Usage

Usage

Creating New Release Notes

The reno command line tool is used to create a new release note file in the correct format and with a unique name. The new subcommand combines a random suffix with a “slug” value to create the file with a unique name that is easy to identify again later.

$ reno new slug-goes-here
Created new notes file in releasenotes/notes/slug-goes-here-95915aaedd3c48d8.yaml

Within OpenStack projects, reno is often run via tox instead of being installed globally. For example

$ tox -e venv -- reno new slug-goes-here
venv develop-inst-nodeps: /mnt/projects/release-notes-generation/reno
venv runtests: commands[0] | reno new slug-goes-here
Created new notes file in releasenotes/notes/slug-goes-here-95915aaedd3c48d8.yaml
  venv: commands succeeded
  congratulations :)
$ git status
Untracked files:
  (use "git add <file>..." to include in what will be committed)

    releasenotes/notes/slug-goes-here-95915aaedd3c48d8.yaml

The --edit option opens the new note in a text editor.

$ reno new slug-goes-here --edit
... Opens the editor set in the EDITOR environment variable, editing the new file ...
Created new notes file in releasenotes/notes/slug-goes-here-95915aaedd3c48d8.yaml

The --from-template option allows you to use a pre-defined file and use that as the release note.

$ reno new slug-goes-here --from-template my-file.yaml
... Creates a release note using the provided file my-file.yaml ...
Created new notes file in releasenotes/notes/slug-goes-here-95915aaedd3c48d8.yaml

Note

You can also combine the flags --edit and --from-template to create a release note from a specified file and immediately start an editor to modify the new file.

By default, the new note is created under ./releasenotes/notes. The --rel-notes-dir command-line flag changes the parent directory (the notes subdirectory is always appended). It’s also possible to set a custom template to create notes (see Configuring Reno ).

Editing a Release Note

The note file is a YAML file with several sections. All of the text is interpreted as having reStructuredText formatting. The permitted sections are configurable (see below) but default to the following list:

prelude
General comments about the release. Prelude sections from all notes in a release are combined, in note order, to produce a single prelude introducing that release. This section is always included, regardless of what sections are configured.
features
A list of new major features in the release.
issues
A list of known issues in the release. For example, if a new driver is experimental or known to not work in some cases, it should be mentioned here.
upgrade
A list of upgrade notes in the release. For example, if a database schema alteration is needed.
deprecations
A list of features, APIs, configuration options to be deprecated in the release. Deprecations should not be used for something that is removed in the release, use upgrade section instead. Deprecation should allow time for users to make necessary changes for the removal to happen in a future release.
critical
A list of fixed critical bugs.
security
A list of fixed security issues.
fixes
A list of other fixed bugs.
other
Other notes that are important but do not fall into any of the given categories.

Any sections that would be blank should be left out of the note file entirely.

---
prelude: >
    Replace this text with content to appear at the
    top of the section for this release.
features:
  - List new features here, or remove this section.
issues:
  - List known issues here, or remove this section.
upgrade:
  - List upgrade notes here, or remove this section.
deprecations:
  - List deprecation notes here, or remove this section
critical:
  - Add critical notes here, or remove this section.
security:
  - Add security notes here, or remove this section.
fixes:
  - Add normal bug fixes here, or remove this section.
other:
  - Add other notes here, or remove this section.

Note File Syntax

Release notes may include embedded reStructuredText, including simple inline markup like emphasis and pre-formatted text as well as complex body structures such as nested lists and tables. To use these formatting features, the note must be escaped from the YAML parser.

The default template sets up the prelude section to use > so that line breaks in the text are removed. This escaping mechanism is not needed for the bullet items in the other sections of the template.

To escape the text of any section and retain the newlines, prefix the value with |. For example:

---
prelude: |
  This paragraph will
  retain its newlines
  when the value is passed to the
  reStructuredText parser, which
  will then merge them into
  a single paragraph without
  breaks.

  | These
  | lines
  | are prefixed
  | with | so the reStructuredText
  | parser will retain
  | the line breaks.
features:
  This note is a simple string, and does not retain its
  formatting when it is rendered in HTML. rst markup here
  may break the YAML parser, since the string is not escaped.
fixes:
  - Use YAML lists to add multiple items to the same section.
  - Another fix could be listed here.
other:
  - |
    This bullet item includes a paragraph and a nested list,
    which works because the content of the YAML list item
    is an escaped string block with reStructuredText formatting.

    * list item 1
    * list item 2

    .. code-block:: text

      This example is also rendered
      correctly on multiple lines
      as a pre-formatted block.

See Examples for the rendered version of the note.

Generating a Report

Run reno report <path-to-git-repository> to generate a report containing the release notes. The --branch argument can be used to generate a report for a specific branch (the default is the branch that is checked out). To limit the report to a subset of the available versions on the branch, use the --version option (it can be repeated).

Notes are output in the order they are found when scanning the git history of the branch using topological ordering. This is deterministic, but not necessarily predictable or mutable.

Checking Notes

Run reno lint <path-to-git-repository> to test the existing release notes files against some rules for catching common mistakes. The command exits with an error code if there are any mistakes, so it can be used in a build pipeline to force some correctness.

Configuring Reno

Reno looks for an optional config file, either config.yaml in the release notes directory or reno.yaml in the root directory. If the values in the configuration file do not apply to the command being run, they are ignored. For example, some reno commands take inputs controlling the branch, earliest revision, and other common parameters that control which notes are included in the output. Because they are commonly set options, a configuration file may be the most convenient way to manage the values consistently.

---
branch: master
earliest_version: 12.0.0
collapse_pre_releases: false
stop_at_branch_base: true
sections:
  # The prelude section is implicitly included.
  - [features, New Features]
  - [issues, Known Issues]
  - [upgrade, Upgrade Notes]
  - [api, API Changes]
  - [security, Security Issues]
  - [fixes, Bug Fixes]
# Change prelude_section_name to 'release_summary' from default value
# 'prelude'.
prelude_section_name: release_summary
template: |
          <template-used-to-create-new-notes>
          ...

Many of the settings in the configuration file can be overridden by using command-line switches. For example:

  • --branch
  • --earliest-version
  • --collapse-pre-releases/--no-collapse-pre-releases
  • --ignore-cache
  • --stop-at-branch-base/--no-stop-at-branch-base

The following options are configurable:

notesdir

The notes subdirectory within the relnotesdir where the notes live.

Defaults to 'notes'

collapse_pre_releases

Should pre-release versions be merged into the final release of the same number (1.0.0.0a1 notes appear under 1.0.0).

Defaults to True

stop_at_branch_base

Should the scanner stop at the base of a branch (True) or go ahead and scan the entire history (False)?

Defaults to True

branch

The git branch to scan. Defaults to the “current” branch checked out. If a stable branch is specified but does not exist, reno attempts to automatically convert that to an “end-of-life” tag. For example, origin/stable/liberty would be converted to liberty-eol.

Defaults to None

earliest_version

The earliest version to be included. This is usually the lowest version number, and is meant to be the oldest version. If unset, all versions will be scanned.

Defaults to None

template

The template used by reno new to create a note.

Defaults to

---
prelude: >
    Replace this text with content to appear at the top of the section for this
    release. All of the prelude content is merged together and then rendered
    separately from the items listed in other parts of the file, so the text
    needs to be worded so that both the prelude and the other items make sense
    when read independently. This may mean repeating some details. Not every
    release note requires a prelude. Usually only notes describing major
    features or adding release theme details should have a prelude.
features:
  - |
    List new features here, or remove this section.  All of the list items in
    this section are combined when the release notes are rendered, so the text
    needs to be worded so that it does not depend on any information only
    available in another section, such as the prelude. This may mean repeating
    some details.
issues:
  - |
    List known issues here, or remove this section.  All of the list items in
    this section are combined when the release notes are rendered, so the text
    needs to be worded so that it does not depend on any information only
    available in another section, such as the prelude. This may mean repeating
    some details.
upgrade:
  - |
    List upgrade notes here, or remove this section.  All of the list items in
    this section are combined when the release notes are rendered, so the text
    needs to be worded so that it does not depend on any information only
    available in another section, such as the prelude. This may mean repeating
    some details.
deprecations:
  - |
    List deprecations notes here, or remove this section.  All of the list
    items in this section are combined when the release notes are rendered, so
    the text needs to be worded so that it does not depend on any information
    only available in another section, such as the prelude. This may mean
    repeating some details.
critical:
  - |
    Add critical notes here, or remove this section.  All of the list items in
    this section are combined when the release notes are rendered, so the text
    needs to be worded so that it does not depend on any information only
    available in another section, such as the prelude. This may mean repeating
    some details.
security:
  - |
    Add security notes here, or remove this section.  All of the list items in
    this section are combined when the release notes are rendered, so the text
    needs to be worded so that it does not depend on any information only
    available in another section, such as the prelude. This may mean repeating
    some details.
fixes:
  - |
    Add normal bug fixes here, or remove this section.  All of the list items
    in this section are combined when the release notes are rendered, so the
    text needs to be worded so that it does not depend on any information only
    available in another section, such as the prelude. This may mean repeating
    some details.
other:
  - |
    Add other notes here, or remove this section.  All of the list items in
    this section are combined when the release notes are rendered, so the text
    needs to be worded so that it does not depend on any information only
    available in another section, such as the prelude. This may mean repeating
    some details.
release_tag_re

The regex pattern used to match the repo tags representing a valid release version. The pattern is compiled with the verbose and unicode flags enabled.

Defaults to

((?:v?[\d.ab]|rc)+)  # digits, a, b, and rc cover regular and
                   # pre-releases
pre_release_tag_re

The regex pattern used to check if a valid release version tag is also a valid pre-release version. The pattern is compiled with the verbose and unicode flags enabled. The pattern must define a group called ‘pre_release’ that matches the pre-release part of the tag and any separator, e.g for pre-release version ‘12.0.0.0rc1’ the default pattern will identify ‘.0rc1’ as the value of the group ‘pre_release’.

Defaults to

(?P<pre_release>\.v?\d+(?:[ab]|rc)+\d*)$
branch_name_re

The pattern for names for branches that are relevant when scanning history to determine where to stop, to find the “base” of a branch. Other branches are ignored.

Defaults to 'stable/.+'

closed_branch_tag_re

The pattern for names for tags that replace closed branches that are relevant when scanning history to determine where to stop, to find the “base” of a branch. Other tags are ignored.

Defaults to '(.+)-eol'

branch_name_prefix

The prefix to add to tags for closed branches to restore the old branch name to allow sorting to place the tag in the proper place in history. For example, OpenStack turns “mitaka-eol” into “stable/mitaka” by removing the “-eol” suffix via closed_branch_tag_re and setting the prefix to “stable/”.

Defaults to 'stable/'

sections

The identifiers and names of permitted sections in the release notes, in the order in which the final report will be generated. A prelude section will always be automatically inserted before the first element of this list.

Defaults to [['features', 'New Features'], ['issues', 'Known Issues'], ['upgrade', 'Upgrade Notes'], ['deprecations', 'Deprecation Notes'], ['critical', 'Critical Issues'], ['security', 'Security Issues'], ['fixes', 'Bug Fixes'], ['other', 'Other Notes']]

prelude_section_name

The name of the prelude section in the note template. This allows users to rename the section to, for example, ‘release_summary’ or ‘project_wide_general_announcements’, which is displayed in titlecase in the report after replacing underscores with spaces.

Defaults to 'prelude'

ignore_null_merges

When this option is set to True, any merge commits with no changes and in which the second or later parent is tagged are considered “null-merges” that bring the tag information into the current branch but nothing else.

OpenStack used to use null-merges to bring final release tags from stable branches back into the master branch. This confuses the regular traversal because it makes that stable branch appear to be part of master and/or the later stable branch. This option allows us to ignore those.

Defaults to True

ignore_notes

Note files to be ignored. It’s useful to be able to ignore a file if it is edited on the wrong branch. Notes should be specified by their filename or UID.

Setting the option in the main configuration file makes it apply to all branches. To ignore a note in the HTML build, use the ignore-notes parameter to the release-notes sphinx directive.

Defaults to []

unreleased_version_title

The title to use for any notes that do not appear in a released version. If this option is unset, the development version number is used (for example, 3.0.0-3).

Defaults to ''

Debugging

The true location of formatting errors in release notes may be masked because of the way release notes are included into sphinx documents. To generate the release notes manually, so that they can be put into a sphinx document directly for debugging, use the report command.

$ reno report .

Updating Stable Branch Release Notes

Occasionally it is necessary to update release notes for past releases due to URLs changing or errors not being noticed until after they have been released. In cases like these, it is important to note that any updates to these release notes should be proposed directly to the stable branch where they were introduced.

Note

Due to the way reno scans release notes, if a note is updated on a later branch instead of its original branch, it will then show up in the release notes for the later release.

If a note is accidentally modified in a later branch causing it to show up in the wrong release’s notes, the ignore-notes directive may be used to manually exclude it from the generated output:

===========================
 Pike Series Release Notes
===========================

.. release-notes::
   :branch: stable/pike
   :ignore-notes:
     mistake-note-1-ee6274467572906b.yaml,
     mistake-note-2-dd6274467572906b.yaml

Even though the note will be parsed in the newer release, it will be excluded from the output for that release.

Within OpenStack

The OpenStack project maintains separate instructions for configuring the CI jobs and other project-specific settings used for reno. Refer to the Managing Release Notes section of the Project Team Guide for details.

Within Travis CI

The Travis CI uses shallow git clones, and detached head, which prevents reno from accessing the repo data it needs. You’ll see an error message like the one mentioned in Launchpad bug 1703603.

To use reno within a Travis CI job, the cloned repository needs to be unshallowed and checked out in the right branch from your .travis.yml, like in the following example:

---
language: python

python:
  - 3.5

install:
  - |
     # Force unshallow and checkout the current branch
     # https://docs.openstack.org/reno/latest/user/usage.html#within-travis-ci
     git config remote.origin.fetch +refs/heads/*:refs/remotes/origin/*
     git fetch --unshallow --tags
     git symbolic-ref --short HEAD || git checkout -b ${TRAVIS_BRANCH}-test $TRAVIS_BRANCH
     # Ref: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/32580821/how-can-i-customize-override-the-git-clone-step-in-travis-ci

script:
  - reno report .
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