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This page describes the current status of the release process.

Since versions 5.4.5 / 5.5.4 there is an automated release process using travis-ci in place. However, there are still a few steps, that need manual examination.

Note: You can find a small shell script in the root of the repo: do-release.sh. This script guides you through the release process.


Make sure code is up to date and everything is committed and pushed with git:

$ ./mvnw clean
$ git pull
$ git status

The Release Notes and docs

You can find the release notes here: docs/pages/release_notes.md.

The date (date +%d-%B-%Y) and the version (remove the SNAPSHOT) must be updated in docs/_config.yml, e.g.

    version: 6.22.0
    previous_version: 6.21.0
    date: 12-March-2020
    release_type: minor

The release type could be one of “bugfix”, “minor”, or “major”.

The release notes usual mention any new rules that have been added since the last release. Please double check the file pmd-core/src/main/resources/rulesets/releases/<version>.xml, so that all new rules are listed.

Add the new rules as comments to the quickstart rulesets:

  • pmd-apex/src/main/resources/rulesets/apex/quickstart.xml
  • pmd-java/src/main/resources/rulesets/java/quickstart.xml

We maintain a documentation for the next major release. Copy the API changes from the current release notes to this document: docs/pages/next_major_development.md.

The designer lives at pmd/pmd-designer. Update property pmd-designer.version in pom.xml to reference the latest pmd-designer release. See https://search.maven.org/search?q=g:net.sourceforge.pmd%20AND%20a:pmd-ui&core=gav for the available releases.

Starting with PMD 6.23.0 we’ll provide small statistics for every release. This needs to be added to the release notes as the last section. To count the closed issues and pull requests, the milestone on github with the title of the new release is searched. Make sure, there is a milestone on https://github.com/pmd/pmd/milestones. The following snippet will create the numbers, that can be attached to the release notes as a last section:


echo "### Stats"
echo "* $(git log pmd_releases/${LAST_VERSION}..${NEW_VERSION_COMMITISH} --oneline --no-merges |wc -l) commits"
echo "* $(curl -s https://api.github.com/repos/pmd/pmd/milestones|jq ".[] | select(.title == \"$NEW_VERSION\") | .closed_issues") closed tickets & PRs"
echo "* Days since last release: $(( ( $(date +%s) - $(git log --max-count=1 --format="%at" pmd_releases/${LAST_VERSION}) ) / 86400))"

Note: this part is also integrated into do-release.sh.

Check in all (version) changes to branch master or any other branch, from which the release takes place:

$ git commit -a -m "Prepare pmd release <version>"
$ git push

The Homepage

The github repo pmd.github.io hosts the homepage for https://pmd.github.io.

The new version needs to be entered into _config.yml, e.g.:

  latestVersion: 6.22.0
  latestVersionDate: 12-March-2020

Also move the previous version down into the “downloads” section.

Then create a new page for the new release, e.g. _posts/2020-03-12-PMD-6.22.0.md and copy the release notes into this page. This will appear under the news section.

Check in all (version) changes to branch master:

$ git commit -a -m "Prepare pmd release <version>"
$ git push

Creating the release

The release is created using the maven-release-plugin. This plugin changes the version by basically removing the “-SNAPSHOT” suffix, builds the changed project locally, commits the version change, creates a new tag from this commit, changes the version of the project to the next snapshot, commits this change and pushes everything.

RELEASE_VERSION is the version of the release. It is reused for the tag. DEVELOPMENT_VERSION is the next snapshot version after the release.

mvn -B release:clean release:prepare \
    -Dtag=pmd_releases/${RELEASE_VERSION} \
    -DreleaseVersion=${RELEASE_VERSION} \

Once the maven plugin has pushed the tag, travis-ci will start and build a new version from this tag. Since it is a tag build and a released version build, travis-ci will do a couple of additional stuff:

After the release

The release on travis currently takes about 30 minutes. Once this is done, you can spread the news:

Submit a news on SF

Submit news to SF on the PMD Project News page. You can use the following template:

PMD <version> released

*   Downloads: https://github.com/pmd/pmd/releases/tag/pmd_releases%2F<version>
*   Documentation: https://pmd.github.io/pmd-<version>/

And Copy-Paste the release notes

Write an email to the mailing list

To: PMD Developers List <pmd-devel@lists.sourceforge.net>
Subject: [ANNOUNCE] PMD <version> released

*   Downloads: https://github.com/pmd/pmd/releases/tag/pmd_releases%2F<version>
*   Documentation: https://pmd.github.io/pmd-<version>/

And Copy-Paste the release notes

Prepare the next release

Prepare the new release notes

  • Update version in docs/_config.yml. Note - the next version needs to have a SNAPSHOT in it.

        version: 6.23.0-SNAPSHOT
        previous_version: 6.22.0
        date: ??-??-2020
        release_type: minor
  • Move version/release info from docs/pages/release_notes.md to docs/pages/release_notes_old.md.
  • Update version/release info in docs/pages/release_notes.md. Use the following template:
title: PMD Release Notes
permalink: pmd_release_notes.html
keywords: changelog, release notes

## {{ site.pmd.date }} - {{ site.pmd.version }}

The PMD team is pleased to announce PMD {{ site.pmd.version }}.

This is a {{ site.pmd.release_type }} release.

{% tocmaker %}

### New and noteworthy

### Fixed Issues

### API Changes

### External Contributions

{% endtocmaker %}

Commit and push

$ git commit -m "Prepare next development version"
$ git push origin master

Close / Create new milestones

Manage the milestones under https://github.com/pmd/pmd/milestones. Maybe there are some milestones on sourceforge, too: https://sourceforge.net/p/pmd/bugs/milestones.



If the release was done on a maintenance branch, such as pmd/5.4.x, then this branch should be merged into the next “higher” branches, such as pmd/5.5.x and master.

This ensures, that all fixes done on the maintenance branch, finally end up in the other branches. In theory, the fixes should already be there, but you never now.

Multiple releases

If releases from multiple branches are being done, the order matters. You should start from the “oldest” branch, e.g. pmd/5.4.x, release from there. Then merge (see above) into the next branch, e.g. pmd/5.5.x and release from there. Then merge into the master branch and release from there. This way, the last release done, becomes automatically the latest release on https://pmd.github.io/latest/ and on sourceforge.

(Optional) Create a new release branch

At some point, it might be time for a new maintenance branch. Such a branch is usually created from the master branch. Here are the steps:

  • Create a new branch: git branch pmd/5.6.x master
  • Update the version in both the new branch and master, e.g. mvn versions:set -DnewVersion=5.6.1-SNAPSHOT and mvn versions:set -DnewVersion=5.7.0-SNAPSHOT.
  • Update the release notes on both the new branch and master