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PMD Release Process

This page describes the current status of the release process.


Make sure code is up to date and everything is committed and pushed with git:

$ mvn clean
$ git pull
$ git status

Checklist for release preparation:

  • Ensure all the new rules are listed in a the proper file: pmd-core/src/main/resources/rulesets/releases/<version>.xml file.
  • Update version/release info in src/site/markdown/
  • Update ../ of our website, to redirect to the new version
  • Update ../ to mention the new release
$ mvn clean install

Unzip and test manually (just to be on the safe side of the road):

cd pmd-dist/target; unzip pmd-bin-<version>.zip; cd pmd-bin-<version>
./bin/ pmd -d ../../../pmd-java/src/main/java -language java -f xml -R rulesets/java/unusedcode.xml
./bin/ pmd -d ../../../pmd-java/src/main/java -language java -f xml -R java-unusedcode
./bin/ pmd -d ../../../pmd-java/src/main/java -language java -f html -R rulesets/java/unusedcode.xml
cd ..; cd ../..

Check in all (version) changes to branch master:

$ git commit -a -m "Prepare pmd release <version>"

Release Branch

Let’s have maven create a release branch for us (note - this is of course not needed if you are already on a release/maintenance branch). Maven will automatically increase the version in branch master.

$ mvn release:branch -DbranchName=pmd/<version>.x

In case you create a alpha/preview release and you want to stay with the current version in master, use these additional properties:

$ mvn -DupdateBranchVersions=true -DupdateWorkingCopyVersions=false ...

Note: The property pushChanges is set to false, so that we can manually push all changes done during the release at the end, when we are sure, that everything is fine.

Create a release

Now checkout the created branch.

$ git checkout pmd/<version>.x

Now let maven create a release tag.

$ mvn release:clean
$ mvn release:prepare

Note: For the tag/label name we currently use this naming pattern: pmd_releases/<major-version>.<minor-version>.<micro-version>

The next command will checkout PMD from the tag just created and will build and deploy it to sonatype OSS repositories:

$ mvn release:perform

Push your local changes

If everything is fine, you can push your local changes.

$ git push origin master
$ git push origin pmd/<version>.x
$ git push origin tag pmd_releases/<version>


Note: If you see a bug and fix it, you can rollback the release (see the maven release plugin documentation):

$ mvn release:rollback

You probably need to delete the release tag manually using the following command (and then start again with release:clean release:prepare):

$ git tag -d pmd_releases/<version>

Publish maven artifacts

Finally, in order to publish the release to Maven central, you need to release PMD via Sonatype Nexus:

  • Login to
  • Go to Staging Repositories page
  • Select a staging repository
  • Click the close button
  • Now you can download the artifacts again and verify they are working.
  • Once you are sure they are working, click “Release” and the artifacts are eventually available through maven central.

Create and publish the site / documentation

You can reuse the cleanly checked out local repository from maven-release-plugin.

$ cd target/checkout/
$ mvn site site:stage
  • Before you upload the zip files, unzip and test once (just to be on the safe side of the road):

    $ cd pmd-dist/target; unzip pmd-bin-<version>.zip; cd pmd-bin-<version>
    $ ./bin/ pmd -d ../../../pmd-java/src/main/java -language java -f xml -R rulesets/java/unusedcode.xml
    $ ./bin/ pmd -d ../../../pmd-java/src/main/java -language java -f xml -R java-unusedcode
    $ ./bin/ pmd -d ../../../pmd-java/src/main/java -language java -f html -R rulesets/java/unusedcode.xml
    $ cd ..; cd ../..
  • While the site will be deployed to github, it’s still usefull, to have it downloadable at once:

    $ cd target
    $ mv staging pmd-doc-<version>
    $ zip -r pmd-doc-<version>.zip pmd-doc-<version>/
    $ cd ..
  • Add the site to the repo:

    $ rsync -avhP target/pmd-doc-<version>/ ../../../<version>/
    $ (cd ../../../; git add pmd-<version>; git commit -m "Added pmd-<version>")
  • Upload the zip-files to sourceforge’s file section:

    $ rsync -avhP pmd-dist/target/pmd-*-<version>.zip target/pmd-doc-<version>.zip<version>/
    $ rsync -avhP src/site/markdown/overview/<version>/
  • Verify the MD5 sums on Files and locally:

    $ md5sum pmd-dist/target/pmd-*-<version>.zip target/pmd-doc-<version>.zip
  • Go to Files, to folder “pmd/<version>”, and make the new binary pmd zip file the default download for all platforms.

Push the repos

In case of releasing from master:

    $ git push origin master; git push origin tag pmd_releases/<version>

In case of releasing from a release branch:

    $ git push origin pmd/<version>.x; git push origin tag pmd_releases/<version>

Create a new release on github

Go to

  • Select the just pushed tag: “pmd_releases/<version>”
  • Set the title: “PMD <version> (DD-MMMM-YYYY)”
  • Copy/Paste the file
  • Upload the 3 zip files (pmd-<version>-{src,bin,doc}.zip).
  • Publish the release

Submit a news on SF

  • Submit news to SF on the PMD Project News page. You can use the following template:

    PMD <version> released
    * minor version with lots of bug fixes
    * Changelog:<version>/overview/changelog.html
    * Downloads:<version>
    * Fixed Bugs:<version>/
    * Documentation:<version>/

Prepare the next version

Create new milestone

Under close the milestone “PMD-<version>” and create a new milestone for the next version (PMD-<version+1>).

Update changelog

  • Move version/releaseinfo from src/site/markdown/overview/ to src/site/markdown/overview/
  • Update version/release info in src/site/markdown/overview/ Use the following template:

    # Changelog
    ## ????? - ${DEVELOPMENT_VERSION}
    **New Supported Languages:**
    **Feature Request and Improvements:**
    **New/Modified/Deprecated Rules:**
    **Pull Requests:**
    **API Changes:**
  • Update pmd-java8/pom.xml - the version is probably wrong. Set it to the parent’s=next development version.

  • If you released from a release-branch, now merge the branch back into master.
  • Commit and push

    $ git commit -m "Prepare next development version"
    $ git push origin master