Magento has matured and continues to evolve into the world’s premier eCommerce platform, with an ever growing and vibrant community. We decided to take the last few weeks to consider how to improve the release process to provide for more growth, more enhancement, more engagement and more involvement from the community, developers and customers.
After reviewing all the constructive community feedback, and input from multiple sources, we have decided to update the Community Edition release process to make the process clearer and more standardized for Magento users, testers and developers.
Starting with our next release we will add a suffix to every version number defining the Stability Status, defined as one of the following: alpha, beta, or rc. The Stability Status will also be followed by a number detailing the Stability Status version.
New Version Number Schema:
The new version schema will be as follows: X.Y.Z.P-Stability Status#
- X - Major version number - Major version changes, which include adding and removing features and functionality. These releases will provide an upgrade path to allow users to upgrade, and will have minimum backwards compatibility to previous major versions.
- Y - Minor version number - Minor version changes, which include the adding of new features and bug fixes. Upgrades should be straight forward. The release should have maximum backwards compatibility to previous minor versions.
- Z - Revision version number - Bug fixes and minimal new features. Upgrades should be straight forward. The release should be fully backwards compatible to current minor version.
- P - Patch version number - Urgent bug and/or security fixes. Upgrades should be straight forward. The release should be fully backwards compatible to current minor version.
- Stability Status# – How stable the release is (e.g. rc, beta, alpha), where # is the stability status number. The higher the number the more mature the release
Stability Status explanation:
- Alpha - A suffix of ‘alpha’ means that this is a preview release of the upcoming version. It is not recommended in any way to be used in a production environment and we do not make any guarantees that any of the features, functionality, API or code will be available in the stable release of this version and as such no business decisions should be made based on this release. It is released as a first look into the upcoming version and might include major bugs and issues. It is intended for the use of developers and testers that want to have insight into the core development of Magento.
- Beta - A suffix of ‘beta’ means that this is a more mature release than the alpha releases for this version. It is not recommended in any way to be used in a production environment. Since it is a more mature release there is a better chance that features, functionality, API and code will not change in the stable release of this version, but this is not guaranteed and no business decision should be made based on this release. Developers, testers and users are encouraged to test this release in a non-production environment and provide feedback on any issues they might find. Extension maintainers and developers are encouraged to test their extensions for compatibility with this release.
- Release Candidate (rc) – A ‘rc’ suffix means that the release is getting closer to being stable. It is not recommended to be used in a production environment but all features and functionality are locked in for this version. Code and API might change slightly to accommodate for bugs or issues that are found in this release. Developers, testers and users are highly encouraged to test this release and provide feedback on any issues they might find. Extension maintainers and developers are highly encouraged to test and update their extensions as needed for compatibility with this release.
- No stability level specified – If a release version number is not followed by any suffix from the above this means that this release is production ready and stable. We still highly recommend testing your site on a non-production environment before upgrading your live installation directly. All extensions should be updated to be fully compatible with this release.
We feel that this release process brings better clarity as to what to expect from every release and when a Magento installation should be upgraded. It will also provide more time for Magento Connect extension maintainers and developers to verify their extensions compatibility with the release of a stable version and to better serve the users of their extensions. As of now we plan to have up to 2 stable releases and numerous preview releases of the Community Edition per year. The Enterprise Edition release process will stay as is with four stable releases per year.
We would like to thank everyone in the community for their ongoing support and we hope you stick around to see all the great things to come, as we continue to expand avenues to contribution and transition the roadmap for the community edition to the community and the CAB. We look forward to releasing our next Community Edition version 184.108.40.206-alpha1 in the next few days.