Docutils Release Procedure

Authors: David Goodger
Lea Wiemann
open to all Docutils developers
Date: 2017-01-19
Revision: 8018
Copyright: This document has been placed in the public domain.

Assumptions and their failure

On the test machine python2.4, 2.5, 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/ than site-packages is under

On new ubuntu 12.10


Version numbers

Version numbers shall follow the Docutils Project Policies and comply with PEP 440.

From Feature Request #50

PEP 440 specifies how release version are understood by pip and other tools.

The last released package of docutils was in 2014.

If you install the version from Source it will not be overriden by version 0.13 when it is eventaully released.

As folks have installed 0.13 from indeterminate source versions the current version should be incremented as to allow pip to overrite a 0.13 snapshot when the next official release.

Please increment and switch the version in to be a pre-release. e.g. 0.13.1a

When a version is tagged it should be changed to a non pre release and then in the next commit incremented to the next expected version but with a pre release added

0.13.1a -> Head
0.13.1 -> when tagged for release
0.13.2a -> new head after release

Additionally snapshots can be marked with the .devXXX nomenclature.

These can then all be pushed to and by default pip will install the latest release unless explicitly requested via the --pre flag or a version specifier docutils>=0.13.1a

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.

  • On the Docutils-develop mailing list, announce that the release is going to be made, update the release notes and ask for additions.

    Consult HISTORY.TXT for changes.

  • Announce a check-in freeze on Docutils-develop.

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

  • Call sandbox/infrastructure/ new_version svn_version. For details see the script.

    new_version is the current version, status will change from repository to release. svn_version is the version after release.


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

  • Change __version_details__ in docutils/docutils/ to "release" (from "repository").

  • Check the version number in the following files, should be already correct:

    • docutils/
    • docutils/docutils/
    • docutils/test/functional/expected/* ("Generator: Docutils X.Y.Z")
    • docutils/README.txt
    • web/index.txt
  • 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.

  • Restore __version_details__ in docutils/docutils/ to "repository" (from "release").

  • Bump the version number again.

  • 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

  • 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.

    Question: Can we have an tar.gz (distutil) and a py2-wheel and a py3-wheel

    on pypi and will installers select the correct files ?

  • Send announcement email to:

  • Add a SourceForge News item, with title "Docutils X.Y.Z released" and containing the release tarball's download URL.

    Mark as default download for all platforms.

  • Register with freecode. Add a new release for the Docutils project. (freecode is's new name)