Release notes guidelines

Release notes guidelines

To maintain the overall quality of the OpenStack documentation, the release notes guidelines should be developed and published.

Problem description

As a developer who creates the release notes for the OpenStack project I contribute to, I would like to have clear and concise writing style guidelines for the release notes as well as a handy list of all sources of information regarding release notes management within the project.

Proposed change

The proposed change is to add the following information to the Contributor guide:

  • Release notes sections, what is included where
  • Writing style guidelines (verb forms, sentence structures, links inclusion, etc.)
  • Release notes bad -> improved examples
  • Reno overview for general understanding of how things work there.
  • The list of links where different pieces of release notes related information can be found (Reno docs, project team guide, etc).


We can add these recommendations to the Project Team guide, Infra manual, or Reno documentation.

Despite of the fact that these locations may fit (mainly because they are targeted at developers who create release notes for projects), there are strong arguments in favor of the Contributor guide:

  • Project Team guide mostly discusses adjusting a project’s repo to use the release management tool rather than release notes writing style.
  • Infra manual contains only general workflow of contributing to OpenStack source code repositories rather than specific use-cases such as the release notes creation.
  • Reno documentation - though it is fully dedicated to the release notes creation process and shaped for the developers (our main intended audience), this is just a tool that can be replaced in future with another release notes management tool with its own documentation.

To sum up, Contributor guide still remains the best place to document release notes writing style guidelines for a number of reasons:

  • Release notes are part of documentation
  • Contributor guide`s intended audience is documentation contributors.



Primary assignee:
Olga Gusarenko <ogusarenko>

Work Items

The work items include the following:

  • Create the overview of Release notes sections, what include where.
  • Develop the writing style guidelines (release notes specific). These include:
    • Verb forms
    • Sentence structures for different types of release notes (New features, Bug fixes, etc.)
    • Links inclusion
  • Make up bad examples of release notes and rework them. Present them in a form of bad -> improved examples for better illustration.
  • Create Reno overview for general understanding of how things work there and why Community uses it to manage release notes.
  • Create subsection (“Additional resources”) that lists links, where different pieces of release notes related information can be found, with brief descriptions.
  • Cross-references:
  • Inform OpenStack developers about the release notes guidelines when published:
    • Through the openstack-dev mailing list
    • Add the release note to documentation release notes for Newton






Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License

Except where otherwise noted, this document is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. See all OpenStack Legal Documents.