New infrastructure for GNOME 42 release notes

For the past couple of releases, we’ve been looking for a better way to write and publish the release notes. We made some improvements last cycle, for GNOME 41, with the move to Gitlab pages for publishing. However, we have continued to use Mallard and associated tooling. Now it’s time to write the release notes for GNOME 42, and I would personally really like it if we could complete the transition to a new setup.

The main requirements for the release notes are:

  1. Should look good
  2. Require minimal maintenance
  3. Ability to embed images and video
  4. Easy to contribute to

In the past, we’ve looked for a solution which has also been compatible with our translations software. However, despite trying, we haven’t had much success. The solutions we’ve looked at just haven’t had good translations support. We’ve also realised that our own support for translations hasn’t been very good in the past. In particular, we’ve historically lacked a way to show the correct language on the website, or a way to switch between languages.

We’ve therefore got to the point of considering a solution which doesn’t support translations, but which meets our other requirements. You can see the result in a new test site which @jimmac has put together. It’s nice and simple, looks good, supports embedding multimedia, has content which is written in Markdown, and is published using Gitlab pages. In short, I think it fulfills all our requirements.

If anyone has any suggestions or ideas for alternatives, it would be great to hear them. Otherwise, I think that this looks like a good solution for the GNOME 42 release notes.

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I’m all for it. This looks great! The test site uses a lot of “jimmac-created graphics” instead of simply screenshots. Is jimmac on board with creating graphics for some of the sections to keep the look & feel of the site?

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Absolutely. One of the reasons I wanted something that can easily fall back to custom html+css without nasty hacks like mallard/sphinx is to provide a slightly more engaging experience, similar to what we did with the GNOME 40 site. At the same time it should still be easy to produce good looking release notes with just markdown and screenshots.

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Awesome looking website. Is the source code available somewhere @jimmac ?

The repository is available on GitLab.

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This format is really great! Looks stylish and modern and fits the current feel of GNOME. Awesome!

Would translations still be feasible if translators copy-pasted the markdown into a new file and replaced all the English with another language? (The drawback being that changing e.g. the path of an image would require changing all the Markdown files.)

I guess, if we gave the translated version its own URL. It would be fairly crude though, and we’d lack a way to switch language in a way that’s easily discoverable…

Such a shame that no translations support is available yet. Release notes serve all our non English users to understand and get to know new feature and gives users a sense of proud of using GNOME, sort of hype.

Despite 42 being an awesome release, full of new features and polishments, not having translations on release notes is a big lack of communication.

It was made available before release.

Yes, it was late, but constantly blocking on the perfect infrastructure insures that nothing will ever change.

I´ve just saw the repository and I´ll publish my translations ASAP.

Thanks for the effort

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