I put this set of slides together to explain what state the release automation project is in. It probably makes more sense when I am sitting there to explain what each point means, but I figured I'd put it out there anyway :)
The current setup mimics ye olde manual release process, forged by Chase. Over the past few years we've worked on wrapping that process in scripts with this perl framework (aka "bootstrap"), which auto-generates configs for underlying systems like tinderbox and patcher, checks logs for errors, etc.
A lot of the current bugs come from underlying systems, especially the tinderbox client. Reducing some of the complexity here would both make the system more understandable and most likely faster as well. It's pretty tough to make changes when you're doing this level of wrapping, too.
Now that everything is driven by Buildbot, it probably makes the most sense to call the build system directly, instead of buildbot->bootstrap->tinderbox->build_system that we have today. There are bugs on all of this already, hopefully the slides and this post will make it clearer how they tie together.