Orekit Tutorials Release Guide

This release guide is largely inspired from Orekit Release Guide.

Note that:

0. Prerequisites

Obtain private key of the Orekit Signing Key, key id: 0802AB8C87B0B1AEC1C1C5871550FDBD6375C33B

If you need help with this ask on the development section of the Orekit forum.

Use mvn -ep to generate an encrypted password for the Orekit Signing Key.

1. Verify the status of develop branch

Before anything, check on the continuous integration page that everything is fine on develop branch.

Also check on your local repository that the quality of develop branch is good: there should be no Maven, Java, Javadoc, Checkstyle and SpotBugs error or warning. If not, fix the warnings and errors first!

To check on this inspect your local IDE for Checkstyle and Java errors.
Then for SpotBugs, Java, Javadoc and Checkstyle inspection run:

mvn clean javadoc:javadoc verify site

First look at the log of this command and verify there are no errors.

Then browse the generated site starting at page ./target/site/index.html and check Checkstyle and SpotBugs reports at the bottom of it.

One important thing to do (especially for a major version of Orekit where APIs were changed) is to check that the Maven Markdown tutorials are still consistent with Orekit APIs.

2. Prepare Git branch for release

Release will be performed on a dedicated branch, not directly on master or develop branch.
So a new branch must be created as follows and used for everything else:

git branch release-X.Y
git checkout release-X.Y

3. Update maven plugins versions

Release is a good opportunity to update the Maven plugins versions. They are all gathered at one place, in a set of properties in orekit-tutorials/pom.xml:

<!-- Project specific plugin versions -->

You can find the latest version of the plugins using the search feature at http://search.maven.org/#search. The properties name all follow the pattern orekit-tutorials.some-plugin-name.version, the plugin name should be used in the web form to check for available versions.

Beware that in some cases, the latest version cannot be used due to incompatibilities. For example when a plugin was not recently updated and conflicts appear with newer versions of its dependencies.

Beware also that some plugins use configuration files that may need update too. This is typically the case with maven-checkstyle-plugin and spotbugs-maven-plugin. The /checkstyle.xml and /spotbugs-exclude-filter.xml files may need to be checked.

Note: Since the same work has been done in Orekit you can rely on Orekit pom.xml file and update the plugins in the same fashion.
However, beware that some dependecies used in the tutorials are not in Orekit (ex. the Jackson library used to parse Yaml files).
These dependencies will also need a dedicated update.

Before committing these changes, you have to check that everything works. So run the following command:

LANG=C mvn clean install javadoc:javadoc verify site

If something goes wrong, either fix it by changing the plugin configuration or roll back to an earlier version of the plugin.

Browse the generated site starting at page target/site/index.html and check that everything is rendered properly.

When everything runs fine and the generated site is OK, then you can commit the changes:

git add pom.xml checkstyle.xml spotbugs-exclude-filter.xml
git commit -m "Updated maven plugins versions."

4. Updating changes.xml

Finalize the file /src/changes/changes.xml

The release date and description, which are often only set to TBD during development, must be set to appropriate values.

Replace the TBD description with a text describing the version released by listing the major features introduced by the version etc. (see examples in descriptions of former versions).

Commit the changes.xml file.

git add src/changes/changes.xml
git commit -m "Updated changes.xml for official release."

5. Change library version number

The pom.xml file contains the version number of the library. During development, this version number has the form X.Y-SNAPSHOT. For release, the -SNAPSHOT part must be removed.

If you are releasing the tutorials it means a new version of Orekit was just released.
Therefore you should also change the Orekit version number in the orekit.version variable.




Commit the change:

git add pom.xml
git commit -m "Dropped -SNAPSHOT in version number for official release."

6. Maven site

The Maven site is generated locally using:

LANG=C mvn clean site

The Maven site part of the Orekit website is automatically updated on the hosting platform when work is merged into branches develop, release-* or master.

7. Tag and sign the git repository

When all previous steps have been performed, the local git repository holds the final state of the sources and build files for the release.
It must be tagged and the tag must be signed.
Tagging and signing is done using the following command:

git tag X.Y -s -u 0802AB8C87B0B1AEC1C1C5871550FDBD6375C33B -m "Version X.Y."

The tag should be verified using command:

git tag -v X.Y

8. Pushing the branch and the tag

When the tag is ready, the branch and the tag must be pushed to Gitlab so everyone can review it:

git push --tags origin release-X.Y

Wait for the continuous integration job to run and check that everything works fine on branch release-X.Y.

9. Generating signed artifacts locally

Contrary to Orekit library, the Orekit Tutorials artifacts are not pushed on Sonatype OSS site.
The artifacts only need to be generated locally and uploaded on the Gitlab forge afterwards.
To generate the signed artifacts (and the site again) locally run:

mvn clean site install -Prelease

During the generation, Maven will trigger gpg which will ask the user for the pass phrase to access the signing key.
Maven didn’t prompt for me, so I had to add -Dgpg.passphrase=[passphrase]

Once the command ends, check that your ./target directory contains the expected artifacts with associated signatures and checksums:

  • orekit-tutorials-X.Y.pom
  • orekit-tutorials-X.Y.jar
  • orekit-tutorials-X.Y-sources.jar
  • orekit-tutorials-X.Y-javadoc.jar

The signature and checksum files have similar names with added extensions .asc.

10. Merge release branch into master branch

Merge the release-X.Y branch into the master branch to include any changes made. The master branch always contains the latest release of the library.

git checkout master
git merge --no-ff release-X.Y

Then commit and push.

Good practice: wait for the CI to succeed and check that everything is fine.

11. Merge master branch into develop branch

Merge the updated master branch into the develop branch to include any changes made.

git checkout develop
git merge --no-ff master

Then commit and push.

Good practice: again, wait for the CI to succeed and check that everything is fine.

13. Prepare next development cycle in develop branch

Update the version numbers on develop branch to prepare for the next development cycle.
Edit pom.xml versions (both Orekit tutorials and Orekit variable) to SNAPSHOT and make space in the change log in ./changes/changes.xml for new changes.

Then commit:

git add pom.xml src/changes/changes.xml
git commit -m "Prepared next development cycle."

And push.

14. Upload artifacts to gitlab

In the Gitlab forge, navigate to Self > Settings > Access Tokens. Enter a name, date, and check the “api” box, then click “Create personal access token”.
Copy the token into the following command:

for f in $( ls target/orekit-tutorials-X.Y*.jar{,.asc} ) ; do
    curl --request POST --header "PRIVATE-TOKEN: <token>" --form "file=@$f" \

Copy the URLs that are printed.

Next, navigate to Projects > Orekit Tutorials > Repository > Tags.
Find the X.Y tag and click the edit button to enter release notes.
Paste the URLs copied from the step above.

Navigate to Projects > Orekit Tutorials > Deployment > Releases and make sure it looks nice.

15. Close X.Y milestone

In Gitlab, navigate to Projects > Orekit Tutorials > Issues > Milestones.
If a line corresponding to the release X.Y exists click on “Close Milestone”.

16. Check Orekit site

Orekit website should update automatically following the push on release-X.Y and master branches.

Check that:

  • The latest version of the tutorials is available on the download page.
  • The versions of the “Maven site for the Java tutorials” are consistent on the Documentation > Tutorials page.

17. Announce the release

The next step is to announce the release of the tutorials:

  • On the Orekit announcements category of the forum (see for example this post)
  • On the official website, either by creating a new post or editing the Orekit release one (see for example ath the bottom of this post)

18. Open X.Y+1 milestone

In Gitlab, navigate to Projects > Orekit Tutorials > Issues > Milestones.
Create a new milestone with version number X.Y+1 or X+1.0 depending on whether the next version is a minor or a major one.

19. Have a ☕ and relax

You've deserved it! 😉