Docutils Release Procedure

Authors: David Goodger
Lea Wiemann
open to all Docutils developers
Date: 2017-08-14
Revision: 8165
Copyright: This document has been placed in the public domain.

Assumptions and their failure

On the test machine python 2.6, 2.7 and 3.2, 3.3, and 3.4 are installed. Some in /usr/ some under /usr/local.

Assumption: If python2.6 is in /usr/bin/ then site-packages is under /usr/local/lib/python2.6.

On new ubuntu 12.10


Version identifier

For details, see Version Numbering in Docutils Project Policies.

How to change the version identifier

The version identifier docutils.__version__ is defined in docutils/docutils/ and used in in the following files:

docutils/test/functional/expected/* ("Generator: Docutils X.Y[.Z]")

You can use the script to change the version identifier:

  1. cd to the "docutils" subdirectory in the repository checkout,

  2. call

    ../sandbox/infrastructure/ <new_version>

    where <new_version> is major.minor[.micro][<pre>][.dev].

Finally change __version_info__ in docutils/docutils/ by hand to ensure it matches the version identifier.

Run the test suite after changing the codebase version to ensure accuracy and consistency.

Release steps



Steps in boldface text are not covered by the release script at sandbox/infrastructure/ "Not covered" means that you aren't even reminded of them.


This document does not cover branching and tagging, but the release script does.


You may want to use ReleaseForge instead of using SourceForge's file release system.

  • Announce

    On the Docutils-develop mailing list, announce that the release is going to be made, update the release notes (consult HISTORY.TXT for changes) and ask for additions.

    Announce the upcoming release at the Sphinx-devel mailing list and ask for testing with Sphinx. (This step can be skipped for bugfix releases and pre-releases.)

    Announce the date of the feature freeze – at least a week ahead!

  • Feature freeze From now on, only bug-fix commits are allowed.

    Update the pre-release segment of the version identifier (b, rcN or empty) to match the level of the upcoming release (beta, candidate or final). Ensure docutils.__version_info__ matches the version identifier. (See also How to change the version identifier.)

  • Announce the check-in freeze date on Docutils-develop – at least a week ahead.

  • Check-in freeze

    Update the version identifier: Remove the development release segment (.dev) from the version identifier and set docutils.__version_info__.release to True.

    Check the version identifier in the following files (should be already correct if set according to How to change the version identifier):

    • docutils/
    • docutils/docutils/
    • docutils/test/functional/expected/* ("Generator: Docutils X.Y[.Z]")
    • docutils/README.txt
    • web/index.txt
  • See what sandbox/infrastructure/ can aid


    BUG test tarball requires root password, but it is possible to skip this stage interactively, and testing should be done before release.

  • Close the "Changes Since ..." section in docutils/HISTORY.txt.

  • Clear/unset the PYTHONPATH environment variable.

  • Create the release tarball:

    1. Create a new empty directory and cd into it.

    2. Get a clean snapshot of the main tree:

      svn export svn://

      or via the [Download Snapshot] button at

    3. Use Distutils to create the release tarball:

      cd docutils
      python sdist
  • Expand and install the release tarball in isolation:

    1. Expand the tarball in a new location, not over any existing files.

    2. Remove the old installation from site-packages (including, and,

      "remove" might fail, see Assumptions and their failure

      Install from expanded directory:

      cd docutils-X.Y.Z
      python install

      The "install" command may require root permissions.

    3. Repeat step b) for all supported Python versions.

  • Run the test suite from the expanded archive directory with all supported Python versions on all available platforms (GNU/Linux, Mac OS X, Windows):

    cd test ; python -u
  • Add a directory X.Y.Z (where X.Y.Z is the current version number of Docutils) in the webroot (i.e. the htdocs/ directory). Put all documentation files into it:

    cd docutils-X.Y.Z
    rm -rf build
    cd tools/
    ./ ..
    cd ..
    find -name test -type d -prune -o -name \*.css -print0 \
        -o -name \*.html -print0 -o -name \*.txt -print0 \
        | tar -cjvf docutils-docs.tar.bz2 -T - --null
    scp docutils-docs.tar.bz2 <username>

    Now log in to and:

    cd /home/groups/d/do/docutils/htdocs/
    mkdir -m g+rwxs X.Y.Z
    cd X.Y.Z
    tar -xjvf ~/docutils-docs.tar.bz2
    rm ~/docutils-docs.tar.bz2
  • Upload the release tarball, tries with scp.

  • Access the file release system on SourceForge (Admin interface).

    • change into the released version's directory
    • click (i) button of the tar.gz-file
    • select as default download for all operating systems.
  • Submit a notification on project news.

  • For verifying the integrity of the release, download the release tarball (you may need to wait up to 30 minutes), install it, and re-run the test suite.

  • Register with PyPI (python register).

    Set the download-url so eggs can access older releases.

  • build wheels:

    pip wheel docutils
    pip3 wheel docutils

    This builds wheels (pure Python wheels for Python 2 and 3 respectively) by downloading the new release from pypi.

    Upload the wheels to PyPI:

    twine upload docultils-<VERSION>-py2-none-any.whl
    twine upload wheelhouse/docultils-<VERSION>-py3-none-any.whl
  • Lift the freeze

    Set the version identifier and __version_info__.releaselevel in docutils/docutils/ to mark the repository version as "in development", usually <major>.<minor+1> (cf. How to change the version identifier).

  • After a final release, add a new empty section "Changes Since ..." in HISTORY.txt.

  • Update the web page (web/index.txt).

  • Run docutils-update on the server.

  • Run with svn version

  • Send announcement email to:

  • Add a SourceForge News item, with title "Docutils X.Y.Z released"

    Mark as default download for all platforms.