Thunderbird/Release Driving/Alpha Beta Release Checklist

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This is the general release checklist we should use for Thunderbird Alpha and Beta releases.

It is based largely on Thunderbird/Release_Driving/Maintenance_Release_Checklist with obvious changes specific to alpha/beta releases.

It is organized by major functional activity in roughly chronological order. At the end of each bullet is the owner of the checklist item from within the Release Team.


  • Project/Dev lead: Varies
  • Build lead: gozer
  • QA lead: _Tsk_
  • L10n lead: sipaq
  • Website lead: rebron
  • Support Lead: Roland


Improve our processes! File bugs for improvements against bug 540394

Initial Stages

  • Meet and schedule release - Entire team
    • Project lead organises meeting/discussing. May typically be at driver meetings, but other mediums can be used if felt necessary - Project lead
  • Decision on release date - Entire team
    • Update Releases page - Project lead
    • Update Releases/PRODUCT&VERSION with proposed schedule - Project lead
    • Email thunderbird-drivers, and other lists and post on Status Meeting (including weekly) with proposed schedule - Project lead
    • Announce schedule to localisers - L10n Lead
  • Triage of blocking/approval requests as needed - Entire team (minus build)
    • Schedule meetings - Project lead
    • Alert developers of blockers - Project lead
    • Alert developers of upcoming freeze - Project lead
  • At start of freezes update tinderbox page(s) - Project lead


  • Co-ordinate with l10n Project lead
  • Ready for builds
    • Email thunderbird-release-drivers when all code is in with formal "Go" - Project lead
      • In Email include:
        • comm-* revision
        • mozilla-* revision
        • dom-inspector revision
        • LDAP CVS tag
        • L10n revisions
        • New Locales (also specify beta/release)
  • Email contacts with release schedules & build details - Project lead
  • Crash-stats updated with new version details - Project lead

Build & QA

  • Builds created (all locales) - Build lead
    • Email thunderbird-release-drivers when builds are created - Build lead
  • QA tests builds - QA Lead
    • QA completes testing and maps it onto their test plan page (usually at Releases/PRODUCTNAME_VERSION/Test_Plan on the wiki) - QA Lead
    • When signed off, email thunderbird-release-drivers with notification - QA Lead
  • Build snippets on betatest channel - Build lead
    • Email QA lead (via thunderbird-release-drivers) when finished - Build lead
  • QA verifies snippets and website and emails thunderbird-release-drivers when signed off - QA Lead
  • If any of those fail, email thunderbird-release-drivers with a formal "stop" notification and a second "go" notification when the process is started again - Project Lead
  • "Go" to beta
    • Formal "Go" email sent to thunderbird-release-drivers - Project lead
    • Build snippets pushed to beta channel - Build lead
    • QA verifies snippets on beta channel - QA Lead
  • Beta period
    • Announce to thunderbird-release-drivers, m.d.a.thunderbird, m.announce.prerelease, m.d.planning - Project lead
    • XXX Notify mirrors of beta release - Project lead emails infra
    • Notify PR (rebron) of "we're shipping in a week" estimate - Project lead
    • Announce to AV/Firewall vendors - _Tsk_
    • Announce to security group - Security lead
      • to security-group and security-announce aliases
    • Monitor feedback - QA Lead, Project lead, Support Lead (get Satisfaction)
    • OPTIONAL (required only if release notes can't fully cover all issues) - Knowledge Base Articles - Draw up list & coordinate writing of pre-release drafts - Support Lead

Release Notes & Release

  • XXX (need info) Draft release notes - Website lead with support from Project lead
    • Confirm release notes with dev lead, QA lead, others as appropriate
    • Stage release notes, other website changes
    • QA verifies website pages - QA Lead
  • Decision to release - Entire team
    • XXX If yes, let IT (infra) know 24-48 hours ahead of time based on release policy - Project lead
    • Send go email to thunderbird-drivers - Project lead
  • Final Release
    • Bits to mirrors, 1 to 2 hours ahead of time - Build lead
    • Verify bits on releasetest channel - QA Lead
    • Push website changes - Project lead
    • QA verifies website changes - QA Lead
    • Build pushes to release channel - Build lead
    • QA verifies release channel - QA Lead
  • Notify the world - Project lead
    • mozilla.announce.prerelease (must be subscribed, see moderator info).
    • About:mozilla
    • Spread Thunderbird (poke #spreadthunderbird for getting post on the front page).
    • MDC Blog
    • Unmoderated newsgroups
      • Be sure to include these headers:
        • Reply-To:
        • Followup-To:
      • Post to these newsgroups:
  • Schedule and hold post-mortem meeting.