It's inevitable. Sure as the Druplicon is blue, my job as Community Manager means that I'll be fielding this question almost daily: "So...when can we expect the next ... release of Open___?" It's a question we get all the time from the community, and understandably so. We know you're excited for the latest release, but It can be very difficult for us to answer questions about specific release dates. Here's why: we're not just a product development shop. If our only job was to build and release Drupal distributions, we'd be able to put them on a more predictable schedule. But the truth is, we create new features and functionality for our products through the work we do on our client projects. And if you're in the services business too, you know that priorities and timelines can shift, so we may wait to release until a critical piece of functionality is in, and that may depend on another project we're working on. That said, we can give you a little more information to help you plan for your use of the products:
- First, we make a goal to release iteratively and often. Last year, we did about four releases of each product, give or take. They didn't fall exactly quarterly, but you can generally expect that if you haven't seen a release for 3 or 4 months, one is imminent.
- Second, if you are using the apps module, you should know that apps releases are not dependent on product releases, and can be released into the distributions' apps consoles at any time.
- Third, we do work on every product, every week. Sometimes it's small bug fixes and patches, sometimes we're building new functionality or apps. But we work on each product and its underlying modules every week.
- Finally, and you knew this was coming, community contribution makes a big difference in how often we can release our products. Releases get pushed up on the priority list when community members join us for code sprints, suggest new functionality, and come together to get it built.
The moral of this story is: if you're wondering when the next release of your favorite distribution is, consider what you could do to help it get released faster. That's what open source products are all about. If you are interested in finding out how you can contribute documentation, apps, features, and themes, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I can’t wait to see your contributions!