[PLEASE READ] SIG Release (and YOU): The 2021 Teaser!

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Stephen Augustus

Jan 7, 2021, 5:56:26 PMJan 7
to Kubernetes developer/contributor discussion, le...@kubernetes.io, kubernetes-sig-release, sig-rele...@kubernetes.io
Kubernetes Community,

As we all move into 2021 activities, I want to take the opportunity to start addressing some feedback from the Kubernetes 1.19 retrospective.

Namely, as the Community meetings moved to a monthly cadence, a lot of you all felt you that you weren’t getting as frequent updates from SIG Release as you would’ve liked. This is information you would’ve normally received during the weekly Community meeting and we didn’t factor in how important that touchpoint was for you, so let’s fix it.

Starting in 2021, SIG Release will begin sending a digest (at least monthly), which will include:

  • updates on various initiatives
  • release progress
  • infrastructural and process changes
  • reminders about things like patch releases and EOLs

Consider this the first, albeit abbreviated, digest!

I want to focus here on the things that you need to know right now and save longer-tail objectives for follow-up emails.

Release Cadence

We’re going to be continuing the conversation about the Kubernetes release cadence, with a goal of ending January with a decision.

There’s lots of great feedback to churn through and I’ll be sending you all a summary and next steps soon.

We’re still working on finalizing the 1.21 release schedule, but have selected some milestone dates that will allow us to accommodate either three or four releases for 2021.

Starting Kubernetes 1.21

The team has already been hard at work gearing up to kick off the Kubernetes 1.21 release.

Nabarun Pal is your Kubernetes 1.21 Release Team Lead and will be joined by several wonderful contributors this cycle.

Nabarun will send an email later this week with details about initial timelines.

IIRC, this will be our first Kubernetes release cycle with a RT Lead on a non-US timezone. I’m excited to see Nabarun take the helm and put our efforts to favor asynchronous communication/processes to the test!

Enhancements: SIG opt-in vs cat-herding

For the sake of being blunt, the Release Team spends a large majority of their time cat-herding the community towards release milestones.

This starts at the beginning of the release during enhancements collection and extends through bug triage, CI signal, release notes, etc., etc.

We’d like to improve this model by having SIGs “opt-in” to a release.

Starting in 1.21, we’ll be asking SIGs to tell us which enhancements they intend to deliver, which means doing your own enhancement collection.

From there, the Enhancements subteam of the Release Team will aggregate your feedback into the finalized tracking spreadsheet.

We hope that this will divest the team of that responsibility and allow us to focus on delivering the first iteration of the receipts workflow in Kubernetes 1.22.

Anna will send more details about how this affects you next week.


  • SIG Release and subproject meetings will become 45 minutes instead of an hour
  • Bias towards async communications
  • Agenda items should be prepopulated
  • Prioritize unblocking efforts and walking our project boards
  • Subproject owners to drive subproject meetings instead of Chairs + Program Managers

Communicating widespread changes / deprecations

We’ll be working together with component leads, SIG ContribEx, SIG Docs, SIG Arch to improve the way we all message large changes that happen during releases.


We’ve begun to work on better defining what we’re capable of building vs what we can effectively support as a team and community.

Expect to hear more about this from Dan and Sascha.

Release Engineering

We’ve been writing a few tools and they might be useful to your day-to-day!
So we’re going to share some details about them and the best ways to get started.

Artifact Management

Container image promotion was the first step and we’re in debt to Linus, his heroic efforts, and WG K8s Infra in delivering this crucial functionality to the community.

We’re working on handing off, shoring up the promotion process with SIG Release taking this responsibility over.

File promotion and package management (deb/rpm) will be further parts of this initiative.

User-facing documentation

As a Kubernetes user, it should be easy to understand when things are happening, how to download release assets, and where to reach out when you’re having issues.

We’re going to be working on refining this experience and hopefully make it effortless. Pleasant even!

If you liked this format or have suggestions for improvement, let us know.

That’s it for now, folks!
Stephen and the SIG Release leadership team (Sascha, Lauri, Dan, and Jorge)

Paris Pittman

Jan 8, 2021, 9:31:47 AMJan 8
to Stephen Augustus, Kubernetes developer/contributor discussion, le...@kubernetes.io, kubernetes-sig-release, sig-rele...@kubernetes.io
Love the digest, thank you. 

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Stephen Augustus

Jan 8, 2021, 12:28:43 PMJan 8
to Paris Pittman, Kubernetes developer/contributor discussion, le...@kubernetes.io, kubernetes-sig-release, sig-rele...@kubernetes.io
Thanks Paris!!
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