8.1.0 will be released April 20; beta begins March 2

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Drupal 8.1.0, the next planned minor release of Drupal 8, is scheduled for Wednesday, April 20, 2016. Minor releases include new features, usability improvements, and backwards-compatible API improvements. Here's what this means for core patches.

Drupal 8.1.0-beta1 will be released March 2

  • In preparation for the minor release, Drupal 8.1.x will enter a beta phase on March 2.
  • Developers and site owners can begin testing the beta.
  • The 8.2.x branch of core will be created, and future feature and API additions will be targeted against that branch instead of 8.1.x.
  • All outstanding issues filed against 8.1.x will be automatically migrated to 8.2.x once it is opened.
  • During the beta phase, core issues will be committed according to the following policy:
    1. Issues that are allowed for patch releases will be committed to all three minor branches (8.0.x, 8.1.x, and 8.2.x).
    2. Issues specific to added 8.1.x functionality, or disruptive changes that have a positive impact outweighing their disruption, will be committed to both 8.1.x and 8.2.x. (Such issues can be moved back to the 8.1.x branch after the automatic migration.)
    3. Most issues that are only allowed in minor releases will be committed to 8.2.x only.

Drupal 8.1.0-rc1 will be released April 6

  • The release candidate phase for the minor release begins on April 6, and starting on that date, the 8.1.x branch will be subject to release candidate restrictions, with only critical fixes and certain other limited changes allowed.
  • April 6 is also the final scheduled patch release window for 8.0.x, and it will not receive further development or support after that date aside from its final security release window on April 20.
  • All outstanding issues filed against 8.0.x will be automatically migrated to 8.1.x after the final 8.0.x patch release. Future bug reports should be targeted against the 8.1.x branch.
  • Minor versions may include changes to user interfaces, translatable strings, themes, internal APIs like render arrays and controllers, etc. (See the Drupal 8 backwards compatibility and internal API policy for details.) Developers and site owners should test the release candidate to prepare for these changes.
  • 8.2.x will remain open for new development during the 8.1.x release candidate phase.

See the Drupal core release cycle overview, Allowed changes during the Drupal 8 release cycle, and Drupal 8 backwards compatibility and internal API policy for more information.

As a reminder, we have until the start of the beta to add great new features to Drupal 8.1.x, and migrate, usability, and bugfixes are all priorities for 8.1.0.