Branch mechanics for Fennec 5.0

Summary: To deliver Fennec5.0 betas starting 17may, the new plan is to backport Fennec code changes from mozilla-beta back to split repos and and ship Fennec5.0 betas from the split repos using existing release automation.

Details for the curious:
To ship Fennec5.0 on the same release cadence as Firefox5.0, on the consolidated repos on mozilla-beta, requires:
a) changes to release automation to handle consolidated repos
b) remainder of buildbot0.7 -> buildbot0.8 migration – to streamline release day mechanics.

These changes are on track for Fennec6, along with Firefox6, but we cannot get these changes into production before 17may, in time for Fennec5/Firefox5.

To ship a Fennec5.0 beta on the 17may date, the new proposed plan is to:

  1. setup new mobile-5.0, mozilla-5.0 repos
  2. for l10n, RelEng thinks we can point automation to the l10n/mozilla-beta repos.
  3. for sanity check, RelEng will build an early Fennec5.0beta1 before 17may, to make sure this infrastructure works.
  4. wait for the planned drop from mozilla-aurora –> mozilla-beta on 17may
  5. have mfinkle/blassey merge code from mozilla-beta to new mobile-5.0 & mozilla-5.0 repos
  6. have aki/lsblakk create Fennec5.0beta2…5.0betaN using existing release automation.

RelEng will make a staging Fennec5.0beta build next week to verify all this before 17may.

We will repeat this for every Fennec5.0beta until we get these automation changes live in production. Current estimate is early June. Whether we ship Fennec5.0 in this way depends on exact date the new automation is ready – to be revisited.

NOTE: While there are currently no Fennec4.0.x releases scheduled, it is important that we remain able to ship Fennec4.0.x chemspill releases if needed. This plan does not impact our ability to do Fennec4.0.1 chemspills.

Hope all that makes sense – let me know if I missed anything or you have questions. Also, see mfinkle’s related post to mozilla.dev.planning.
John.

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