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Versioning

Overview

Each new release of Gateway API is defined with a "bundle version" that represents the Git tag of a release, such as v0.4.0. This contains the following:

  • API Types (Go bindings for the resources)
  • CRDs (Kubernetes definitions of the resources)
  • Validating Webhook

API Versions (e.g. v1alpha2, v1beta1)

Within Gateway API, API versions are primarily used to indicate the stability of a resource. For example, if a resource has not yet graduated to beta, it is still possible that it could either be removed from the API or changed in backwards incompatible ways. For more information on API versions, refer to the full Kubernetes API versioning documentation.

Lifecycle of New Gateway API Resources

Release Channels (e.g. Experimental, Standard)

Gateway API provides 2 release channels: an Experimental one and a Standard one.

The Standard release channel includes:

  • Resources that have graduated to beta
  • All fields that have graduated to standard and are no longer considered experimental

The Experimental release channel includes everything in the Standard release channel, plus:

  • Alpha API resources
  • New fields that are considered experimental and have not yet graduated to the standard channel

Release Channel Overlap

Release channels are used to indicate feature stability within Gateway API. For example, even if a resource has already graduated to beta, we need a way to test out new fields and features before committing to their long term stability. With upstream Kubernetes APIs, this is accomplished with feature gates. Unfortunately, CRDs do not have a similar concept yet.

Instead of trying to recreate feature gates in this project, we've introduced release channels. Starting in v0.5.0, all new fields and features will start in the Experimental release channel. From that point, these may graduate to the Standard release channel or be dropped from the API entirely. See GEP-922 for a more detailed discussion of this approach to new fields and features.

Lifecycle of New Gateway API Fields

Version Indicators

Each CRD will be published with annotations that indicate their bundle version and channel:

gateway.networking.k8s.io/bundle-version: v0.4.0
gateway.networking.k8s.io/channel: standard|experimental

What can Change

When using or implementing this API, it is important to understand what can change across API versions.

Patch version (e.g. v0.4.0 -> v0.4.1)

  • Clarifications to godocs
  • Updates to CRDs and/or code to fix a bug
  • Conformance test fixes
  • Additional conformance test coverage for existing features
  • Fixes to typos

Minor version (e.g. v0.4.0 -> v0.5.0)

  • Everything that is valid in a patch release
  • New experimental API fields or resources
  • Changes to recommended conditions or reasons in status
  • Loosened validation
  • Making required fields optional
  • Removal of experimental fields
  • Removal of experimental resources
  • Graduation of fields or resources from experimental to standard track
  • Changes to conformance tests to match spec updates
  • Introduction of a new API version, which may also include:
  • Renamed fields
  • Anything else that is valid in a new Kubernetes API version
  • Removal/tombstoning of beta fields
  • Removal of an API resource following Kubernetes deprecation policy

Major version (e.g. v0.x to v1.0)

  • There are no API compatibility guarantees when the major version changes.

Graduation Criteria

Resources

Alpha -> Beta

A resource to graduate from alpha to beta must meet the following criteria:

  • Implemented by several implementations.
  • Conformance test framework is in place, with some coverage of basic functionality.
  • Validation is well thought out.
  • Most of the API surface is being exercised by users.
  • Approval from subproject owners + KEP reviewers.

Beta -> GA

A resource to graduate from beta to GA must meet the following criteria:

  • Almost all of the fields and behavior have conformance test coverage.
  • Multiple conformant implementations.
  • Widespread implementation and usage.
  • At least 6 months of soak time as a beta API.
  • Approval from subproject owners + KEP reviewers.

Fields

Experimental -> Standard

As described above, field level stability is layered on top of beta and GA resources (no fields in alpha resources can be considered standard). The requirements for a field to graduate from experimental to standard depend on the API version of the resource it is a part of. For a field to be considered standard, it needs to meet the same criteria of the resource it is contained in.

If a resource has graduated to beta, an experimental field must meet all of the beta graduation criteria before graduating to standard. Similarly, if a resource has graduated to GA, a field must meet all of the beta and GA graduation criteria. There is one slight variation here, instead of 6 months of soak time as a beta API, a field graduating to standard requires 6 months of soak time as an experimental field.

Out of Scope

Unreleased APIs

This project will have frequent updates to the main branch. There are no compatibility guarantees associated with code in any branch, including main, until it has been released. For example, changes may be reverted before a release is published. For the best results, use the latest published release of this project.

Source Code

We do not provide stability guarantees for source code imports. The Interfaces and behavior may change in an unexpected and backwards-incompatible way in any future release.

Supported Versions

This project aims to provide support for a wide range of Kubernetes versions with consistent upgrade experiences across versions. To accomplish that, we commit to:

  1. Support a minimum of the most recent 5 Kubernetes minor versions.
  2. Ensure that all standard channel changes between v1beta1 and v1 are fully compatible and convertible.
  3. Take every possible effort to avoid introduction of a conversion webhook. If a conversion webhook needs to be introduced, it will be supported for the lifetime of the API, or at least until an alternative is available.
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