I promised it since a while, but it has cost us quite some efforts to get the whole process working smoothly: We are now in a position to do almost “one-click” releases of openHAB with our Jenkins release pipeline - big thanks to @pfink for setting this up!
Just as some background information: To create a distro release, 9 different Github repos need to be built and released individually, with versions being changed in the sources, git tags being created, p2 repos published, etc.
Doing that manually usually took me around 10 hours, while it is now done fully automatically in around 1:45h.
Being able to have the technical release process simplified does not automatically mean that we directly reduce our release frequency - after all, besides the technical artifacts a release involves many more efforts like a testing/stabilisation phase, the compilation of release notes, annoucements & informing the press, etc.
So the first step for which we use our new ability is to provide milestone releases from now on. The plan is to have roughly one milestone release per month. They are meant to be a pretty good compromise between the nightly snapshots and the official releases. I know that many of you are using snapshots even for their production system (me included) and you continuously run the risk that you catch a snapshot that completely breaks your system. Waiting for a new release is no option either, if you want to use new features that only recently made it into the code base. With the new milestone builds, we will make sure that those builds work in general and that they should not have any (known) critical issues. They should therefore be a nice option if you want to be on the latest&greatest, but want to avoid the risks that are associated with snapshots builds.
We are publishing the milestone builds to the linux “testing” repositories, so if you switch to “testing”, you should automatically receive the milestones upon an package upgrade. For everyone who isn’t using linux packages, you can get the zip/targz archives from our Artifactory instance at https://openhab.jfrog.io/openhab/libs-milestone-local/org/openhab/distro/openhab/.
Please forgive us if there are maybe a few hiccups in the beginning as we will have to get into this new process (You will notice that the latest milestone is 2.4.0.M3, which is a sign that we needed a few iterations for it already) - but I hope you welcome these new builds as a step in the right direction!
P.S.: The 2.4.0.M2 has been published to the Linux “unstable” repos yesterday by accident, so if you have updated your snapshot over the last hours, you might have ended up with that version. Please note that if this is the case, no further snapshots will be picked up, but you have to once manually choose a current snapshot to install again - please see these instructions on how to do so.