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How to do a GTK+ release?

Make sure you have suitable versions of autoconf and libtool.
Also make sure you have the following packages installed with all their
* gtk-doc
* docbook-utils
Without those packages make distcheck will *not* pass.
Make sure that gtk-doc is the latest released version.

 0) Go back to a pristine working directory. With git, this works:

    git clean -f -x

 1) autogen and build it, make sure to enable docs by specifying
    --enable-gtk-doc --enable-man

 2) Update NEWS based on the content of git log; follow the format
    of prior entries. This includes finding noteworthy new features,
    collecting summaries for all the fixed bugs that are referenced
    and collecting all updated translations.
    Also collect the names of all contributors that are mentioned.
    We don't discriminate between bug reporters, patch writers,
    committers, etc. Anybody who is mentioned in ChangeLog gets
    credits, but only real names, not email addresses or nicknames.

 3) In particular, if this is a major, stable, release, verify that contains the relevant release notes and that the
    required versions of dependencies in are in sync

 4) Verify that the version in has been bumped after the last
    release. (Note that this is critical, a slip-up here will cause the
    soname to change).

 5) Make sure that make check is happy (If you don't do it here, make distcheck
    will also catch it, but it is kind of disheartening to see make distcheck
    fail due to an extraneous symbol after watching it build the docs for an
    Typical problems to expect here (depending on whether this is a devel
    snapshot or a stable release):
    * forgotten source files
    * new symbols missing from .symbols files
    * symbols that are exported by should be private (static or _-prefixed)
    * symbols that cause PLT entries. This is either caused by using
      a in the same library function without including the header or by
      using a function from a different library, which is not yet allowed
      by the filter in

 6) If this is a devel release, make sure that the docs for new symbols
    are in good shape. Look at the -unused.txt files and add stuff found
    there to the corresponding -sections.txt file. Look at the
    -undocumented.txt files and see if there is anything in there that
    should be documented. If it is, this may be due to typos in the doc
    comments in the source. Make sure that all new symbols have proper
    Since: tags, and that there is an index in the main -docs.sgml for
    the next stable version.

 7) make distcheck

 8) Fix broken stuff found by 7), repeat

 9) Commit all changes: git commit -a. You will have a bunch of po file
    changes, NEWS and maybe some doc changes too

10) Now you've got the tarball. Check that the tarball size looks
    reasonable compared to previous releases. If the size goes down
    a lot, likely the docs went missing for some reason. Or the translations.
    If the size goes up by a lot, something else may be wrong.

11) Tag the release. The git command for doing that looks like

    git tag -m "GTK+ 2.12.10" 2.12.10

12) Push the tagged commit upstream. The git command for doing that is

    git push origin refs/tags/2.12.10

13) Bump the version number in and commit and push this change

14) Upload the tarball to and run install-module to transfer
    it to If you don't have an account on,
    find someone who can do it for you. The command for this looks like

      scp gtk+-2.12.10.tar.gz
      install-module gtk+-2.12.10.tar.gz

15) Get the .bz2 tarball and the .md5sum files back from
    You can probably also create it locally, but I've experienced md5
    mismatches when doing so.

16) Upload the .gz and .bz2 tarballs and checksums to and put
    them in the right directory below /ftp/pub. Pay attention to correct
    ownership, and don't forget to update the LATEST file in the directory.

17) Go to the gnome-announce list archives, find the last announce message,
    create a new message in the same form, replacing version numbers,
    commentary at the top about "what this release is about" and the
    summary of changes.

18) Send it to gnome-announce-list, gtk-list, gtk-app-devel-list and
    gtk-devel-list. Set reply-to to desktop-devel-list.

19) Add a link to the release announcement to which lives
    in the gtk-web git module.