Managing Release Notes

This spec documents the policy for where and how to manage release notes for Oslo libraries.

Problem Description

Oslo libraries have several potential audiences:

  • OpenStack service developers

  • OpenStack deployers

  • other developers

The type of information those audiences want for release notes can be quite different. This policy describes how we manage release notes to ensure we are communicating appropriately with each audience.

Proposed Policy

Release notes for developers, whether part of the OpenStack community or not, are handled in the developer documentation published for the libraries. This ensures that all developer-focused information is in one place.

The packaging library pbr includes a facility for automatically generating a ChangeLog file based on the git history for the project being packaged. That file is reStructuredText, and should be included directly in the developer documentation compiled by Sphinx into HTML and published under by adding a static history.rst file that uses the include directive to load the generated file.

Additional information for developers can be added directly to the developer documentation. Docstrings in code should be annotated with version information for new features or parameters using the versionadded directive and for deprecations using the warning directive.

Release notes for deployers should be managed through reno and published under Each library with configuration options or other deployer-facing interfaces should set up reno to publish release notes. Not all Oslo libraries will need to do that.

The deployer-facing release notes should be written with them in mind, and only describe features or changes from the perspective of someone who is not also reading the source code for the library. For example, it is not necessary to document changes to a library unless they are visible to the deployer. Changes to configuration options or file formats should have reno notes. Changes to internal APIs do not need them. New features and bug fixes should be documented with reno release notes. For example, changes such as better timeout handling or reconnection management for messaging or database services should have reno release notes.

Alternatives & History

In the past we focused on communicating with developers using Oslo libraries. This is no longer sufficient, since we now manage configuration options and other features that are visible to deployers of software built using Oslo libraries.

We could add a section to the developer documentation, but this will make it more difficult to build a single set of release notes for all of OpenStack, or at the very least link directly to release notes in a location common to all projects.



Primary author: doug-hellmann


This policy applies starting with the Mitaka cycle, where we added reno to oslo.log and oslo.config.

Work Items

Add reno build instructions and CI jobs to libraries, as needed.


Revision History


Release Name





This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.