Guide for doing a Clawpack release

This is the procedure used to do a new official release of Clawpack.


Make sure all your subrepositories are up to date and clean:

cd $CLAW
git co master
git pull
source  # to make sure all subrepos are up to date

python $CLAW/clawutil/src/python/

Check the output of this last commands in the files claw_git_status.txt and claw_git_diffs.txt to make sure you don’t have any uncommitted changes.

Run all the examples as described in CLAW/doc/gallery/ as required for building the galleries, and check all the resulting plots to make sure everything looks correct.

Release candidates

Make sure all repositories are checked out to the master branch and are up to date with the main Clawpack repositories and clean, as described in the preparation step above.

After following the preparation instructions above, do the following:

cd $CLAW
git checkout -b v5.4.1rc-alpha    # change to appropriate name for this rc
git add -u .
git commit -m "v5.4.1rc-alpha release candidate"
git push <your fork>

Then do a PR on

Create a tar file and a Github release

We generally do this step for a release candidate first, and then do the same for the final release. For release candidates, modify the version number to include 5.4.1rc-alpha, for example.

NOTE: Once one or more release candidates have been tested, the final such PR should contain a change of the version number in the file $CLAW/ to the full version e.g. 5.4.1.

Once the PR has been merged:

cd $CLAW
git co master
git pull
source  # to make sure all subrepos are up to date

Create tar file (first install

cd $CLAW
git-archive-all --prefix clawpack-v5.x.x/ clawpack-v5.x.x.tar
gzip clawpack-v5.x.x.tar

(Note: best to use v5.x.x rather than just 5.x.x to be consistent with the directory name created if following Installation instructions (pip).)

Draft a new release on the webpage Indicate that it is pre-release if desired.

As a comment, add text such as:

Download the clawpack-v5.x.x.tar.gz file below, not the other tar
file of zip file. Those only include the top-level Clawpack directories and
not all the submodules.

Then attach the tar file clawpack-v5.x.x.tar.gz to be included in the release by using the link “Attach binaries...” before finalizing the release. (You can go back and “Edit release” if necessary.)

Final release

After the release has been finalized, tag all repositories. In the commands below, it is assumed the remote upstream points to the main Github repos (not your fork) and that you have push permission. Change 5.x.x to the appropriate version number in these commands:

cd $CLAW
git checkout master; git pull # make sure up to date!
git tag v5.x.x
git push --tags upstream

cd ../pyclaw
git checkout master; git pull # make sure up to date!
git tag v5.x.x
git push --tags upstream

Do the same in all other repos (classic, amrclaw, geoclaw, clawutil, clawvis, riemann).

Note these tags are used in the documentation for pages like Changes to master since v5.4.1 which generate diffs between the latest version and the current master branch of each resposity.


Go to the the Zenodo page and create a new upload for the latest tar file, following the framework of, for example. This will issue a new DOI, which should be added to the page $CLAW/doc/doc/previous.rst.

Note that the Github repository is not linked to Zenodo for automatic uploading on release since that would only archive a zip file of the main clawpack repository. Instead we want to archive the tar file containing all subrepositories too.

Updating the documentation

See Guide for updating this documentation for general instructions on building the documentation and galleries using Sphinx, and for how to push changes to Github so they show up on the web.

When making changes for a new release, the following pages in the directory $CLAW/doc/doc need to be updated:

  • A page like Release 5.4.0 needs to be created. Copy changes_to_master.rst to release_5_x_x.rst for a new release 5.x.x and then change master to 5_x_x in each link to Github, so they have the form v5.4.0...v5.4.1, for example when going from 5.4.0 to 5.4.1.
  • Add to this page a brief summary of the major changes from the last release, using the diffs that show up in changes_to_master.rst as a guide.
  • Add and commit this new page, and also add a link to it to the file changes.rst (to show up in Recent changes — release notes).
  • Modify the page changes_to_master.rst by replacing the previous version number (e.g. 5.y.y) by the version number of the new release (e.g. 5.x.x) so that links are comparing e.g. v5.x.x...master
  • Modify installing.rst and installing_pip.rst to point to the new version number in several places.
  • Update previous.rst to include a link to the new version on Zenodo.
  • Update to the new version number, and also $CLAW/doc/gallery/

Updating the apps repository

Ideally all the apps in the Clawpack Applications repository should be rerun with the new release and any issues fixed. If old apps are modified, add a note to the README.rst file in the directory that indicates when it was last updated and to what release. Some apps already have a section at the end of this file of the form:

Version history:

- Updated for Clawpack 5.3.0 on 15 Sept 2015

- Updated for Clawpack 5.4.0 on 4 Jan 2017

Updating the Dockerfile

Note that unlike the tar file for a new release, the docker image includes a clone of the apps repository, so it would be best to first update that repository if necessary.

  • Clone the repository
  • Make a new Dockerfile for the new version by copying an old one and changing the version numbers in it. Make any other changes needed for this new release.
  • See the file in that repo for instructions on building an image and pushing it to dockerhub (which requires push permission).