After some 82 weeks of development beginning in February 2008, no one should be caught by surprise that we are in a code freeze for a release of Drupal 7, the next and best release of Drupal yet. However, as we all know, some of the best patches always happen at the last minute, and there are always last-minute patches that must happen. As part of my State of Drupal presentation at DrupalCon Paris last week, I talked about the Drupal 7 code freeze. Since not all of us could be in Paris, I wanted to share the relevant slides (PDF, 85 KB) in this post.
We're now in a phase we're calling "code slush", time boxed at a strict five weeks. In this period, most patches are allowed, except those that implement new features or functionality -- with some very important exceptions. Up to ten carefully selected exceptions for new functionality (see slides for details), patches that implement important and necessary API changes for existing functionality, and patches that improve usability, accessibility, documentation, and performance will still be accepted. As such, it is important that you start upgrading your contributed modules as soon as possible -- you never know what API issues you might run into and we only have a limited window to address those. After October 15, we will become a lot more strict and focus on the final polish.
As always, Drupal 7 will be ready when it's ready, but not before. We expect -- and hope -- that our huge investment in SimpleTest tests and our automated testing platform, though, will make this the easiest transition from development to release yet. We'll see!