This document contains information about a future release and not the current stable version (3.1).

Be aware that information on this page may change and API's may not be stable for production use.

Release Process

Describes the process followed for "core" releases (mainly the framework and cms modules).

Release Maintainer

The current maintainer responsible for planning and performing releases is Ingo Schommer (ingo at silverstripe dot com).

Release Planning

Our most up-to-date release plans are typically in the "framework" milestone and "cms" milestone. New features and API changes are typically discussed on the core mailinglist. They are prioritized by the core team as tickets on github.com.

Release dates are usually not published prior to the release, but you can get a good idea of the release status by reviewing the release milestone on github.com. Releases will be announced on the release announcements mailing list.

Releases of the cms and framework modules are coupled at the moment, they follow the same numbering scheme.

Release Numbering

  • Versions are numbered by major version number, minor version number, and micro version number, in the form A.B.C (e.g. 2.4.1)
  • A is the major version number, which is only incremented for major changes and core rewrites, lots of them won't be backwards compatible.
  • B is the minor version number. It is incremented for our typical releases with new features and bugfixes. We strive for few changes to be backwards incompatible, and will deprecate any APIs before removing them.
  • C is the micro version number, incremented for bugfixes, minor enhancements and security fixes. Unless security-related, all changes will be fully backwards compatible to the minor version number.
  • Major and minor releases have an alpha cycle, which is a preview developer release which that see major changes until release. It is followed by a beta cycle, which is feature complete and used by the wider development community for stability and regression testing. Naming convention is A.B.C-alpha and A.B.C-beta.
  • Major, minor and micro releases can have one or more release candidates (RC), to be used by the wider community. A release candidate signifies that the core team thinks the release is ready without further changes. The actual release should be a identical copy of the latest RC. Naming convention is A.B.C-rc1 (and further increments).
  • Major releases may have a preview cycle which is a early snapshot of the codebase for developers before going into the alpha cycle. Preview releases are named A.B.C-pr1 (and further increments).

Major releases

So far, major releases have happened every couple of years. Most new releases are minor version number or micro version number increments. So far, we have had two major releases; from the 1.x to the 2.x line and from the 2.x to the 3.x line.

Minor releases

Minor releases have happened about once every 18 months. For example, 2.3 was released in February 2009, followed by 2.4 in May 2010.

These releases will contain new features, general enhancements and bugfixes. APIs from previous minor releases can be deprecated, but will stay available for one more minor release. So, if an API is deprecated in A.B, it will continue to work in A.B+1, and removed in A.B+2.

An example: Say we'd want to rename BasicAuth::requireLogin() to follow our coding conventions, which is BasicAuth::require_login(). The method was introduced in 2.1, we've made the change in 2.3?

  • 2.3 would've marked the method as @deprecated, and documents it as an API CHANGE in our changelog. The old method continues to work, but will throw an E_USER_NOTICE.
  • 2.4 would've removed the method, also documenting it as an API CHANGE, and mentioning it in the upgrading guidelines.

Exceptions to the deprecation cycle are APIs that have been moved into their own module, and continue to work with the new minor release. These changes can be performed in a single minor release without a deprecation period.

Micro releases

Micro releases are issued about every two months for the latest release, typically for security reasons. You can safely upgrade to those releases (after reading the upgrading guidelines). For example, 2.3.6 was released in February 2010, followed by 2.3.7 in March 2010.

Supported versions

At any point in time, the core development team will support a set of releases to varying levels:

  • The current development trunk will get new features and bug fixes that might require major refactoring before going into a release (Note: At the moment, bugfixing and feature development might happen on the current release branch, to be merged back to trunk regularly).
  • Applicable bugfixes on trunk will also be merged back to the last minor release branch, to be released as the next micro release.
  • Security fixes will be applied to the current trunk and the previous two minor releases (e.g. 2.3.8 and 2.4.1).

Deprecation

Needs of developers (both on core framework and custom projects) can outgrow the capabilities of a certain API. Existing APIs might turn out to be hard to understand, maintain, test or stabilize. In these cases, it is best practice to "refactor" these APIs into something more useful. SilverStripe acknowledges that developers have built a lot of code on top of existing APIs, so we strive for giving ample warning on any upcoming changes through a "deprecation cycle".

How to deprecate an API:

  • Add a @deprecated item to the docblock tag, with a {@link <class>} item pointing to the new API to use.
  • Update the deprecated code to throw a Deprecation::notice() error.
  • Both the docblock and error message should contain the target version where the functionality is removed. So if you're committing the change to a 3.1 pre-release version, the target version will either be 3.2 or 4.0, depending on how disruptive the change is.
  • Deprecations should just be committed to pre-release branches, ideally before they enter the "beta" phase. If deprecations are introduced after this point, their target version needs to be increased by one.
  • Make sure that the old deprecated function works by calling the new function - don't have duplicated code!
  • The commit message should contain an API prefix (see "commit message format")
  • Deprecated APIs can be removed after developers had a chance to react to the changes. As a rule of thumb, leave the code with the deprecation warning in for at least three micro releases. Only remove code in a minor or major release.

Here's an example for replacing Director::isDev() with a (theoretical) Env::is_dev():

/**
 * Returns true if your are in development mode
 * @deprecated 3.1 Use {@link Env::is_dev()} instead.
 */
public function isDev() {
    Deprecation::notice('3.1', 'Use Env::is_dev() instead');
    return Env::is_dev();
}

This change could be committed to a 3.1.0-alpha2 release, stays deprecated in all following minor releases (3.1.0-beta1, 3.1.0, 3.1.1), and gets removed from 3.2.0. If the change was introduced in an already released version (e.g. 3.1.1), the target version becomes 3.2 instead.

Security Releases

Reporting an issue

Report security issues to security@silverstripe.com. Please don't file security issues in our bugtracker.

Acknowledgement and disclosure

In the event of a confirmed vulnerability in SilverStripe core, we will take the following actions:

  • Acknowledge to the reporter that we’ve received the report and that a fix is forthcoming. We’ll give a rough timeline and ask the reporter to keep the issue confidential until we announce it.
  • Assign a unique identifier to the issue in the format SS-<year>-<count>, where <count> is a padded three digit number counting issues for the year. Example: SS-2013-001 would be the first of the year 2013. Additionally, CVE numbers are accepted.
  • Halt all other development as long as is needed to develop a fix, including patches against the current and one previous major release (if applicable).
  • Pre-announce the upcoming security release to a private mailing list of important stakeholders (see below).
  • We will inform you about resolution and announce a new release publically.

You can help us determine the problem and speed up responses by providing us with more information on how to reproduce the issue: SilverStripe version (incl. any installed modules), PHP/webserver version and configuration, anonymized webserver access logs (if a hack is suspected), any other services and web packages running on the same server.

Severity rating

Each security release includes an overall severity rating and one for each vulnerability. The rating indicates how important an update is:

Severity Description
Critical Critical releases require immediate actions. Such vulnerabilities allow attackers to take control of your site and you should upgrade on the day of release. Example: Directory traversal, privilege escalation
Important Important releases should be evaluated immediately. These issues allow an attacker to compromise a site's data and should be fixed within days. Example: SQL injection.
Moderate Releases of moderate severity should be applied as soon as possible. They allow the unauthorized editing or creation of content. Examples: Cross Site Scripting (XSS) in template helpers.
Low Low risk releases fix information disclosure and read-only privilege escalation vulnerabilities. These updates should also be applied as soon as possible, but with an impact-dependent priority. Example: Exposure of the core version number, Cross Site Scripting (XSS) limited to the admin interface.

Pre-announce Mailinglist

In addition to our public disclosure process, we maintain a private mailinglist where upcoming security releases will be pre-announced. Members in this list will receive a security pre-announcement as soon as it has been sufficiently researched, alongside a timeline for the upcoming release. This will happen a few days before the announcement goes public alongside new release, and most likely before a patch has been developed.

Since we’ll distribute sensitive info on unpatched vulnerabilities in this list, the selection criteria for joining naturally has to be strict. Applicants should provide references within the community, as well as a demonstrated need for this level of information (e.g. a large website with sensitive customer data). You don’t need to be a client of SilverStripe Ltd to get on board, but we will need to perform some low-touch background checks to ensure identity. Please contact security@silverstripe.org for details.

Quality Assurance and Testing

The quality of our software is important to us, and we continously test it for regressions through a broad suite of unit and integration tests. Most of these run on Travis CI, and results are publicly available for the framework and cms modules. In addition, some build configurations (e.g. running on Windows) are tested through a TeamCity instance hosted at teamcity.silverstripe.com (click "Login as guest").

Comments

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