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Releases

Information intended mostly for internal use on what to consider when making new releases
WIP

General

CI on Northstar release repo builds versioned release if tag is pushed. It checks Launcher and Mods for same tag and builds those versions. Therefore make sure to push tags of Mods and Launcher first.
CI also pushes release directly to Thunderstore as a mod called Northstar. If it's a release-candidate with the -rcX suffix, it will instead get pushed to Thunderstore as NorthstarReleaseCandidate.

Git commands for tags:

For release candidates:
git tag vX.Y.Z-rcN
git push origin vX.Y.Z-rcN
Example:
git tag v1.8.0-rc1
git push origin v1.8.0-rc1
For actual releases
git tag vX.Y.Z
git push origin vX.Y.Z
Example:
git tag v1.8.0
git push origin v1.8.0

Version numbering

In general, Northstar tries to follow semantic versioning. This means version numbers are MAJOR.MINOR.PATCH, where
  • MAJOR is updated for breaking changes
  • MINOR is updated for changes that are backwards compatible
  • PATCH is updated for fixes that are backwards compatible
Semantic versioning is however not followed exactly. For example, to ship out smaller features faster they have been included in patch releases. Similarly, there have been smaller breaking changes, yet at the time of writing the major version number so far has never been updated.
The reason for this is mostly due to player expectations. Players expect the change from 1.0 to 2.0 to be big. As such, the plan for the near future is to update the major version, once we have a bigger feature ready to release that brings us closer to vanilla in terms of missing features (e.g. Frontier Defense).
Once 2.0 has been released, expectations for 3.0 tend to be lower as the number is no longer "doubled". Past 3.0, proper semver can probably be employed without hampering player expectations.

Best practices:

  • Make at least one release candidate and test it before actual release.
  • Release should also only ever be latest release candidate but tagged as release to avoid introducing new bugs.