We’re well into the validation portion of the Fedora 24 release cycle. The Alpha release is out, freezes are in place, and we have release notes to write.

Contributing to release notes

Contribution to the release notes is coordinated via the wiki. The table on the wiki page shows folks that have volunteered to investigate and write about changes within some defined scopes. If there’s an asterisk next to a name, it’s because that person has not validated their participation for this cycle yet. The ‘beat’ is effectively unclaimed.

While we refer to ‘beat assignment’, it’s really just a coordination tool. You can write about any topic of interest, even if there’s already a name down. The table simply tells you who to coordinate with. Look at package change logs, packaged documentation, upstream release notes, the Change process, upstream documentation, and so on to find information about a given topic.

You do need to find topics within a given beat through some investigation. Visit #fedora-docs on Freenode, or mail the list if you’re having trouble getting started.

Release notes focus

There are some major areas we should prioritize. Foremost, adequate coverage of the three primary deliverables: Cloud, Server, and Workstation. There are some Changes in play for each. However, we should also coordinate with the working groups for these deliverables and do some independent investigation. It is also important to review all the Changes, and communicate with those change owners as needed.

An entry in the release notes should:

  • Say what the thing is
  • Explain what the thing does
  • Give the reader an idea of why they might use the thing, or what problem it would solve for them.
  • Excite the reader about the new features of the thing
  • Warn the reader about things they might need to do, if they used the old version of the thing and it has changed.

The table isn’t structured this way, but you might also think of the beats in terms of SIGs; there’s a Python SIG, Java SIG, virtualization folks, kernel folks, and so on. You could liaison with these groups – or, if you are already a member of the sig, liaison with docs – and get the scoop on their work.

Release notes schedule

Our schedule is at F24 Documentation Team Tasks. We are already behind schedule. Edits to the wiki seem light, so I propose we hold off on closing the wiki for a couple weeks and aim to have the content ported to Docbook and published to coordinate with the Beta release.  The Beta freeze is set for April 19th, so take advantage of the opportunity to make an easy contribution to the Release Notes on the wiki by Friday, April 15th; RPMs will be built and notes published over the weekend.