Table of Contents

Release schedule

PMD uses a time-based release schedule.

We release a new minor version every month, usually on the last Friday of the month. A patch release will only be done if necessary (e.g. blocker bugs).

Version policy

PMD aims to follow SemVer, that means, versions are numbered in the form MAJOR.MINOR.PATCH.

A major release can break any compatibility, and it means more effort to upgrade to the next major version (like it was from 6.x to 7.x, see Migration Guide for PMD 7.

A minor release tries to be compatible so that an effortless (aka “drop-in replacement”) upgrade is possible with some exceptions.

Such releases might contain:

  • fixed false-positive (FP) issues for rules
  • fixed false-negative (FN) issues for rules: These fixes might break your builds, as new violations might be found.
  • new rules: these new rules are not used by default if you use custom rulesets, so they shouldn’t affect your builds.
  • deprecations of existing functionality

In summary: we only guarantee stability on how you integrate / use the tool, but builds may start failing because we fixed FNs, or introduced a new rule (ie: for people referencing whole categories). We stick to our current approach when moving / renaming rules of deprecating them, and referencing the new one until the next major.

A patch release absolutely is a drop-in replacement. So only bugs (ie: crashes or obviously broken stuff, like rules not being applied at all), or security issues (dependency updates, hardening, etc.) are part of a patch release.

See also

Git branches/tags policy

  • Main development happens on the main branch (currently called master).
  • PR and enhancements are done on the main branch.
  • Release are usually done directly from the main branch, we don’t create release branches.
  • Each release has its own tag named pmd_releases/MAJOR.MINOR.PATCH.
  • In case of a patch release, we either do it from the main branch (if there was no development ongoing) or create a separate branch off the last release tag.
  • See also Release process.