We all agreed after the 5.12 release that the process of preparing announcements needed to be improved.
@ngraham did an excellent job of identifying issues of access and cooperation within Promo in his mailing list post. He suggested coordination within Promo could be greatly improved by:
- Using Phabricator tasks for all announcement preparations
- Establishing clear roles and responsibilities for team members
- Grant relevant Promo members access to edit the website
@paulb further suggested that teams should be established for individual tasks such as copy, video, and translation. Each team should have a leader to oversee completion of the tasks.
Paul also floated the idea of rolling deadlines. After the completion of a draft, there would be a window of opportunity to submit additional changes. If more changes were made, there would be another chance to tidy those up, and so on.
I think many of these ideas have merit, particularly Nate’s comments about how to properly track these tasks so everyone can be “in the know.”
[4 weeks out] BEFORE code freeze
The Promo team will reach out to software developers well before final preparations begin. Promo should know the focus of the release, list of new features, major bug fixes, and where the most development time was spent.
Developers will be reached via the firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, and firstname.lastname@example.org mailing lists, and #kde-devel and #plasma-devel IRC channels.
Release Information from developers will be kept on Phabricator in a Promo subtask.
[3 weeks out] During beta
ALL written copy pertaining to the final release must be worked on so it will be ready to go to translators, graphic artists, and video editors. This includes KDE.org announcements, Dot posts, and social media posts (Twitter, all subreddits, etc).
Artists and editors should be brought in to discuss what audio, graphics, animations, or recorded footage will be needed for the video, and for media to be used inside posts.
[2 weeks out] Final draft
When written copy is finalized, the main announcement and press release should be shared with the developers of the software in question to reaffirm that Promo is accurately portraying the state of the software and understands the most important changes. Announcement pages can be created on KDE.org.
Translations for localization should be in progress at this time. Major changes to the English post from here on can break the translation process.
Video footage, voiceovers, and other media required for the editing process should be mostly done, barring changes during video editing that may require additional content or voiceover retakes.
[1 week out] Verification, polish, preparation
Video editing should be the largest remaining task at this stage. The video must be fully rendered and uploaded to the KDE Youtube channel as an unlisted video before release day.
The voiceover script must be sent to a timecoder and to translators so they can prepare localized subtitles.
All written copy must be looked over for any late editing changes including missed typos or emergency changes from developers.
All content should be published to Dot, social media, and listservs. Video should be made public for comment on Youtube.
Subtitles should be ready to add to Youtube.