Change submission guidance

In general, Changes are for coordination of development effort and for communication (both internally and externally). They aren’t mandates that someone else implement an idea (no matter how good that idea). If you have improvement in mind, work to get implementers committed to the effort before filing a Change proposal, rather than expecting them to show up for work once the Change is accepted.

How do I propose a new change?

In order to be considered an official change proposal accepted for the next Fedora release, the change proposal must be formally documented on a separate wiki page.

Read the policies for self-contained changes and system-wide changes.
Pick the right category. Remember, the category can be changed to another one based on community or FESCo review!
  1. Fill in the empty change proposal form with all details required for selected category (see inline comments and guidance below).

  2. Once you’re satisfied with the change proposal page, set the wiki page category to ChangeReadyForWrangler, and set the appropriate change category (SelfContainedChange or SystemWideChange. Both categories must be set! Also ensure that the proposal URL follows the Changes/<proposalname> scheme.

Make sure to finish your change proposal by the change proposal submission deadline! If you do not meet this deadline, you must seek an exception from FESCo.

The Program Manager is responsible for the actual announcement of the change proposal, creating the FESCo ticket and tracking bug in Bugzilla.

How do I show the status of a change I own?

The progress of development is shown in Bugzilla with defined bug states as explained in the change proposal template. Use this tracking bug to show blockers, using the Blocks/Depends on fields (for example package reviews), update the bug description with an actual status, and modify the bug status to reflect current state. You may be asked by the Program Manager or FESCo members to provide more detailed status (especially for system-wide changes).

A Change is considered code complete when the bug state is moved to ON_QA and when there are no blocking bugs open.

See the Bugzilla trackers section of the Changes policy for more information on Bugzilla statuses.

What are the change process deadline dates (Checkpoints)?

For specific dates refer to the current release’s schedule. For the general template of a Fedora release, to see when the Change Checkpoints relate to the rest of the cycle, see Fedora_Release_Life_Cycle.

Change Checkpoint: Proposal submission deadline

New change proposals may be submitted using the guidelines described elsewhere and accepted by FESCo until the ''change proposals submission deadline''. For a given release, this date is available in the schedule and will be announced well in advance.

  • Changes requiring infrastructure changes may be proposed until Change Checkpoint: (Changes requiring infrastructure changes) (typically 4 weeks before the start of the mass rebuild)

  • Changes requiring Mass rebuild may be proposed until Change Checkpoint: Proposal submission deadline (Changes requiring mass rebuild) (typically 16 days before the start of the mass rebuild)

  • System-Wide Changes may be proposed until Change Checkpoint: Proposal submission deadline (System-Wide Changes) (typically 16 days before the start of the mass rebuild)

  • Self Contained Changes may be proposed until Change Checkpoint: Proposal submission deadline (Self Contained Changes) (typically 3 weeks before the branch point)

Change Checkpoint: Completion deadline

This deadline falls on the same day as the branch point.

  • New changes must be feature complete or close enough to completion by the Change Checkpoint: Completion deadline (testable) date that a majority of its functionality can be tested prior the Beta releases.

  • If a change proposal page specifies a change will be enabled by default, it must be so by this date.

  • Changes meeting the preceding bullets are considered testable.

  • Use the MODIFIED status in the tracker bug to show the change made the change deadline and is testable.

Change Checkpoint: 100% code complete deadline

This date falls on the same day as the start of the Beta Freeze.

  • New accepted changes must be code complete, meaning all the code required to enable the new change is finished.

  • The level of code completeness is reflected as tracker bug state ON_QA. The change does not have to be fully tested by this deadline.

Change Checkpoint: 100% code complete deadline coincides with the Beta Freeze date because that is the last date on which it can be ensured that a build will appear in a milestone release. The idea is really that these requirements be met in the Beta ''release'', but due to the nature of the milestone freezes, in order to ensure this is the case, the requirements must be met by the freeze date.

Section-by-section guidance

Change Proposal Name

This should be descriptive, but unique. For example "glibc 2.29" is preferable to "glibc upgrade".

Make sure your page is in the Changes namespace (e.g. call it Changes/glibc_2.29)

Summary

A sentence or two summarizing what this change is and what it will do. This information is used for the overall changeset summary page for each release. Note that motivation for the change should be in the Motivation section below, and this part should answer the question "What?" rather than "Why?".

Assume that not everyone who sees this will know what you’re talking about. Give a brief description of packages or services where it makes sense.

Owner

For change proposals to qualify as self-contained, owners of all affected packages need to be included here. Alternatively, a SIG can be listed as an owner if it owns all affected packages.

Use your Bugzilla email in the email field to make your Program Manager happy.

Current status

Do not edit this section except to set the target release version.

Detailed Description

Expand on the summary, if appropriate. A couple sentences suffices to explain the goal, but the more details you can provide the better.

Benefit to Fedora

What is the benefit to the distribution? Will the software we generate be improved? How will the process of creating Fedora releases be improved?

Be sure to include the following areas if relevant: * If this is a major capability update, what has changed? For example: This change introduces Python 5 that runs without the Global Interpreter Lock and is fully multithreaded. * If this is a new functionality, what capabilities does it bring? For example: This change allows package upgrades to be performed automatically and rolled-back at will. * Does this improve some specific package or set of packages? For example: This change modifies a package to use a different language stack that reduces install size by removing dependencies. * Does this improve specific Spins or Editions? * For example: This change modifies the default install of Fedora Workstation to be more in line with the base install of Fedora Server. * Does this make the distribution more efficient? For example: This change replaces thousands of individual %post scriptlets in packages with one script that runs at the end. * Is this an improvement to maintainer processes? For example: Gating Fedora packages on automatic QA tests will make rawhide more stable and allow changes to be implemented more smoothly. * Is this an improvement targeted as specific contributors? For example: Ensuring that a minimal set of tools required for contribution to Fedora are installed by default eases the onboarding of new contributors.

When a Change has multiple benefits, it’s better to list them all.

Scope

  • Proposal owners: What work do the feature owners have to accomplish to complete the feature in time for release? Is it a large change affecting many parts of the distribution or is it a very isolated change? What are those changes?

  • Other developers: REQUIRED FOR SYSTEM WIDE CHANGES What work do other developers have to accomplish to complete the feature in time for release? Is it a large change affecting many parts of the distribution or is it a very isolated change? What are those changes?

  • Release engineering: REQUIRED FOR SYSTEM WIDE CHANGES Does this feature require coordination with release engineering (e.g. changes to installer image generation or update package delivery)? Is a mass rebuild required? Include a link to the releng issue. The issue is required to be filed prior to feature submission, to ensure that someone is on board to do any process development work and testing, and that all changes make it into the pipeline; a bullet point in a change is not sufficient communication.

  • Policies and guidelines: Do the packaging guidelines or other documents need to be updated for this feature? If so, does it need to happen before or after the implementation is done? If a FPC ticket exists, add a link here.

  • Trademark approval: If your Change may require trademark approval (for example, if it is a new Spin), file a Fedora Council ticket requesting trademark approval.

Upgrade/compatibility impact

REQUIRED FOR SYSTEM WIDE CHANGES What happens to systems that have had a previous versions of Fedora installed and are updated to the version containing this change? Will anything require manual configuration or data migration? Will any existing functionality be no longer supported?

How To Test

REQUIRED FOR SYSTEM-WIDE CHANGES This does not need to be a full-fledged document. Describe the dimensions of tests that this change implementation is expected to pass when it is done. If it needs to be tested with different hardware or software configurations, indicate them. The more specific you can be, the better the community testing can be.

Remember that you are writing this how to for interested testers to use to check out your change implementation - documenting what you do for testing is OK, but it’s much better to document what I can do to test your change.

A good "how to test" should answer these four questions:

  1. What special hardware / data / etc. is needed (if any)?

  2. How do I prepare my system to test this change? What packages need to be installed, config files edited, etc.?

  3. What specific actions do I perform to check that the change is working like it’s supposed to?

  4. What are the expected results of those actions?

User Experience

If this change proposal is noticeable by users, how will their experiences change as a result?

This section partially overlaps with the Benefit to Fedora section above. This section should be primarily about the User Experience, written in a way that does not assume deep technical knowledge. More detailed technical description should be left for the Benefit to Fedora section.

Describe what Users will see or notice, for example: * Packages are compressed more efficiently, making downloads and upgrades faster by 10%. * Kerberos tickets can be renewed automatically. Users will now have to authenticate less and become more productive. Credential management improvements mean a user can start their work day with a single sign on and not have to pause for reauthentication during their entire day. * Libreoffice is one of the most commonly installed applications on Fedora and it is now available by default to help users "hit the ground running". * Green has been scientifically proven to be the most relaxing color. The move to a default background color of green with green text will result in Fedora users being the most relaxed users of any operating system.

Dependencies

REQUIRED FOR SYSTEM-WIDE CHANGES What other packages (RPMs) depend on this package? Are there changes outside the developers' control on which completion of this change depends? In other words, completion of another change owned by someone else and might cause you to not be able to finish on time or that you would need to coordinate? Other upstream projects like the kernel (if this is not a kernel change)? -→

Contingency Plan

REQUIRED FOR SYSTEM-WIDE CHANGES

If you cannot complete your feature by the final development freeze, what is the backup plan? This might be as simple as "Revert the shipped configuration". Or it might not (e.g. rebuilding a number of dependent packages). If you feature is not completed in time we want to assure others that other parts of Fedora will not be in jeopardy.

A contigency plan should include:

  • Contingency mechanism: (What to do? Who will do it?)

  • Contingency deadline: When is the last time the contingency mechanism can be put in place? This will typically be the beta freeze.

Documentation

REQUIRED FOR SYSTEM-WIDE CHANGES Is there upstream documentation on this change, or notes you have written yourself? Link to that material here so other interested developers can get involved.

Release Notes

The Fedora Release Notes inform end-users about what is new in the release. Examples of past release notes are here: http://docs.fedoraproject.org/release-notes/ The release notes also help users know how to deal with platform changes such as ABIs/APIs, configuration or data file formats, or upgrade concerns. If there are any such changes involved in this change, indicate them here. A link to upstream documentation will often satisfy this need. This information forms the basis of the release notes edited by the documentation team and shipped with the release.