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Some updates on SMF 2.1

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emanuele:
It's been a while since the last update on the subject, right? Well, let's try to fill the gap.

Summary of SMF Development Release Cycle (Simple Form)
Development Builds/Alpha Testing -> Beta Testing -> Release Candidates -> Final


* Development Builds/Alpha; Features or major core code work being carried out on the codebase. Bugs and features are worked on and improved, the team starts testing the code base for problems blocking normal use
* Beta; We seek help from the beta testers, Charter Members and any brave community members to put SMF through it paces and look for specific issues relating to different parts of SMF, we start to bring down the number of bugs.
* Release Candidate; We are confident the code is stable enough to be "final", but the fixes applied during the beta phase need to be tested, at this point it will be bug hunting and fixing time only, no major work shall be done.
* Final; After some testing in the various stages before, we polish off the last of the release and bring SMF 2.1 out, by this time it will be stable and have had a long test process to hopefully iron out any show stopping bugs.After this process we move into a maintenance cycle for the release, meaning that bug fixes and security patches will continue to be issued.

The most active part of SMF 2.1 development ended a few days ago, this means that after having added features and code improvements we are now facing a stabilization phase where we will not add any new features and will concentrate on fixing bugs.

With this post we would also like to start involve the community into the main development process in two ways: first officially presenting our public repository. As some of you may already have noticed, the main repository where SMF 2.1 is being developed is now publicly available at github: https://github.com/SimpleMachines/SMF2.1 That means anyone can see the code, fork it and send pull requests with new features or bug fixes.

Second giving you something to play with: attached is the first public "build" of SMF 2.1. We don't consider the code stable enough to be labelled as "beta", as such we are releasing "SMF 2.1 Alpha". It contains all the new features that will be present in the final version of SMF 2.1. Some may be clearly evident, some less so, and for that reason in the coming weeks we will post a series of blog posts to explain the main improvements from SMF 2.0 futher.

This version of SMF is not considered suitable for a public site yet, use it only for testing!

In the meantime, enjoy what SMF 2.1 will be, report any bugs you find and again, feel free to contribute with code and patches at our public repo.

We all hope you will participate in SMF development with testing and/or patches! ;D

Update: 15/01/2013
The package has been removed since outdated.
You can download the most recent version of the code from github, direct link.
You can find the instruction on how to prepare an install package on the Online Manual, at the following page: How to create an install from repo

Kryzen:
Great news! :)

Trekkie101:
Well done!

Colin:
Awesome!

CoreISP:
Great news indeed, well done :) Thank you!

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