If you've been following the Joomla! project for a while, you know that the releases have been sporadic and non-predictable. Especially the releases for Joomla! 1.6 (alpha / beta) have been far apart. Until now, that is.
At J! and Beyond in Wiesbaden, Chris Davenport of the Joomla! Development team told the crowd that future Joomla! releases will be date-based. This means at first that new beta versions of Joomla! 1.6 will be released every 14 days. Beta 3 is scheduled for June 14th 2010. The result being that the version will be released with the bug fixes added up until that point. This will continue until we have a release candidate and then a stable version of Joomla! 1.6.
After the release of 1.6, the plan is a release of a new major version of Joomla! every 6 months. Which means a release of 1.7 six months after 1.6 is launched etc.
An attendee at the conference asked about backwards compatibility for future versions. With a major release every 6 months it could be hard to keep up if the changes are too many. The answer is that (at least that's the plan) the future versions (1.7 onwards) will be backwards compatible.
Joomla 1.6 beta 2
As you might have seen, the second beta version of Joomla! 1.6 was released last weekend. The beta version presents about 140 bug fixes, according to the release notes at joomla.org:
Since the Joomla 1.6 beta 1 we have fixed approximately 140 issues. Much of this progress is directly related to the stepped up efforts of the Joomla! Bug Squad. Thanks for all your hard work in bringing us one increment closer to stable!
I'm really looking forward to the release of Joomla! 1.6 and the subsequent work on future versions. And I hope the team will manage to keep up the schedule they have proposed.