We are pleased to announce that the first Drupal 4.7 beta release is available. It is available for immediate download at http://drupal.org/files/projects/drupal-4.7.0-beta1.tar.gz.
This beta release marks an important step towards the final Drupal 4.7.0 release, which hopefully will be released in 4-6 weeks. Drupal 4.7.0 will be our most exciting release to date, with some cool new features and many under the hood improvements. Some enhancements include; free tagging, contact form functionality, easier menu management, a better default theme engine (PHPTemplate), improved search functionality, theme-specific block regions, improved PostgreSQL support, themeable forms, a better upgrade script, better revisions handling and much more.
At the same time Drupal 4.7.0 will be a tad smaller (better code re-use, the queue module and comment moderation moved to the contributions repository) and a tad faster. Finally, to liven up your various Web 2.0 dreams, we sprinkled the code with AJAX in an attempt to simplify some administrative tasks. (Yes, it should degrade gracefully.)
Please enjoy this beta and help us work out the remaining glitches. Karoly (chx) wrote in that he is taking steps to award prizes to those who report the most bugs between this announcement and the final Drupal 4.7 release. More information about that to follow. In the meantime, if you have incredible talents at breaking Drupal, make sure to report bugs using the bug tracker. If you have talents with fixing Drupal feel free to supply patches. Even if you don't know if that's the best solution, supply it anyway as it may be the starting point someone else needs.
For instructions on installing or upgrading Drupal, please consult
UPGRADE.txt respectively, as well as the documentation available in the handbook. You can use the development module to quickly populate an empty database, or you can upgrade an existing Drupal 4.6 database. As with everything still in development, take precautions with your data.
Bear in mind that custom or contributed themes and modules for Drupal 4.6 need to be updated to work with Drupal 4.7. Module developers are encouraged to update their modules(some tools available, theme developers to update their themes, and translators to update their translations.