Drupal 7.0 Beta 3 released

Today marks reaching Drupal 7′s 0 critical bug milestone! We’ve rolled one final beta release to shake out any last minute problems and fix strings. Please help!

This release includes:

  • Upgrade to jQuery 1.4.4 and jQuery UI 1.8.6
  • Numerous upgrade path fixes
  • Numerous accessibility fixes
  • All critical bugs fixed!

For the full list of changes, see the release notes.

Hey, wait! But there are 0 criticals! Why another beta?!

As of today, Drupal 7′s critical issue queue has reached 0. A huge thanks to the tremendous effort of hundreds of people who have helped bring us to this momentous milestone!

By traditional definition, we should be entering release candidate phase. However, while we have been focused on smashing criticals, we have accumulated a “major” issue queue that’s currently 5 pages long, and have been neglecting to prepare for string freeze, which happens at RC1.

So, Dries and I felt that it was appropriate to have one last chance to take a final pass through the issue queue and find any straggler release blockers that might still be buried, and to identify and fix issues that impact string freeze (anything that changes something wrapped within the t() function).

From Here to RC

So. If you’re in MAINTAINERS.txt, or otherwise knowledgeable about the issues in the core queue, we urgently need your help in taking one last look at your queues over the next day or two and making sure there aren’t any remaining critical issues buried in the “major” list.

Because Drupal is by definition release-ready right now, we are going to strictly timebox the following:

  • Maintainers have until 11:59 PM Pacific US Time Wednesday, November 17 (07:59 AM UTC) to dig up critical issues from their majors queue so we can discuss. (Note that these will have to pass an extremely high bar; we’ve had almost 3 years to identify such issues.)
  • I want to roll RC1 to no later than November 30, 2010 (with the caveat of any new security/data loss issues will block the release if still active at that time). Ideally, we do RC1 even earlier (Dries’s birthday is November 19, or failing that, US Thanksgiving represents a GREAT time for many of you to get away from your family and work on Drupal :)).

To be clear, once RC1 happens:

- All strings are frozen.
- All markup is frozen.
- The UI is frozen.
- The API is frozen.
- The theme system is frozen.
- Drupal 7.0′s release is imminent.

So please, help do your part to get Drupal 7 DONE!

(What follows is the standard “how to test this alpha/beta release” spiel.)

So when does 7.0 get released?

The release version of Drupal 7.0 will be ready after (a) there are no more critical bugs and (b) we’ve had at least one release candidate (RC) without adding any more issues to the list.

When will that be? Well, it depends entirely on how many people chip in and help out! The more people help, the faster we can find and fix bugs, and the faster 7.0 gets released. The faster 7.0 gets released, the faster we can start adding new features to Drupal 8.0. So help out where you can, and let’s make this the best and most solid release of Drupal yet! :)

How do I help test the beta?

Start by either installing a new Drupal site or upgrading an existing one running on a previous version (see INSTALL.txt or UPGRADE.txt in the package). When setting up a new site, you can use the Development module to generate some test data (content, users, etc) to help you start testing quickly. As with everything still in development, we do not recommend running pre-releases on a live site. Also, always make sure to backup of your data before performing an upgrade or start testing.

New Drupal Users

Are you completely (or relatively) new to Drupal? Or do you know just enough to be dangerous? Are you used to working with other content management systems and willing to lend your perspective in improving the way Drupal works? If so, you’re a perfect candidate to help with usability testing and improving documentation! As you’re going through Drupal 7, take notes on things you find difficult or confusing, and translate those notes into an issue which will show up in the issue tracker. Make sure to be as clear as possible about what the problem was and provide suggestions on how to improve it — this makes it easier for developers to help!

You can also help by testing the D7 Install Guide and noting any mistakes on the issue for this.

Testers

Do people often congratulate you on your ability to break things? Are you a creative individual who likes to experiment in unconventional ways to see what happens? Do you enjoy looking over other peoples’ work and picking nits in order to make it as good as it possibly can be? If any of these apply to you, you could make a great tester! We need testers both to try out different aspects of Drupal itself, as well as take a look at the issue queue, checking bugs to see if they’re valid and testing patches to verify they work properly. Read more about setting up a testing environment and applying patches.

Module and theme developers

There is no better way to shake out any lingering bugs with the API and to ensure that your modules and themes will work with the new version of Drupal than to update your modules and update your themes! Make sure to file any bugs that you find! And try coding some upgrade routines to help make the process smoother for the next person!

Drupal Ninjas and Ninjas-in-training

If you’re adept at Drupal hacking, or are eager to learn, a great place to start is with the bug tracker or the patch queue. Even if you don’t have a full solution for a problem, often even a step in the right direction can be enough for another developer to take it home! Read up on how to create patches.

Drupal interface translators

The interface strings of Drupal 7.0 are mostly frozen. The days of major changes to the UI strings are over, but we still are changing texts to fix bugs or to lend clarity in the interface. Around release candidate 1, a formal “string freeze” will be declared at which point it should be safe to start translating.

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