Executive summary: New Joomla release strategy impact analysis


jreleases7The Joomla 3.4 announcement introduces a new release strategy that replaces the previous Long Term Support (LTS) and Short Term Support (STS) concepts along with the “.5” numbering convention. The new Joomla! Development Strategy blog followed by the FAQ's for Joomla's Improved Release Cycle attempt to shed some light on this new release strategy.

This brief compares old and new approach, outlines differences and expected (potential) impact on Joomla stakeholders.

The way things were

Joomla development / release strategy was based on Time-based release-cycles that provided the following characteristics:

The way things will be going forward

Strategy is now based on features-based release-cycles and Semantic Versioning with the following characteristics:

What these changes mean for you

Here is a real-life Joomla 3 series example:

The new strategy will impact future releases in the following ways:

Conclusions and future impact

Many articles discuss the benefits and pitfalls of each approach, such examples are:

We believe the Joomla! Project and its users will benefit from the new, more flexible, approach with longer maintenance periods, better quality and compatibility, clearer version numbers, continuous innovation without the “innovative features freeze” between the last STS release and the next major release.

Overall this strategy change will maintain Joomla as a major community-driven open-source CMS and should unleash its development community helping it introduce new innovative features. Joomla! is here to stay and has a bright future.

Of course as with any strategy, no matter how innovative and flexible it is, the end result depends entirely on the participation and implementation of the relevant community as a whole.

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