, devel-dsc and orig-src.

  • Go to: https://github.com/nipy/nibabel/tags and select the new tag, to fill in the release notes. Copy the relevant part of the Changelog into the release notes. Click on “Publish release”. This will cause Zenodo to generate a new release “upload”, including a DOI. After a few minutes, go to https://zenodo.org/deposit and click on the new release upload. Click on the “View” button and click on the DOI badge at the right to display the text for adding a DOI badge in various formats. Copy the DOI Markdown text. The markdown will look something like this:


    Go back to the Github release page for this release, click “Edit release”. and copy the DOI into the release notes. Click “Update release”.

    See: https://guides.github.com/activities/citable-code

  • Announce to the mailing lists.