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git repo should stand on its own. At the very least, explain how a commit relates to
git repo should stand on its own. At the very least, explain how a commit relates to
any work on the master branch.
any work on the master branch.
Backported PRs should reference the original PRs like this
Backport #1234
at the bottom of the description.


== Change freeze ==
== Change freeze ==
About 2-3 weeks before release. This is informal. Accept only critical or very low risk
About 2-3 weeks before release.
changes at this point.


=== Announce ===
=== Announce ===
Mention on the Development and General Chat channels on Matrix.
This is informal. Mention on the Development and General Chat channels on Matrix.
At this point, the mailing list is more for communicating with users than with core
At this point, the mailing list is more for communicating with users than with core
developers, so announcements there would not be useful, and could result in solicitation
developers, so announcements there would not be useful, and could result in solicitation
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=== RC plan ===
=== RC plan ===
About 1 week before release.
Around one week unless problems are found.


== Changelog ==
== Changelog ==
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=== Release commit ===
=== Release commit ===
* Generate <code>.zenodo.json</code>
* Change CMakeLists.txt to MAJOR.API.ABI.PATCH. If a release candidate, PATCH `-rc0`format to help with sort order. For final version, PATCH is `0`
* Change CMakeLists.txt to MAJOR.API.ABI.PATCH. If a release candidate, PATCH `0-rc1` format to help with sort order. For final version, PATCH is `0`
* Create PR with this change, title formatted like "Release v3.8.3.0-rc1"
* Create PR with this change, title formatted like "Release v3.8.3.0-rc1" (*)
* Merge release PR
* Merge release PR (*)
* Sync local checkout for later comparison step
* Sync local checkout for later comparison step
(*) These steps can be replaced by directly pushing to the maint-X.Y branch without a PR (but with extra care required).


== Version change for continuation ==
== Version change for continuation ==
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=== Verify or create valid signing key ===
=== Verify or create valid signing key ===
The GPG key includes a signing subkey, which is used to sign releases. The master key
is used only for certifying subkeys.
Currently, the signing subkey expiration date is extended a year at a time, as long as there
are no personnel changes and the key remains secure.


=== Download tar.gz and zip ===
=== Download tar.gz and zip ===

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