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Releasing urfave/cli

Releasing small batches often is backed by research as part of the virtuous cycles that keep teams and products healthy.

To that end, the overall goal of the release process is to send changes out into the world as close to the time the commits were merged to the main branch as possible. In this way, the community of humans depending on this library are able to make use of the changes they need quickly, which means they shouldn't have to maintain long-lived forks of the project, which means they can get back to focusing on the work on which they want to focus. This also means that the @urfave/cli team should be able to focus on delivering a steadily improving product with significantly eased ability to associate bugs and regressions with specific releases.


  • Release versions follow semantic versioning
  • Releases are associated with signed, annotated git tags1.
  • Release notes are automatically generated2.

In the main or v1 branch, the current version is always available via:

git describe --always --dirty --tags

NOTE: if the version reported contains -dirty, this is indicative of a "dirty" work tree, which is not a great state for creating a new release tag. Seek help from @urfave/cli teammates.

For example, given a described version of v2.4.7-3-g68da1cd and a diff of v2.4.7... that contains only bug fixes, the next version should be v2.4.8:

git tag -a -s -m 'Release 2.4.8' v2.4.8
git push origin v2.4.8

The tag push will trigger a GitHub Actions workflow and will be immediately available to the Go module mirror, index, and checksum database. The remaining steps require human intervention through the GitHub web view although automated solutions exist that may be adopted in the future.

  • Open the the new release page
  • At the top of the form, click on the Choose a tag select control and select v2.4.8
  • In the Write tab below, click the Auto-generate release notes button
  • At the bottom of the form, click the Publish release button
  • ✅ you're done!

  1. This was not always true. There are many lightweight git tags present in the repository history. 

  2. This was not always true. The docs/ document used to be manually maintained. Relying on the automatic release notes generation requires the use of merge commits as opposed to squash merging or rebase merging. 

Last update: September 5, 2022