ZAP Weekly Releases

Posted 485 Words

I've been struggling with the question of ZAP releases.
We've made loads of enhancements to ZAP recently, and I want them to be available to as wide an audience as possible.
But I also want to make sure our ‘full’ releases remain as robust and stable as possible.
I want to get the next full release (2.0.0) out of the door asap, but I still want to get a load more features into it.

So I've discussed this with the other ZAP developers, and we've decided to do weekly ZAP releases from the develop branch.
And that's starting today (Monday 22nd October) so there's a weekly release available now in the Download page.

How do ‘weekly’ releases differ from the ‘full’ releases?

  • No installers, just one cross platform archive (ZIP)
  • No release notes, although it's possible to view the commit history/changes between releases, e.g. https://github.com/zaproxy/zaproxy/compare/w2019-11-11...w2019-11-18
  • No specific testing - they will be ‘bleeding edge’ - stuff may be broken
  • No guarantee that the help will be up to date (although ideally it shouldn't be too far out)
  • They use a different default home directory to full releases, so they will not interfere with each other
  • Less localization (probably)

Who will these release be suitable for?

  • Anyone who wants to use the features we've added since 1.4.* but doesn't want the hassle of building ZAP from the source code
  • Anyone who would like to help test ZAP as it's being developed

Who will these releases not be suitable for?

  • Anyone who has not used ZAP before (they would be better off with a full release)
  • Anyone building security distributions (ditto)
  • Anyone developing or extending ZAP (they should use the develop branch)

What are some of the significant changes since the last full ZAP release?

  • Completely rewritten spider (c/o Cosmin Stefan and the GSoC)
  • New Ajax Spider (using Crawljax, c/o Guifre Ruiz and the GSoC)
  • Web sockets support (c/o Robert Koch and the GSoC)
  • Performance improvements (both speed and memory)

Anything else you should know?

  • The weekly releases will use Java 1.7 as opposed to Java 1.6 - you'll need to install this yourself if you haven't already got it

Want to know some more details?

  • The plan is to generate and upload the releases every Monday morning.
  • That's not guaranteed - a weekly release could be delayed (or completely skipped) if, for example, there were significant problems with the code in the develop branch.
  • The releases will be built from the develop branch, but will include selected add-ons.
  • The release number is be based on the date generated, e.g. D-2012-10-15 (YYYY-MM-DD)
  • The check-for-updates mechanism has been updated so that weekly releases check for new weekly releases, while full releases still just report new full releases. Unless you disable it of course.
  • New weekly releases will not be announced on the twitter @zaproxy account, new full releases will still be announced there.

Feedback, as always, much appreciated!