Development Process

Release Cycle


The VRS development process.

The release cycle is implemented in the VR project board, which is the authoritative source of information about development status.

Planned Features

Feature requests from the community are made through the generation of GitHub issues on the VRS repository, which are open for public review and discussion.

Project Leadership Review

Open issues are reviewed and triaged by the Project Leadership. Feature requests identified to support an unmet need are added to the Backburner project column and scheduled for discussion in our weekly VR calls. These discussions are used to inform whether or not a feature will be planned for development. The Project Maintainers are responsible for making the final determination on whether or not a feature should be added to VRS.

Requirements Gathering

Once a planned feature is introduced in call, the issue moves to the Planning project column. During this phase, community feedback on use cases and technical requirements will be collected (see example requirement issues). Deadlines for submitting cases will be set by the Project Maintainers.

Requirements Discussion

Once the requirements gathering phase has been completed, the issue moves to the Backlog/Ready for Dev project column. In this phase, the requirements undergo review and discussion by the community on VR calls.

Feature Development

After community review of requirements, the issue moves on to the In Progress project column. In this stage, the draft features will be developed as a draft Pull Request (PR). The draft author will indicate that a feature is ready for community review by marking the PR as “Ready for review” (at which point the PR loses “draft” status).

Feature Review

Once a PR is ready for review, the Project Maintainers will move the corresponding issue to the QA/Feedback project column. Pull requests ready for public review MAY be merged into the main (stable release) branch through review and approval by at least one (non-authoring) Project Maintainer. Merged commits MAY be tagged as alpha releases when needed. After merging, corresponding issues are moved to the Done project column and are closed.

Version Review and Release

After completion of all planned features for a new minor or major version, a request for community review will be indicated by a beta release of the new version. Community stakeholders involved in the feature requests and requirements gathering for the included features are notified by Project Maintainers for review and approval of the release. After a community review period of at least one week, the Project Leadership will review and address any raised concerns for the reviewed version.

After passing review, new minor versions are released to production. If any features in the reviewed version are deemed to be significant additions to the specification by the Project Leadership, or if it is a major version change, instead a release candidate version will be released and submitted for GA4GH product approval. After approval, the new version is released to production.

VRS follows GA4GH project versioning recommendations, based on Semantic Versioning 2.0.


Project Leadership

As a product of the Genomic Knowledge Standards (GKS) Work Stream, project leadership is comprised of the Work Stream leadership:

Project Maintainers

Project maintainers are the leads of the GKS Variation Representation working group: