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ApacheNetBeans

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In autumn 2016 Oracle decided to donate NetBeans to Apache foundation. The process isn't smooth, but there is a progress. This page tries to capture it and highlight the important news.

Contents

Apache HTML/Java API 1.5 has been released!

It is Oct 23, 2017 and the first project from the NetBeans Apache incubator has managed to create a release. The HTML/Java API version 1.5 has passed through all the Apache tests and is now available as a source download: see the netbeans svn repository. In addition to that I have uploaded the binaries to Maven central repository: see for example the pom parent project. As you can see the bits have Apache license now.

Time to give the release a try. Time to update to 1.5 release! Time to contribute. Just fork the GitHub repository.

Relicensing

The first step after donating to Apache was to change licenses in all files and verify that all libraries are compatible with Apache license. Everything went fine, just once library org.json JSON parser was found inappropriate. Funny why: its is a MIT licensed piece of software, just with one additional note: the software shall be used for good and not evil!. Based on that Apache (as well as Debian, as well as Android - e.g. Google) concluded that the software is associated with field of use restriction and as such it can't be replaced. I have bug NETBEANS-89 to deal with it in future versions.

Automate what you can!

The process of releasing the source code (yes, source code, as Apache releases are always about source code! Didn't you know? I didn't!) wasn't easy. That was sort of expected. First release under a new organization is never easy. The organization has new rules, workflows, terminology and fulfilling all of that takes time.

Moreover I decided to do everything correctly - e.g. don't take any shortcuts, but rather set infrastructure up to simplify future releases. For example, we have a jenkins job to create the .zip file as well as associated .md5 and .sha1 files. The job is set up to produce so called parametrized builds - once anybody feels it is time to release - one can pass in the new release version number and start the build.

While running the build, it gets the name release-X.Y based on the specified version parameter. As you can see, there were a few attempts that didn't make it (rc1-1.5 and rc2-1.5) and also few complete failures (completely deleted builds) before build #19 succeeded.

Signing

The final build has to be accompanied with a .asc signing file. The key used to generate the signing file has to come from list of keys approved for the Apache NetBeans project. That took a while as well, but at the end I made it and the release got approved.

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