From June 1st 2017, this release schedule is in place to generate better Core Updates.
One of the biggest disadvantages of the IPFire 2 build system is that it is not very good with small updates and requires us to ship an entire new set of images for each change. That will waste a lot of space on the servers and of course has the entire overhead of creating the release (including changelogs, etc.).
In our normal day to day lives the world spins faster and faster with - what it feels like - less predictability. Hence we now start to bring some better predictability to the Core Updates. That will help people to book free time for development, testing and updating of their fleet of IPFire boxes.
Ideally this is pre-coordinated so that there is not a huge firework of emails.
Everything must be tested and peer-tested and of course complete.
After everything has been merged together, additional bugs will show up that need to be fixed.
This is a task in which everyone who sent in a patch must participate. Any additional patches to fix those bugs must be sent to the list as usual. Those patches may not introduce new features. Exceptions are possible.
This phase must be completed after 20 days.
After the update has been released for public testing by the developers, the changelog will be published on the planet and everyone has the chance to test this for update.
This phase lasts about 10 days and entering it opens the merge window (step 1) and the release of the final Core Update closes the merge window.