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Velocity Release Process

Here you will find the steps to create releases for Velocity Engine or Velocity Tools.

Instructions make explicit references to the engine subproject, but you can easily adapt them for the tools subproject.

Note that all mails must be sent in plain text format, not HTML. For thunderbird, for instance, this option is located in Options > Delivery Format > Plain Text only.


To create a release you have to install:

One-time operations

These operations need to be performed only once per commiter.

  • Create and publish your GPG key

    To create a GPG key, follow the guidelines.

    Publish your GPG key in a PGP key server, such as MIT Keyserver.

    Log in with your apache credentials to the Apache Identitity server and add the fingerprint of your GPG key to your account.

    It should be enough for your commiter GPG key to be known by Apache and linked to the project. You can check that this is the case by checking that:

    • your GPG commiter key is visible at<account>.asc
    • it is included in the Velocity group keys file.
  • Modify settings.xml

    Your settings.xml must be modified to allow deployment.

    This is the minimal configuration, obviously if you already have a settings.xml file, you must edit it:

    <settings xmlns=""

Repeatable operations

These steps must be performed for each release candidate.

  • Check updates of dependencies and maven plugins:

    mvn versions:display-dependency-updates
    mvn versions:display-plugin-updates
  • Check content of root file (for new features documentation, important notices, and stated dependencies versions).

  • Also check updates for the parent velocity-master artifact version.

  • Archive the previous release candidate

    If it's not the first release candidate you're trying to release, you have to drop the staged artifact from the nexus manager.

    You have to revert the two automated commits pushed by the maven release plugin, in the reverse order. Those should be the two most recent commits, and should look like something like this in the git log:

    * commit 1daf1668 (HEAD -> master, origin/master)
      [maven-release-plugin] prepare for next development iteration
    * commit 9cd6c031 (tag: 2.3-RC2)
      [maven-release-plugin] prepare release 2.3-RC2

    You would then issue commands like:

    git revert 1daf1668
    git revert 9cd6c031
    git push
  • Complete and update the changelog source file src/changes/changes.xml (note: we may get rid of this changelog in the future since it is quite painful to maintain and seems highly redundant with the JIRA release notes).

  • Prepare the release tag

    To prepare the release Subversion tag, check out the branch/trunk from where you are preparing the release and type:

    mvn release:prepare -Dusername=YOUR_APACHE_USER -Dpassword=YOUR_APACHE_PASSWORD

    The plugin will interactively ask you the version to release, the subversion tag to use and the next snapshot version. Rather than the proposed default velocity-engine-parent-x.y, we tend to use x.y-RCz for the git tag.

  • Perform the release

    To perform the release, i.e. creating and deploying Maven artifacts, use:

    mvn release:perform
  • Stage the release

    Commit all poms (renamed from <module>/pom.xml to module-<version>.pom), binary, sources, javadoc jars in the proper subdirectory of the release staging area svn repository, along with their signature files (*.asc), which have been generated under the target/checkout folder.

  • Provide sha-256 checksums

    Create sha-256 checksums for each pom/jar/asc file on the

    for file in *.jar *.asc *.pom; do sha256sum < $file > $file.sha256; done

    and add those files to the release staging area svn repository.

  • Release the JIRA version

    • In JIRA go to the version that you want to release and release it.

    • Create a new version, if it has not been done before.

    • Create the JIRA release notes and copy the content inside your pretty release notes HTML file, which is to be hosted under svn on the same release staging area.

  • Close the staging repository

    Login to Nexus repository using your Apache LDAP credentials.

    Click on "Staging". Then click on "velocity" in the list of repositories.

    In the panel below you should see an open repository that is linked to your username and ip.

    Right click on this repository and select "Close".

    This will close the repository from future deployments and make it available for others to view.

    If you are staging multiple releases together, skip this step until you have staged everything.

    Enter the name and version of the artifact being released in the "Description" field and then click "Close".

    This will make it easier to identify it later.

  • Verify the staged artifacts

    If you click on your repository, a tree view will appear below.

    You can then browse the contents to ensure the artifacts are as you expect them.

    Pay particular attention to the existence of *.asc (signature) files.

    If you don't like the content of the repository, right click your repository and choose "Drop".

    You can then rollback your release and repeat the process.

    Note the repository URL, you will need this in your vote email.

  • Prepare the site

    Copy the <module>/devel/ section to its <version> section (but do not yet refence it from the menu), and fix any SNAPSHOT link within.

    Change the content of the changes_report tag in <module>/<version>/changes.mdtext to <module>/<version>-RC<rc> (for instance: {{changes_report(engine/2.3-RC2)}}).

    Generate the corresponding javadoc with

    mvn javadoc:aggregate

    from the root of the module and commit the result in <VERSION>/apidocs.

    Push those changes to production (see the Site Building page).

  • Send announcement for the test build

    In developers mailing list send an announcement for the test build:

    (note: in all the following, ${module} refers to the module -Engine or Tools- being released, ${version} to the version)

    Subject: [ANNOUNCE] Velocity ${module} ${version} test build available
    The test build of Velocity ${module} ${version} is available.
    No determination as to the quality ('alpha,' 'beta,' or 'GA') of Velocity ${module} ${version} has been made, and at this time it is simply a "test build". We welcome any comments you may have, and will take all feedback into account if a quality vote is called for this build.
    Release notes:
    Maven 2 staging repository:
    A vote regarding the quality of this test build will be initiated within the next couple of days.
  • Call for a vote

    A few days after the test build announcement, call for a vote in developers mailing list.

    Subject: [VOTE] Velocity ${module} ${version} Release Quality
    The Velocity ${module} ${version} test build has been available since ${testBuildDate}.
    Release notes:
    Maven 2 staging repository:
    If you have had a chance to review the test build, please respond with a vote on its quality:
     [ ] Leave at test build
     [ ] Alpha
     [ ] Beta
     [ ] General Availability (GA)
    Everyone who has tested the build is invited to vote. Votes by PMC members are considered binding. A vote passes if there are at least three binding +1s and more +1s than -1s.
  • The vote must last at least 72 hours. Once you decide to close the vote, reply to the vote thread with [RESULT] in the subject, counting binding and non-binding votes, and stating the release candidate status.

Post-vote operations

After a vote is finished, and it has been decided that is at least of alpha quality, there is the need of a post-vote process.

  • Promote staged artifacts

    Once the release is deemed fit for public consumption it can be transfered to a production repository where it will be available to all users.

    Login to Nexus repository again.

    Click on "Staging" and then on the repository with id "velocity-staging".

    Find your closed staging repository, right click on it and choose "Release".

    Next click on "Repositories", select the "Releases" repository and validate that your artifacts exist as you expect them.

  • Publish the release

    Copy the staged release to the Apache Releases svn repository towards{module}/..., add and commit it.

    You may subsequently receive an automated email from the Apache Reporter Service asking you to log on to to add the release metadata to its database. Please do so.

  • Create the final tag from the RC tag

    git checkout x.y-RCz
    git tag -a x.y
    git push --tags
  • Update the site

    Wait 24 hours to let the mirror sync to the release and then update the site.

    Update the download page, the left menu, the news section, and the engine or tools index in the velocity-site module:

    src/content/index.mdtext (status section)

    There are also several mentions of the current releaase in all releases specific pages which should be upgraded (at least for the engine ; something similar should be done for the tools - TODO). You can do so by adapting the following bash one-liner:

    sed -ri -e 's/The current stable release version is version 2.2/The current stable release version is version 2.3/' $(find . -path "*/engine/*/index.mdtext")

    For the tools, update the links towards tools.xml configuration files in generic.mdtext and view.mdtext.

    Change the content of the changes_report tag in <module>/<version>/changes.mdtext to <module>/<version> (for instance: {{changes_report(engine/2.3)}}).

    Push the changes into production.

    Check the resulting site for broken links.

    sudo pip3 install git+ # if not installed before
  • Update the DOAP RDF project metadata located in the site direcotry of the velocity-site module sources. Note that DOAP URLs are defined in the file, which can be edited by every commiter (by checking out the project using svn checkout

  • Send announcement

    Finally, send an an announcement to users@, dev@, general@ and at announce@ (in text-only format and using your committer email, see how to configure your SMTP client), by adapting the following canevas:

    Subject: [ANNOUNCE] Velocity ${module} ${version} ${quality} Released
    The Apache Velocity team is pleased to announce the release of Velocity ${module} ${version} ${quality}.
    [insert here a short description of the ${module}, aka:]
        Velocity is a Java-based template engine. It permits anyone to use a simple yet powerful template language to reference objects defined in Java code.
        Velocity Tools is a library of template tools and helpers to ease the use of the Apache Velocity template engine in standalone applications and in webapps.
    [insert here a short description of the main changes]
    For a complete list of changes, please visit the Velocity ${module} ${version} releases notes [1].
    For notes on upgrading from Velocity ${module} ${previous-version}, see Velocity ${module} Upgrading section [2].
    Velocity ${module} ${version} is available in a binary and a source distribution [3].${module}
    It is also available in the central Maven repository under Group ID "org.apache.velocity[.tools]".
    Please feel free to test the distribution and post your comments to the user list [4], or, if appropriate, file a ticket with JIRA [5].
      the Apache Velocity community.

You have finished!