Drupal 11 Release Plans: Dual Timeline Sparks Community Discussions

Drupal 11 Release Plans: Dual Timeline Sparks Community Discussions

A recent update from Drupal.org saw Gábor Hojtsy outlining the forthcoming release plans for Drupal 11, noting significant dependency updates and two potential release windows later this year. The announcement, made on March 7, 2024, detailed the comprehensive progress and strategic planning undertaken by the Drupal development team, which continues to involve the community in its development processes.

Drupal 11 is set to introduce major updates, including Symfony 7, jQuery 4, and PHPUnit 10 or 11. These updates are significant as they promise enhanced performance, better security, and more robust features for users of the platform. Originally set for three potential release windows, the team has now narrowed it down to two after ruling out June due to the complexity of integrating PHPUnit 10.

The possible release timelines are now as follows:

  • Early Window: If beta requirements are completed by April 26, 2024, Drupal 11.0.0-beta1 will launch the week of April 29, with a Release Candidate 1 (RC1) in the week of July 1, and a stable release expected in the week of July 29, 2024.
  • Late Window: Should the beta requirements conclude by September 13, Drupal 11.0.0-beta1 would then be set for the week of September 16, with RC1 scheduled for the week of November 11, and the stable release targeted for the week of December 9, 2024.

The dual release window for Drupal 11 has sparked discussions within the community, highlighted by Michael Anello’s commentary on X (formerly Twitter). 

"I understand the logic between the 2 possible Drupal 11 release dates, but I don’t have to like it. I think it’s a bit of a bad look - if you just read the headline, it makes us (the Drupal Community) look indecisive."

commented Michael Anello.

Gabor explained that it is much more decisive than "it's ready when it's ready," which was before. Such tentative dates also give reasons to focus instead of doing all kinds of things that may not be necessary. While Michael agrees with the former, he also feels that it would be much better to see a much clearer timeline on when the decision will be made.

"If I was an outsider looking in, it might seem _off_. I realize this isn't super helpful guidance..."

added Michael.

But Gábor is not convinced (yet) that a single date would work, as he notes it's not a  "train is gone" situation like minor releases, where things get to the next release that missed the train, but rather it's a fixed controlled set of requirements that must be done. He also adds that,

"The two remaining options are timed with a beta release right before their respective DrupalCon so that collaboration on testing core and porting contribs can happen there more actively when a lot of key Drupal folks get together."

However, on another platform, Lisa Ridley, Drupal Architect and Technical Team Lead at Vardot supports the decision to provide a timeline even though it is indecisive. She was responding to Michael's comment.

"As a developer, I see this communication as laying a roadmap for release dates…we can potentially hit release date 1 provided we hit these milestones by this date, otherwise we will target release date 2."

Lisa said.

She also notes that since Drupal is an open-source project partially dependent on community contributions, the community can help by contributing to the critical issues before a release can happen. Gábor Hojtsy's blog post also calls these out.

"I consider it transparency, I’d much rather have this than be surprised by a delay without advance notice."

concluded Lisa.

As Drupal continues to evolve, the emphasis remains on transparent communication and community involvement. The forthcoming releases of Drupal 10.3 and 11 will undoubtedly be significant milestones for the Drupal community, promising to introduce more advanced functionalities and improved user experiences. 

But what do you think about providing two timelines for the release of Drupal 11? Do you support the idea that something is better than nothing, or are you under the impression that providing more than one timeline is not logical? Let us know!

Read the full thread started by Michael Anello on X here.

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