Beta blocker deadline target what? A quick guide to Drupal 8 release management tags

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Update: see Drupal 8 is in RC! Yay! What happens to my patches now? for information on issue tags related to the release candidate phase.

Drupal 8's feature freeze was over a year ago, and we are close to releasing a Drupal 8 beta to provide testers and contributed module authors with what they need to prepare for Drupal 8.0. What does this mean for issues in the core queue? When we look at Drupal core issues, we should ask two questions:

  1. Is this issue worth holding up the entire Drupal 8 release (no one can use Drupal 8 until it's done)?
  2. If not, what deadline does it have?

Here's a guide to how we organize issues based on the answers to these questions.

Critical issue priority
In the Drupal core queue, issues with the critical priority must be resolved before we create a Drupal 8 release candidate. These are the issues that will hold up Drupal 8's release--for a week, a month, however long it takes--even when everything else is ready. The Drupal 8 branch maintainers are currently reviewing issues to decide which will and will not block release. (See the criteria for critical issues.)
beta blocker issue tag
Beta blockers are critical issues (we would not release Drupal 8 without them being resolved) that are needed to provide a stable data model and stable critical APIs. (See Dries' explanation of the beta criteria.) Only the Drupal 8 branch maintainers should add this tag.
beta deadline issue tag
Non-critical issues (we would not hold up release for them) that significantly change the data model or critical APIs, and therefore can only be committed before the first beta is released. If they're not finished by the time the beta is ready, they must either be postponed to Drupal 8.1.0 or Drupal 9.
beta target issue tag
Beta targets are issues that we prioritize for the beta release, but that are not critical and therefore will not hold up the release cycle. These issues might also go into beta2, beta3, etc. if they don't also have the beta deadline tag.
rc deadline issue tag
Issues that are not critical but can only be committed before the first release candidate is released (for example, an Approved API change). If they're not finished by the time the release candidate is ready, they must either be postponed to Drupal 8.1.0 or Drupal 9.
rc target issue tag
Issues that are not critical but can committed during the release candidate phase (for example, documentation changes, certain coding standards improvements, or other issues at committer discretion). Issues with this tag must have committer approval.
minor version target issue tag (new!)
Add this tag to issues that might be good candidates for a Drupal 8.1.0 or another minor release, like new features, major UI improvements, etc. Consider whether beta or rc deadline issues could fall in this category. (See the Proposal to manage the Drupal 8 release cycle for more information on minor versions.)

Note: There is no "rc blocker" or "release blocker" tag. The critical issue priority indicates release blockers. Non-release-blocking issues marked "critical" will be downgraded.

So that's Drupal 8's release management in a nutshell! Help us release Drupal 8 to the world as soon as possible by focusing on the most important changes, and think about which improvements can wait for Drupal 8.1.0 or be done in a contributed project.